WWII Soldiers from the Philippines Unhappy with China

Filipino soldiers from WWII are upset with China over what they perceive to be unnecessarily aggressive territorial disputes. The Filipino vets voiced their unhappiness publicly early in April, and appeared to have genuine concern (to the extent that they even asked the United States for aid should the disputes reach a boiling point). They were scheduled to speak in honor of the Day of Valor, but the WWII survivors felt that China had become aggressive enough to take precedence over the celebration.

The Day of Valor celebration was supposed to commemorate WWII at the National Memorial in Washington, DC, with the veterans there to place wreaths in honor of fallen comrades. The transgressions they spoke of in lieu of the expected ceremony painted a very hostile picture, as they accused of China of trying to bully fishermen out of their designated waters as well as intruding on Filipino outposts at sea.

The veterans’ belief is that China would like to requisition Filipino fuel resources for their own, rather than reach a mutual trade agreement. They stated that they do not intend to stand idly by and endure such treatment, and included other nations such as Vietnam in their claims that the country is aiming toward complete naval sovereignty in the East. The WWII veterans also accused them of infringing upon written United Nations agreements, a serious offense if deemed accurate.

China has recently been in the press for accusing Japan of being unrepentant about their actions in WWII, but their concerns may hold less weight if they are indeed held responsible for violating international regulations. The United States Secretary of Defense has made an announcement that they support both Japan and the Philippines if these violations should grow enough to cause a conflict between the nations. Such a conflict seems as if it might be approaching, with Defense Minister Chang Wanquan having stated that his country has full rights to the territory they are trying to requisition from the Philippines, the Inquirer.net reports.

The WWII veterans’ impassioned pleas for aid in the struggle against China are already being answered, though no action is being taken preemptively. The United States seems to be taking a similar approach to the matter as that taken by Germany in the dispute between China and Japan. Germany has stated that, regardless of Japan’s actions in WWII, they do not wish to engage in a conflict between other countries if a conflict can be avoided altogether. The rate at which the disputes will escalate remains to be fully seen, though tensions at the moment remain very high in contested waters.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE