The month-long diplomatic row between the two countries heated up a notch after China warned its citizens in Philippines that they were not safe there on a day of anti-China protests on Friday.
The advisory was accompanied by strong editorials in the Chinese media that said the situation was going out of control and China was being pushed into a corner with no option but to use arms. The advisory said Chinese in Manila and other cities of Manila should avoid going out of their homes and keep away from areas where demonstrations were being held.
Reports from Manila said several hundred protesters waved flags and placards at the Chinese embassy in Manila, calling for China to withdraw its ships from a South China Sea shoal. Hundreds of policemen were deployed near the Chinese Consular Office.
The two countries have been locked in a stand-off in disputed waters at the Scarborough Shoal, called the Huangyan island by the Chinese, since 8 April. Non-military ships from both countries have been deployed in the area.
In a strong opinion piece, the official Xinhua news agency said late on Thursday: “The Chinese people are enraged by the offensive behavior of the Philippines over the Huangyan Island dispute, expressing full support to the efforts made by the Chinese government for safeguarding its territorial sovereignty. In defiance of China's warning and stance of resolving disputes through diplomatic ways, the Philippines keeps making trouble in the waters around Huangyan Island, China's indisputable territory.”
The article added: “In early April, the Philippines sent a warship to harass 12 Chinese fishing vessels which sailed into the waters of Huangyan Island to shelter from bad weather.”
“No matter how willing we are to discuss the issue, the current Philippine leadership is intent on pressing us into a corner where there is no other option left but the use of arms,” the China Daily said.