BEIJING, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- The president of the Philippines exposed his ignorance of history and reality when he compared China to Nazi Germany, China's official Xinhua News Agency said.
Xinhua's strongly worded commentary was in response to recent comments of Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III to the New York Times about his country's concerns about China's growing assertive maritime claims such as to the South China Sea.
Aquino, speaking to the Times, sought greater support from other nations for the Philippines' effort to resist China's claims and recalled the West's appeasement of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany by not supporting Czechoslovakia.
Calling Aquino's approach to the maritime disputes with China "inflammatory," Xinhua said the Philippine leader "has never been a great candidate for a wise statesman" in the region.
The article went on to say Aquino had "senselessly compared his northern neighbor to the Nazi Germany, exposed his true color as an amateurish politician who was ignorant both of history and reality."
The Times had quoted Aquino as saying: "If we say yes to something we believe is wrong now, what guarantee is there that the wrong will not be further exacerbated down the line?
"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."
In the 1938 Czech crisis, Czechoslovakia lost the Sudetenland to Hitler's Germany.
Xinhua said Aquino had joined the ranks of "disgraced Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe," who was quoted as comparing Japan-China relations to those between the United Kingdom and Germany in the run-up to World War I. Abe's comments reportedly were made last month at the annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland.
China's claims to the South China Sea include the Spratly Islands and the Scarborough Shoal off the Philippines.
Justifying its maritime claims, Xinhua said China's "sovereignty in the South China Sea has a sound historical foundation" and that China, "instead of bullying its smaller neighbors as Manila has claimed," seeks to resolve the issue through dialogue and consultation on an equal basis.
"The Philippine leader conveniently chose to ignore the very fact that it is his government that has adopted a confrontational approach by trying to snatching islands and waters" that have been part of Chinese territories "since ancient times."
Xinhua, noting relations between China and the Philippines have improved, reminded about China's help to the Philippines after the devastation by Typhoon Haiyan last year.
"Aquino's latest attack against China may very much have squandered this unique opportunity to further improve relations with China," Xinhua said.