The Philippine president has likened present-day China to Nazi Germany, hinting that the world cannot continue to appease Beijing as it claims ever more territory in the South China Sea.
Benigno Aquino’s comments – made during a speech in Japan – came as disquiet grows over the quickening pace of China’s land reclamation programme in international waters, including its construction of a runway long enough for large military planes.
“If there was a vacuum, if the United States, which is the superpower, says ‘we are not interested’, perhaps there is no brake to ambitions of other countries,” he told an audience of business leaders in Tokyo.
South China Sea islands are Chinese plan to militarise zone, claims US
“I’m an amateur student of history and I’m reminded of … how Germany was testing the waters and what the response was by various other European powers,” he said, referring to the Nazis’ territorial conquests in the months before the outbreak of the second world war.