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Philippines Rally Demands Beijing Stop South China Sea Militarization

  • VOA News

Demonstrators display placards during a rally at the Chinese Consulate to protest Beijing's militarization of disputed islands in the South China Sea, in Manila, Philippines, Feb. 25, 2016.

Demonstrators display placards during a rally at the Chinese Consulate to protest Beijing's militarization of disputed islands in the South China Sea, in Manila, Philippines, Feb. 25, 2016.

Protesters demanding that China stop its militarization of the South China Sea demonstrated outside Beijing's consulate in Manila Thursday.

More than 100 demonstrators gathered to call on China to withdraw from the disputed Spratly and Paracel Islands.

Tensions have been building over China's activities in the region.

Protesters say Beijing is ignoring international law by reclaiming thousands of acres in the South China Sea for the development of a landing strip and radar.

The rally was co-organized by the Association of Vietnamese Students in the Philippines, and the MARCHA (Movement and Alliance to Resist China's Aggression) led by former lawmaker Roilo Golez.

Speaking at the protest, Golez said that Beijing, if not stopped now, will go further.

"If there will be no outrage, if they won't be stopped in the Woody Island, then they will also deploy these aircrafts and fighter jets here near the Philippines and that will be a grave threat to our security," Golez said.

Woody Island is part of the disputed Paracel Islands chain, some 1,000 kilometers off the Philippines' coastline.

Five other regional countries, including Vietnam and Malaysia, have claimed territorial rights in the South China Sea.

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