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LinkAsia | Jun 1
Defense ministers from both countries met this past week and urged restraint in the escalating conflict over Scarborough Shoal in the South China S...
And here's what people on Chinese social media are saying about the standoff between China and the Philippines.
On Sina Weibo, a Chinese version of Twitter, netizens left angry comments for the Philippine Department of Tourism. One user said:
"You Filipinos have ignited hatred in all of Chinese society!"
"We support going to war."
Now this is a video that went viral on Youku, a Chinese version of YouTube. These are soccer fans in Nanjing city, and their team has just lost a game. So you might think that they're cursing out the other team, but actually, they're singing nationalistic songs and shouting:
"If you have the guts, go to war with the Philippines!"
This Sina Weibo user feels the same, urging the Chinese government to do more than just talk:
"At this point, if China is still talking about diplomatic strategies, we ordinary people are very disappointed."
But some Chinese netizens think there are enough problems at home:
"To resist a foreign invasion, we must first preserve peace at home. Based on what's going on inside our own country, going to war with the Philippines is not a wise choice."
In general, though, it seems like Chinese netizens are pushing for tougher words and even war.
So what do Filipinos think about the whole thing? Our contributor in the Philippines, Noel Tarrazona, tells us some Filipino netizens are wondering if war is a real possibility and speculating about why China seems to be hyping the issue.
Military tensions continue in between China and the Philippines over what Manila calls Scarborough Shoal and Beijing insists is Huangyan Island. But on social media in the Philippines, Filipinos wonder if China can wage war with the Philippines when there are millions of Chinese who call Philippines their home.
Mindanao Examiner's popular Facebook page has become an avenue for Filipinos to raise questions about China's threat of a possible war. One Facebook user comment read:
"Can Chinese tycoons residing in the Philippines save us if war between China and the Philippines broke out?"
One Facebook [post] appealed to Chinese residing in the Philippines to make a stand on the Scarborough issue. This Facebook user says:
"The Chinese community, called Tsinoy here, opposes China's military aggression in Scarborough Shoal. Most Tsinoy have the heart of a passionate Filipino. The Scarborough issue is an attempt of China's rulers to divert public attention from the ongoing domestic political scandals in China."
The Facebook user wrote:
"Hope their intention is only for that island, and hopefully not to invade the entire country. Maybe far out, but it's possible."
This is the toughest test the Philippines has faced in its relations with its Asian neighbor. Already, it has affected trade and business relations. China's stopped some imports of Filipino products and told tourists to cancel trips for safety reasons. It's a dilemma for the Manila government. It does not have the military force to stand up to China, but can't be seen by its citizens to back down. In Zamboanga City, I'm Noel Tarrazona, for LinkAsia.