- China claimed it is the real victim, and not the Philippines, in the ongoing territorial dispute
- A state-run publication also accused the Philippines, the United States and the arbitration court of ‘conspiring’ to humiliate China
- The editorial was published a day before the international court hands its decision in the raging maritime conflict
On Monday, July 11, China capped its ‘propaganda overdrive’ with a statement claiming it is the real victim, and not the Philippines, in the acrimonious maritime dispute in the West Philippine Sea.
Citing an editorial published on the state-owned People’s Daily, The Washington Post’s Emily Rauhala said the Communist Party’s mouthpiece accused the Philippines, the United States and the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague, Netherlands of ‘conspiring’ to weaken and humiliate China.
“The facts have proved clearly that the Philippines South China Sea arbitration case is completely a “trap” targeting China, which is hyped and manipulated by the U.S., led by the Philippines, and with cooperation from the arbitration courtroom,” Rauhala quoted the editorial as saying.
The PCA is set to rule on the territorial dispute filed by the Philippines this coming Tuesday, July 12.
Manila scored its initial victory against Beijing in October 2015 after the tribunal ruled it has jurisdiction in the maritime case that has caused diplomatic rift in the region.
But with only hours left before the Permanent Court of Arbitration hand its decision, which is widely expected to favor the Philippines, Chinese media – most notably the People’s Daily – took its relentless propaganda campaign one step further by accusing the US of using the case to suppress China’s rise as a regional powerhouse.
“Some people hope to smear China by inverting things and stirring up trouble, so as to portray the real victims as the illegal ones,” the editorial read.
“Obviously, on the issue of the South China Sea, China is absolutely not the perpetrator but the victim,” it added.
China has been unwavering in its early position to ignore the court ruling, regardless of the outcome.
However, such desperate bid, international observers said, could put China in a tight spot and under a tremendous international pressure; not to mention the possibility of being branded an international outlaw.