The lunacy of Philippine President Aquino likening China to Nazi Germany


© Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images
Philippine president Benigno Aquino made the comments during a speech in the Japanese parliament during his visit to Tokyo.

If we can pardon Benigno Aquino for being "an amateur student of history", we are still shocked by his ignorance -- what kind of national leader would liken present-day China to Nazi Germany?

During a speech in Japan, the Philippine president claimed that there was a risk to the world continuing to appease China over territorial disputes in the South China Sea, comparing the situation to Hitler's annexing Czechoslovakia before World War II (WWII).

Aquino also made similar remarks last year when he told that his nation could not stand up to China alone.

In painting this "David vs Goliath" picture, Aquino may very well be genuinely afraid and uncertain. This is understandable. But he can rest assured that China won't bully other countries just because they are small.

But "small countries should not make trouble willfully and endlessly", as Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying responded.

Even if some countries are unsure about China, to so brazenly transmogrify the country into Nazi Germany is completely out of line.

With his comparison, anyone can see Aquino is seeking outside help to counter China's legitimate claims in the South China Sea, but turning to Japan -- a country which trampled over Southeast Asia in WWII and whose current leader refuses to adopt a responsible attitude towards history -- is not just shameless, but also a betrayal of the WWII legacy.

Rather, Aquino should feel lucky that his country is dealing with China, whose island reclamation in recent years is only to defend territorial sovereignty.

When making the Nazi Germany comparison, Aquino failed to mention that the Philippines has also expanded maritime features in the South China Sea in recent years.

The Philippines did not raise any objection to China's claims to the Nansha Islands after WWII. However, in the 1970s, when huge oil reserves were discovered there, it quietly began to encroach upon the islands.

China did not intimidate the Philippines to pull out, nor did it invade the Philippines. On the contrary, the China threat played up by Aquino and other politicians never materialized, let alone the accusation of China impairing navigational freedom in the South China Sea.

On all these issues, we believe either Mr. Aquino has a bad memory or he has selectively forgotten aspects of history, choosing outside backers such as the United States.

But we have to remind Aquino that Uncle Sam is not even a relevant party to the South China Sea issue. If he thinks a fox can assume the majesty of a tiger by riding on the tiger's back, he will only embarrass himself.

China has unshakable determination to safeguard its sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. The Philippines can not change that, nor can any outsiders.