Diplomat says Manila must stand ground in dispute
MANILA (AP) - The Philippines' top diplomat has told the country's future military leaders that they must stand their ground in any territorial disputes with China.
The comments from Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, released on Saturday, came as disputes over the South China Sea escalated recently. China enraged several neighbours with a map printed in its newly revised passports that show it staking its claim on the entire South China Sea.
A statement published on the Philippine foreign ministry's website quoted Mr Del Rosario as telling Philippine Military Academy cadets: "What is ours is ours, and we should stand up to protect what is ours."
It said Mr Del Rosario gave the lecture on Friday on the challenges the Philippines faces in defending its claims to areas in the South China Sea.