June 11, 2015 / 10:12 AM / 2 years ago

Philippines and China in 'video war' over South China Sea

MANILA (Reuters) - The Philippines will broadcast a three-part documentary to defend its position on the disputed South China Sea on Friday, countering a Chinese television series that laid out Beijing’s so-called nine-dash line claims.

Chinese dredging vessels are purportedly seen in the waters around Mischief Reef in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea in this still image from video taken by a P-8A Poseidon surveillance aircraft provided by the United States Navy May 21, 2015. REUTERS/U.S. Navy/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - RTX1DZN7

The documentary titled “Karapatan sa Dagat”, or maritime rights, will be aired on state-run television as the country observes Independence Day.

“Our objective is to inform our people,” Charles Jose, the foreign ministry spokesman, said adding they hoped to “rally support of our people behind our Philippine government’s policy and action”.

The Philippines has filed an arbitration case against China, which claims almost the entire South China Sea, believed to be rich in energy resources and where $5 trillion ship-borne trade passes every year. Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan also have claims on the sea.

In 2013, China’s state-run CCTV network aired an eight-part documentary called “Journey on the South China Sea”, a rare peak into how Beijing was trying to consolidate its claims in the disputed sea.

The “video war” comes as China rapidly expands its footprint in the South China Sea, constructing at least one airstrip and other military facilities on reclaimed land in the Spratly islands.

Jose said Manila was also planning to release a comic book to raise Filipinos’ awareness.

Reporting by Manuel Mogato; Editing by Jeremy Laurence

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