China denies threatening PH in newspaper with cryptic poem and caricature

Photo Credit: ABS-CBN

MANILA, Philippines – Threat? What threat?

Downplaying a Filipino historian and military analyst’s claim about China mocking and threatening the Philippines in a full-page advert on a major local newspaper, the Chinese Embassy said they were just merely allowing the Filipino public to know more about their country’s rich history.

“’Window to China’ introduces the Chinese traditional culture each week such as ancient poems, verses and philosophies as a way to let people know more about China,” GMA News quoted Embassy spokesperson Li Lingxiao as saying. “It’s far-fetched to link the particular traditional Chinese saying with other things.”

Earlier, Chinese expert analyst Jose Custodio claimed the newspaper ad which was featured in the Philippine Star was China’s way of subtly threatening the Philippines.

“I think it’s a warning, it’s a cryptic message,” he said. If you still don’t get what they’re saying, then something will happen.”

Specifically, Custodio pointed to the ancient Chinese poem shown in the ad about a mantis stalking a cicada while being unknowingly stalked by an oriole itself.

The poem was also explained with the tag “This image describes those short-sighted people wanting to hurt others, unaware of greater lurking dangers.”

China also supposedly mocked the Philippines and Vietnam by depicting them in a caricature as shorter and darker-skinned compared to their peers in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

However, Li brushed aside the drawings and said China was only trying to convey its position on the West Philippine Sea issue.

“The article ‘Wang Yi on the [West Philippine] Sea issue at the ASEAN Regional Forum published on ‘Window to China’ on August 11 is meant to express the official position of the Chinese government on the issue of the [West Philippine] Sea,” Li said.

“It has been reported by major newspapers around the world including some Philippine newspapers,” the spokesperson added.