See More on Facebook


Filipinos believe government should do more to curb Chinese intrusion

Social Weather Station survey finds that 81 per cent of Filipinos say something must be done about China’s intrusion into disputed territories.

Written by

Updated: July 17, 2018

A little over two years after the Hague sided with the Philippines in a case regarding the ongoing dispute in the South China Sea, most Filipinos seem dissatisfied with the government’s perceived inaction over China’s militarisation of the disputed area.

A survey released by Philippine pollster Social Weather Stations on July 14 found that over four in five Filipinos believe it is “not right” for the government to “leave China alone with its infrastructures and military presence in claimed territories.”

80 per cent also agreed that the government should take steps to strengthen the military, especially the Navy and nearly three quarters (74 per cent) thought that the issue should be brought to international organisations for diplomatic negotiations.

Trust in China was also found to be low, especially among those who knew about the West Philippine Sea conflict before taking part in the survey. Social Weather Stations found that trust in China had declined by 42 points since March 2018.

The survey was conducted from June 27-30, using face-to-face interviews of 1,200 adults across the Philippines.

The Duterte administration defended its approach to the South China Sea dispute on Monday.

“Duterte’s government is not guilty of inaction; we’re just not clamorous, but we have taken action when we see that China is doing something that violates our sovereignty and our rights,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

He also said the government has been silently protesting China’s aggression and military buildups in the West Philippine Sea, and assured citizens that Duterte would not give away the Philippines’ territories.

Duterte announced in December 2016 that he would be setting aside the landmark Hague ruling – which found that there was no legal basis for China’s “nine-dash line” claiming much of the South China Sea – in a bid to repair the relationship between the Philippines and China, which had suffered under his predecessor Benigno Aquino.

He has also repeatedly made it clear that he does not consider war an option, as it would result in a “massacre,” according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

China’s actions in the South China Sea, including militarisation, harassment of local fishermen within Philippine waters and damage to corals and clams, has raised the ire of many in the Philippines.

Major investments from China have also been a source of tension.

Last week, banners reading “welcome to the Philippines, province of China” were put up in parts of the country’s capital, Manila.

For maritime affairs expert Jay Batongbacal, the mocking tarpaulins mark “a turn in the intensity” of protests against Malacañang’s China policy, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported.

“It’s when the people begin to be like that—jovial and jok[ing] about the administration—that signals a loss of support and respect,” he added.

Enjoyed this story? Share it.

Nadia Chevroulet
About the Author: Nadia is an Associate Editor at Asia News Network.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia

Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.

By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here


Hun Sen’s victory means more of the same for Cambodia

Hun Sen’s electoral victory was marred by controversy but the win signals closer ties between Cambodia and China.

By Quinn Libson
July 31, 2018


China ‘gifts’ Sri Lanka 2 billion yuan

Sri Lanka and China have developed a close relationship over the past decade – so much so the Chinese national anthem was played out before the Sri Lankan anthem at a function.

By Lamat R Hasan
July 30, 2018


Cambodia goes to the polls on July 29

Cambodians will go to the polls on Sunday (July 29) to choose their next leader in an election few believe to be fair.

By Nadia Chevroulet
July 27, 2018


Imran Khan set to be Pakistan’s next prime minister

Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has a clear edge over jailed former Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim 

By Lamat R Hasan
July 26, 2018


Pakistan’s PTI leads in much-delayed poll results

Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has obtained a clear edge over other parties in the 11th general elections.

By Dawn
July 26, 2018


Pakistan goes to the polls today

Gallup Poll predicts a neck-and-neck contest between Imran Khan’s PTI and Nawaz Sharif’s PML(N) in Pakistan’s second civilian-to-civilian transfer of power.

By Lamat R Hasan
July 25, 2018