Philip­pine leader likens China to Nazi Ger­many


Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Benigno Aquino likened present-day China to Nazi Ger­many on Wed­nes­day dur­ing a speech in Ja­pan, hint­ing the world can­not con­tinue to ap­pease Bei­jing as it claims ever-more ter­ri­tory in the South China Sea.

The com­ments come as dis­quiet grows over the quick­en­ing pace of China’s land recla­ma­tion pro­gram in in­ter­na­tional wa­ters, in­clud­ing its con­struc­tion of a run­way long enough for large mil­i­tary planes.

“If there was a vac­uum, if the United States, which is the su­per­power, says ‘we are not in­ter­ested,’ per­haps there is no brake to am­bi­tions of other coun­tries,” Aquino told an au­di­ence of busi­ness lead­ers in Tokyo.

“I’m an am­a­teur stu­dent of his­tory and I’m re­minded of ... how Ger­many was testing the wa­ters and what the re­sponse was by var­i­ous other Euro­pean pow­ers,” he said, re­fer­ring to the Nazis’ ter­ri­to­rial con­quests in the months be­fore the out­break of World War II.

“They tested the wa­ters and they were ready to back down if, for in­stance, in that as­pect, France said (to back down).

“But un­for­tu­nately, up to the an­nex­a­tion of the Sude­ten­land, Cze­choslo­vakia, the an­nex­a­tion of the en­tire coun­try of Cze­choslo­vakia, no­body said stop.

“If some­body said stop to ( Adolf) Hitler at that point in time, or to Ger­many at that time, would we have avoided World War II?”

The com­ments sparked anger

in Bei­jing, where for­eign min­istry spokes­woman Hua Chun­y­ing said she was “deeply shocked and dis­sat­is­fied with the ground­less re­marks.”

Hua re­it­er­ated the Chi­nese po­si­tion that the Philip­pines has “il­le­gally” oc­cu­pied Chi­nese is­lands, adding “the Philip­pines keeps col­lud­ing with coun­tries out­side the re­gion to stir up trou­ble and sling mud at China.”

Aquino, who is in Ja­pan on a four­day visit, has pre­vi­ously made sim­i­lar com­ments com­par­ing China’s ac­tions with those of the Third Re­ich.

“At what point do you say, ‘ Enough is enough?’ Well, the world has to say it — re­mem­ber that the Sude­ten­land was given in an at­tempt to ap­pease Hitler to pre­vent World War II,” he told the New York Times last year, pro­vok­ing fury in Bei­jing.

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