Aquino cites Hitler on territorial row with China

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

MANILA -- President Benigno Aquino III has sought for international support in contesting China's claims over the West Philippine Sea.

The President's statement came out in The New York Times on Wednesday as he also cited a lesson from history where the West failed to support Czechoslovakia against Adolf Hitler’s demands for the Sudetenland in 1938.

"If we say yes to something we believe is wrong now, what guarantee is there that the wrong will not be further exacerbated down the line?..... At what point do you say, ‘Enough is enough?’ Well, the world has to say it," he said.

"Remember that the Sudetenland was given in an attempt to appease Hitler to prevent World War II," he added.

He maintained in the interview that the Philippines will not give up its territories in the disputed West Philippine Sea, also known as the South China Sea.

The New York Times described the President's remarks as "among the strongest indications yet of alarm among Asian heads of state about China's military buildup and territorial ambitions."

Meanwhile, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. clarified that Aquino did not mean to offend China when he mentioned Hitler, who was known for the deaths of millions of people, in the interview by The New York Times.

"Hindi naman ganoon. Ang aking naaalala, mayroon din—previous question dito, building up to this remark, sinabi na rin niya ‘yung mga ginagawa ng iba’t ibang bansa, ‘yung ating pakikipag-ugnayan sa Asean, at kung paano tayo humantong doon sa paghingi ng arbitration sa United Nations," he said in a regular press briefing.

Coloma was present when New York Times conducted an interview with Aquino last Tuesday in Malacanang.

"So meron namang antecedents that would logically lead to this particular citation na hindi naman ang context ay doon sa nabanggit mo," Coloma added. (SDR/Sunnex)

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