'China, layas:' Militant groups protest Xi state visit

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 20) — Ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's arrival in Manila on Tuesday, a number of militant groups have called for his immediate exit upon entry to the country.

Protesters on Tuesday held a demonstration in front of the Chinese consulate in Makati to oppose his two-day state visit.

"Philippines, not for sale! Atin ang Pinas, China layas!" they chanted.

They also protested against the reclamation and militarization in the South China Sea, including Philippine waters. They criticized President Rodrigo Duterte for letting China get away with it, despite the country's victory in the arbitral court against China.

China has refused to recognize the July 2016 arbitral ruling that invalidated its sweeping claims in the South China Sea. The ruling also recognized the Philippines' rights within its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone.

Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Sal Panelo said the government has its own take on how to deal with China. He added the Philippines has not become a "province of China."

"The President has different tact in solving the problems confronting us. He's using diplomacy, negotiation and persuasion to get what we want," he said in a media briefing on Tuesday.

A Social Weather Stations survey released on Tuesday showed 84 percent of Filipinos oppose the Duterte administration's inaction in the face of China's intrusion in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

Seventy-two percent said it is "very important" for the Philippines to regain full control of the islands occupied by China in the WPS. Fifteen percent said it is "somewhat important."

Related: 84% of Filipinos reject gov't inaction vs. China on West Philippine Sea – survey