Chinese Embassy's 'Iisang Dagat' video made people more angry, Carpio says
The Chinese Embassy in Manila recently released a music video titled "Iisang Dagat", which drew negative responses from Filipino social media users.
YouTube screengrab/Chinatown TV
Chinese Embassy's 'Iisang Dagat' video made people more angry, Carpio says
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - April 27, 2020 - 4:04pm

MANILA, Philippines — While Beijing claims that its music video titled "Iisang Dagat" is a tribute to COVID-19 frontliners, there might be a subliminal message in it, retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said.

In an online forum organized by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines on Monday, Carpio said the video is connected to Beijing's official position on the South China Sea, including the West Philippine Sea.

As of this post, the music video has more than 512,000 views on YouTube with about 149,000 'dislikes'.

"They say 'Iisang Dagat' but the Chinese are saying 'Iisang dagat pero amin 'yan (One sea but that's ours) because we own more than 85% of the South China Sea,'" Carpio said.

China's nine-dash line over the South China Sea overlaps with maritime claims of other countries in the region, including the Philippines.

In July 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration issued a ruling on the Philippines' arbitration against China. The international tribunal invalidated Beijing's expansive claims over the contested waterway but China continues to reject the landmark award, which favored the Philippines.

"They will say 'Iisang Dagat' of course there's only one sea because the water just moves around. That's fact. There's only one South China Sea but what is unsaid is that they claim to own it," Carpio added.

'China trying to make up for COVID-19 failures'

China's music video appears to be an attempt to make up for its failures at the start of the new coronavirus pandemic, Carpio said, adding that Beijing initially suppressed information on the infectious disease, which originated in Wuhan City.

At the same time, Beijing is also taking advantage of the pandemic but it backfired on them as seen in the public's response to the music video, he said.

Carpio further noted that it was "very rare" for a video to have "overwhelming" dislikes online.

"You can just see that it has boomeranged on China. It has made people more angry at China," Carpio said.

The retired SC justice also recalled how the Department of Health changed its tune on supposedly substandard medical equipment from China after the Chinese Embassy sent a text message to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.

While it is dealing with the pandemic, the Philippine government should be more concerned about the safety of frontliners rather than trying to please China, he said.

Carpio also said that there should be an investigation whether the face masks, personal protective equipment and other medical equipment that came from China are really compliant with regulations of the World Health Organizations.

"China has taken advantage but of course there's a pushback. People jst don't buy that and that is show in the video that the Chinese Embassy had released. People saw through it and said they don't like it," Carpio said.

Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian wrote the lyrics of the song, which was performed by Chinese diplomat Xia Wenxin, Camarines Sur Gov. Imelda Papin, Filipino-Chinese singer Jhonvid Bangayan and Chinese actor Yubin.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: August 27, 2020 - 9:37am

The United States Navy's Nimitz-class nuclear powered supercarrier USS John C. Stennis continues underway in the South China Sea.

The US Pacific Command just reported that it has received "cargo" from support ship USNS Rainier in the disputed waters.

August 27, 2020 - 9:37am

China said a US spy plane entered a no-fly zone used by the Chinese military for live-fire drills, branding it an act of provocation, state media said Tuesday.

The U-2 reconnaissance jet's flight over an area in northern China violated safety rules between the two nations, Xinhua reported, citing Chinese defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian.

"The US action could easily have resulted in misjudgments and even accidents," said the report, adding "that the move was an obvious provocation." — AFP

July 14, 2020 - 7:34am

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the United States would treat Beijing's pursuit of resources in the dispute-rife South China Sea as illegal, ramping up pressure on another front.

"We are making clear: Beijing's claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them," Pompeo says in a statement.

The United States has long rejected Beijing's sweeping claims in the South ChinaSea, aligning itself with Vietnam, the Philippines and other US partners in the region. — AFP

July 3, 2020 - 7:28am

The Pentagon says it is "concerned" about Chinese military exercises around a disputed archipelago in the South China Sea, noting the maneuvers will "further destabilize" the region.

"The Department of Defense is concerned about the People's Republic of China (PRC) decision to conduct military exercises around the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea on July 1-5," the Pentagon says in a statement.

The activities "further destabilize the situation" in the area claimed by China, Vietnam and Taiwan, it says. — AFP

April 30, 2020 - 4:15pm

The Philippines says it strongly protests "the establishment of the so-called districts of 'Nansha' and 'Xisha' under the supposed administrative jurisdiction of its self-declared 'Sansha City'" which would cover parts of the West Philippine Sea.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs says it has protested since 2012 the "unlawful establishment of Sansha City" that includes Philippine territory and maritime zones in the WPS, including the Kalayaan Island Group and Bajo de Masinloc.

The Philippines also protests the dseignation of Kagitingan Reef in the Kalayaan Island Group "as adinistrative center for the so-called 'Nansha district'," saying the reef is part of the KIG and an integral part of Philippine territory.

April 27, 2020 - 1:41pm

Sen. Risa Hontiveros has filed a resolution to urge the executive branch to "exert legal and diplomatic pressure" on China over its activities in the West Philippine and to have the regional giant pay for enviromental damage in the area.

"China's sense of entitlement to our seas has caused severe and irreparable harm to our ecosystems," Hontiveros says in a statement on the filing of Philippine Senate Resolution No. 369.

Even if the Senate, the majority of which supports the Duterte administration and its foreign policy with China, adopts the resolution, it is non-binding on the executive branch.

"Hindi tayo kolonya, kaya panahon nang singilin ng gobyerno ang Tsina (We are not a colony so it's about time that we have China pay)," she also says.

In her resolution, Hontiveros says "unlawful Chinese activities in the West Philippine Sea are estimated to have caused at last P33 billion in damage annually to marine ecosystems within the Philippines' continental shelf and exclusive economic zone" since 2013, the year that the Philippines filed its arbitration case.

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