On Friday’s independence day holiday in the Philippines, hundreds of leftist protesters decried China’s claims to most of the South China Sea. But the various groups opposed to China do not agree on whether they should rely on the United States as a deterrent to China’s increasing assertiveness.
A theme song calling on Filipinos to standup for themselves against China blared as about 500 protesters marched under the baking sun on the street in front of the Chinese consular office in Metro Manila.
The protesters, who call themselves “One for Philippine Sovereignty,” want China’s surveillance vessels and island-making dredging ships out of the 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone that bounds their country’s coastline.
China claims almost all of the resource-rich sea. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have competing claims.