Chinese gov't words don't match actions in West Philippine Sea: Lorenzana
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Tuesday said the Chinese government wanting peaceful maritime activities in the West Philippine Sea is opposite from their actions.
In a press briefing, Lorenzana said he has been hearing those statements from Chinese officials, even from their president, Xi Jinping.
"His speech yesterday, I have heard that version of that speech many times. I heard that from the mouth of Xi Jinping when we met him with the president (Rodrigo Duterte) in 2016... I heard it from the mouth of other ministers," he said.
"So nothing new from what they are saying. So they are saying that they will not (go to war), they want peace in West Philippine Sea, but it does not match what they are doing on the ground," he added.
Last night's 90th anniversary of People's Liberation Army, Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jinhua in his speech said China is a peace-loving nation.
"China will follow the path of peaceful development. This is commitment to the people of China and to the world," said Zhao.
Lorenzana recalled his conversation with Zhao in a previous event where the Chinese ambassador told him they are not bullying people who go to the disputed waters.
"They are saying 'we do not bully people around', they follow international law but I told them you are not. What you are telling is not what you are doing on the ground," he said.
Lorenzana said their statements are doubtful until such time that their actions is matched by their words.
"It is good to be heard but (or) just to keep us calm but the bottomline is their word doesn't match what they are doing in the West Philippine Sea," he added.
Lorenzana called the grabbing of islands as a form of bullying following the latest Pulse Asia survey showing that only 26 percent of Filipinos trust China.
"The Chinese, actually since they started grabbing islands there, are bullying people around. Of course people will doubt that," he said.
"The way that they took over Scarborough Shoal ( in 2012) to me that is, that was bullying," he added. Ella Dionisio/DMS