China’s Bullying Is ‘Existential Issue’ for Philippines

China’s unlawful and belligerent behavior in the South China Sea has become an “existential issue” for the Philippines, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro said in an interview with the Financial Times published on June 11.

  • In recent months, the Chinese have targeted Philippine military personnel near the Second Thomas Shoal.
  • International law designates the Second Thomas Shoal as being within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.
  • China disregards international law and claims the shoal and nearly the entire South China Sea as its own.
  • Its operatives use military-grade lasers and water cannons to prevent the Philippines from resupplying its garrison on the shoal.
  • These attacks have injured Philippine soldiers and damaged their ships.
  • Earlier this month, China prevented the Philippines from evacuating an ill soldier from the garrison.

A vital region: The South China Sea is full of critical shipping lanes through which one third of global shipping passes. It is also resource rich, containing 10 billion barrels of oil, trillions of cubic feet of natural gas, and significant fisheries.

We need all of these resources within the boundaries that have been provided to us by international law, and we need to stand up for this. If not, these will be chipped away by China. … This is an existential issue for us.
—Gilbert Teodoro

Emboldened: As the United States becomes an increasingly unreliable security partner to nations such as the Philippines, China is casting off restraint on its regional and global ambitions.

China is intimidating the nations of Southeast Asia into submission to its will. It is forcing these countries to do what it wants. Everything is headed in the direction of war.
—Gerald Flurry, Trumpet editor in chief, “China Is Steering the World Toward War.”