Beijing has refuted a report of a US-based think tank that Chinese vessels have been dumping human waste in Spratly Islands, calling it “fake news” meant to trigger Sinophobia.
“It all started with a foreign agency issuing a report full of lies. Some media immediately spread fake news based on the fabricated report. Finally, some anti-China forces used fake news to accuse and demonize China,” the Chinese embassy in Manila said in a post on Twitter.
“It’s a typical ‘whole industry chain’ aiming at creating hatred and Sinophobia in the Philippines,” it added.
In a separate statement posted on its Facebook account, the Chinese embassy accused Simularity of “sparing no efforts to produce lies and hype up the South China Sea issue to discredit and demonize China.”
“The Chinese Embassy believes that a lie told a thousand times is still a lie. Any rational person will see through the tricks. China is willing to work with countries along the coast of the South China Sea, including the Philippines, to eliminate interference and jointly maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea,” the embassy said.
Simularity on Thursday urged the government to validate its findings, even as lawmakers called for a congressional investigation into the reports.
“My message to the government of the Philippines is: verify our findings, do your best to verify the findings,” said Simularity founder and CEO Liz Derr.
“We’ve done this from space because that’s really all anybody can do right now because the area is really militarized but I wholeheartedly encourage the government to validate our findings, question our findings, understand the science, and see for themselves,” she said at a forum organized by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines.
Lawmakers sought a congressional inquiry into the supposed dumping of human waste and sewage by Chinese vessels in some parts of the West Philippine Sea.
In House Resolution 1961, the Makabayan Bloc led by Rep. Arlene Brosas of Gabriela asked the House committee on aquaculture and fisheries and committee on foreign affairs to conduct a probe into the matter even as the group denounced such an action.
They said the dumping of human waste and sewage destroys the reefs and marine life in that part of the country’s territory.
At the Upper Chamber, Senator Francis Pangilinan asked the committee on agriculture, food, and agrarian reform to probe the plight of Filipino fishermen who were unable to fish in the WPS.
In his resolution, Pangilinan called on government to commit, under any circumstance, in asserting the country’s and its people’s rights and enforce the arbitral ruling that rejects China’s expansive claims over the resources and area covered by its nine-dash line that encroaches on the maritime entitlement of other states, including the Philippines’ EEZ and extended continental shelf.
“The government must stand up to China’s aggression, with the welfare of our people at the forefront of every policy and decision,” he said.