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Filipinos have taken to the streets to support a peaceful resolution over the maritime territorial dispute in the South China Sea. The protesters are calling for regional cooperation between the Philippines and the Chinese regime. Here's more.
Dozens of protesters took to the streets of Manila on Tuesday. They are calling for peaceful negotiations with the Chinese regime to resolve the ongoing territorial dispute over the South China Sea.
The protesters carried white balloons, placards, and a banner that read "Regional cooperation, not war." They marched in front of the Chinese Embassy to express support for bilateral peace talks between the Philippines and the Chinese regime.
The protesters urge their government not to rely on U.S. support, and to engage in peace talks with the Chinese regime instead.
[Sonny Melencio, Chairperson, Strength of the Masses Party]:
"We are concerned that this problem is escalating militarily as proven by the sending of warships and other military exercise in that particular area. We are calling for peace. We are calling for regional cooperation, to explore the region for the benefits of the Asian people."
Philippine authorities have complained that a Chinese vessel rammed one of its ships.
While the Philippines and the United States plan to have a joint navy drill in the South China Sea, the Chinese regime has asked the U.S. not to intervene.
[Hong Lei, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson]:
"It should be resolved through direct dialogue of the relevant parties."
Six countries—China, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Brunei—all claim portions of the South China Sea. China stakes the biggest claim.
The South China Sea is along the busiest international shipping routes—and is believed to have rich oil and gas reserves.