Major business groups in the Philippines have called on China to stop acting like an imperial power and to withdraw their vessels that have been in territorial waters for weeks.
“Now that China is strong economically and militarily, we call on China to refrain from becoming an imperial power,” the business groups said in a joint statement.
“In 1974, Deng Xiaoping said if one day China should change her color and turn in to superpower, if she too should play the tyrant in the world and everywhere subject others to her bullying, aggression and exploitation, the people of the world should expose it, oppose it and work together with the Chinese people to overthrow it,” they added.
The groups that were part of the joint statement were the the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Management Association of the Philippines, Makati Business Club, Bishops-Businessmen’s Conference for Human Development, Filipina CEO Circle, Judicial Reform Initiative, and Cebu Business Club.
The business groups said Julian Felipe Reef is historically and by law part of Philippines territory, as was clearly established in the 2016 ruling based on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas.
“Our exclusive right over the Julian Felipe Reef carries with it the utilization of, and the obligation to protect, its economic benefits, such as its rich marine life and mineral deposits, for the well-being of each and every Filipino,” they said.
“We call on the Chinese authorities to respect the sovereignty of the Philippines and other neighboring countries for it is only through peaceful co-existence that we can achieve prosperity for all,” they added.