Tag Archives: South China Sea


Manila’s Chinatown

BINONDO, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – Apparently not content with its claim over the disputed territory in the South China Sea, the Chinese government today announced it was laying claim over the oldest Chinatown in the world — in Manila!

Manila’s Chinatown, located in and around the Binondo district, was established in the late 1500s. It was built by the Spaniards as a settlement for Catholic Chinese, and was positioned across the Pasig River so that the colonial rulers could keep a close eye on their migrant subjects.  To this day, it continues to be a center of commerce and trade in Manila where all types of businesses are run by Filipinos of Chinese ancestry.

Almost a quarter of the Philippines’ 100 Million population are of Chinese descent, and China is demanding loyalty from them.

The administration of Philippine President NoyNoy Aquino immediately protested the Chinese announcement, saying “China cannot just kidnap 25 percent of our population. What are they planning to do? Build a wall around Binondo and make our Chinatown their overseas seat of government?”

Aquino called U.S. President Barack Obama at 3 a.m. Monday morning (U.S. East Coast time) to report the latest move by the Chinese government.

The U.S. and the Philippines have a mutual defense agreement which provides for the use of Philippine bases by American military forces.  In exchange, the Americans are training the Filipinos on military combat and providing military equipment to help the Philippines defend itself against foreign aggressors.

Unfortunately, Obama was out of the country attending a summit meeting of the G7 nations.


The-philippines-map1The Government of the Philippines has formally filed a petition with the United Nations to correct the universal record which lists countries according to their size and territorial area.

In a note verbale signed by President NoyNoy Aquino, delivered today by the country’s Permanent Representative to the U.N., Libran Cabactulan, the government asserted that the Philippines is almost twice the size than what is currently on record in world almanacs.

In terms of size, the Philippines is the 73rd largest country in the world (out of 249 countries and territories).  Its total area is 300,000 kilometers (120,000 miles), of which 298,170 kilometers is land the remaining is water (surface areas of inland water bodies like lakes, reservoirs and rivers).

However, it is a fact that the Philippines is much larger than 300,000 kilometers considering that it is an archipelago consisting of 7,100 islands, each surrounded by water. Many countries like the United States include their territorial waters when defining their total area.

Territorial waters, on the other hand, is defined by the 1982 United National Convention on the Law of the Sea, as a belt of coastal waters extending at 12 nautical miles or 22.2 kilometers (13.8 miles) from the coastal baseline.

In other words, if the Philippines’ surrounding and territorial waters are taken into account, it would be larger than Japan, Germany, Finland, Norway, Poland or Italy.

The Aquino administration decided to file the petition as it continues to challenge China’s claim over the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.  The Philippines maintains that the disputed islands are part of its territory.

“We have to assert our territorial rights from the position of strength – and size – and correcting the record on how large our country actually is, would do just that,” Aquino said in the note verbale.







IMG_5492New York, New York (The Adobo Chronicles) – In a recent interview with The New York Times, Philippine President NoyNoy Aquino admitted that he was very concerned about China.

Aquino, who is in New York attending a United Nations summit on climate change, said that the Philippine government is getting mixed messages from China with regards to the diplomatic relations between the two countries, as well as the territorial dispute over islands in the South China Sea.

But in an exclusive interview with The Adobo Chronicles, the Philippine leader expressed his worst fears regarding China.

Chinese Filipinos are one of the largest overseas Chinese communities in Southeast Asia. Filipinos with at least some Chinese ancestry—comprise 18-27% of the Philippine population. That’s more than a quarter of Philippines’ 100 Million population.

Aquino said that if China succeeds in laying claim to the disputed islands, it may also lay claim to the more than 25 Million Chinese Filipinos, including Aquino and his family. Aquino, by virtue of his mother Cory Aquino’s heritage, is among the Chinese Filipinos living in the Philippines. Cory comes from the Cojuangco family, one of the richest and most influential Chinese Filipino family dynasties in the country.

“I am afraid that 25 Million Filipinos will be claimed by China as Chinese citizens and that real estate, property and businesses owned by Chinese Filipinos in the Philippines will be sequestered by the Chinese government,” Aquino said.

The beleaguered Aquino said this will result in a divided Philippines and a dual government – one democratic and one communist. He suspects that if China succeeds in establishing partial rule in the Philippines, Manila could lose its Chinatown as it would become the seat of the Chinese govenrment in the Philippines.  Manila’s Chinatown is one of the biggest and the oldest of Chinatowns in the world.

Aquino refused to answer questions regarding what might happen to Hacienda Luisita, the vast agricultural land in the Philippine province of Tarlac owned by his family. The land has been the bitter subject of the decades-long agricultural reform movement in the country.