It may be a tall task, but Filipinos should start educating 1.4 billion Chinese people that their belief that China owned the entire South China Sea is a “gigantic fraud,” acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio said on Monday.
“The Chinese government today would not comply with the [arbitral] ruling until the Chinese people understand that that historical narrative is totally false,” Carpio told a forum sponsored by the chiefs of staff of lawmakers in the House of Representatives.
He said every Chinese citizen had been taught from a young age that China had owned and controlled the vast sea region since 2,000 years ago.
“If the Chinese government will comply with the ruling today, that will delegitimize them in the eyes of the Chinese people who really believe they own the South China Sea,” he said.
“They have this mantra: ‘We will not give away a square inch of our sacred territory that was bequeathed to us by our ancestors through the ages,’” he added.
According to Carpio, the Chinese people may even topple the communist regime should Beijing recognize the 2016 landmark ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which recognized the sovereign rights of the Philippines in the West Philippine Sea, waters located within its 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea.