Philippine defense secretary vows to stand up to bully China

  • 8 months ago
China is behaving like a schoolyard bully toward smaller countries, the Philippine defense secretary told CNN Friday during an exclusive interview in which he warned his nation, and the wider world, had to stand up to Beijing’s territorial expansion in the South China Sea.
“I cannot think of any clearer case of bullying than this,” said Philippine Secretary of National Defense Gilberto Teodoro Jr. “It’s not the question of stealing your lunch money, but it’s really a question of stealing your lunch bag, your chair and even enrollment in school.”
His comments follow increasingly assertive moves by the Philippines to protect its claim to shoals in the South China Sea during more than a month of high-stakes maritime drama.
While tensions between China and the Philippines over the highly-contested and strategic waterway have festered for years, confrontations have spiked this summer, renewing regional fears that a mistake or miscalculation at sea could trigger a wider conflict, including with the United States.