Tensions escalate as top Philippines senator calls for boycott of Chinese goods

Tensions escalate as top Philippines senator calls for boycott of Chinese goods

Manila lodged protest after Chinese coast guard fired water cannon at Filipino vessel

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ISTANBUL (AA) – Amid tensions at sea, a top Philippines senator Tuesday called for a boycott of Chinese goods and companies.

Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri on Tuesday also said Manila “should start looking for other trading partners instead of relying on China,” daily Inquirer reported.

“So, we can just boycott the Chinese-made products, the Chinese companies coming in here to show our anger towards them in that way,” he said in a radio program.

The call for the boycott comes a day after Manila lodged a protest with Beijing over the firing of water cannons at its vessels last Saturday.

China has, however, called on the Philippines to remove its rusting warship from a reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea where the incident happened last week when Filipino vessels were sailing to supply the soldiers deployed at the site.

China’s top diplomat was also summoned to the Philippines Foreign Ministry to express displeasure over the issue.

Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian, however, told the Philippines Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Theresa P. Lazaro, that Beijing hopes Manila “can meet China halfway and stop unilateral actions, preventing the situation from escalating or getting out of control.”

“China is waiting for feedback from the Philippine side, and hopes to start talks as soon as possible,” said Huang.

Philippine's opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday also called for a ban on Chinese Communication Construction Company, a state-owned Chinese company, from operating in the Southeast Asian nation.

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