Philippine President Benigno Aquino III has once again drawn parallels between Nazi Germany and present-day China during a recent speech delivered in Japan.
President Aquino specifically likened China’s territorial rise to that of Nazi Germany, hinting that the world should not continue to appease Beijing as it claims more and more territory in the South China Sea.
According to the SCMP, Aquino told the audience of business leaders in Tokyo that he may be “an amateur student of history”, but that China’s territorial rise reminds him of “how Germany was testing the waters and response of various other European powers”, referring to the Nazis’ territorial conquests in the months leading up to the outbreak of the second world war.
He continued to call for the global community to increase pressure on China to stop expanding its territorial conquests: “If somebody said stop to Hitler at that point in time, or to Germany at that time, we would have avoided the second world war”.
The comments were made after Barack Obama highlighted growing tensions in the South China Sea earlier this week. Obama urged China and other regional powers to adhere to the law and “stop throwing elbows”.
China has rejected US demands to stop reclamation works in the South China Sea. According to China, it is only exercising its sovereignty and using the outposts to fulfill international responsibilities.
Beijing continues to claim sovereignty over most of the South China Sea, which acts as a major global shipping route home to plentiful oil and gas reserves.
Other neighbouring countries and regions such as Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines have at one point asserted a claim over islets and reefs in the area.
Aquino’s previous comparisons between modern day China and Nazi Germany, of course, drew fierce condemnation from the Middle Kingdom—and those weren’t even made in front of a Japanese audience.
By Freya Twigden