History shows China open to peaceful negotiations


In “P-Noy made right call in West Philippine Sea dispute” (Opinion, Inquirer, 6/14/13), Hermenegildo C. Cruz wrote that “China has a record of using force in settling border disputes with its neighbors.” Cruz failed to mention the more numerous instances in which China settled its border disputes through peaceful negotiations.

China signed a boundary treaty with Burma in 1960, and through this treaty Burma secured the territory it had been claiming all along, except for a few square miles difference (Francis Watson, “Frontiers of China,” 1966). In 1961, China and Nepal signed a boundary treaty, in which both sides agreed to use the “traditional customary line” for delineating the boundary (Watson, pp. 134, 137). In 1962, China settled its boundary with Mongolia, abandoning the majority of its territorial claims in favor of the Mongolians (Alastair Lamb, “Asian Frontiers: Studies in a Continuing Problem,” 1968).

After the 1963 agreement with Pakistan, China withdrew from 750 square miles of territory which it controlled (Watson, p. 166), in effect abandoning much of its claims. The boundary treaty signed in 1963 with Afghanistan also indicated that China accepted the existing watershed frontier at the area of the Pamir trijunction (Watson, pp. 139, 168).

China has settled boundary disputes peacefully with smaller states, and on all these occasions has given up nearly all of its territorial claims. On the other hand, it has engaged in armed clashes with larger states like India and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) which refused to negotiate the boundaries drawn during the imperialist era. This pattern of behavior does not seem to fit the “schoolyard bully” label that Cruz has given China.

Cruz mentioned the 1969 China-USSR border clashes but failed to mention that China signed a border treaty with the USSR in 1991, and another treaty with Russia in 1994. China also negotiated boundary settlements with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan (Eric Hyer, “China-Russia Relations,” Encyclopedia of Modern Asia). China and Vietnam signed a Land Border Treaty in 1999, and an agreement on the demarcation of the Gulf of Tonkin in 2000 (Ramses Amer, “China-Vietnam Relations,” Encyclopedia of Modern Asia, Vol. 2). It was Vietnam which first proposed official negotiations with China regarding the Gulf of Tonkin (Nguyen Hong Thao, “Maritime Delimitation and Fishery Cooperation in the Gulf of Tonkin,” Ocean Development & International Law, 2005). In the end, Vietnam got 53.23 percent of the Gulf area, while China got 46.77 percent. This ratio is about 1.135:1, in favor of Vietnam, despite the fact that the ratio of the coastlines of Vietnam and China in the Gulf is 1.1:1 (Nguyen, p. 29).

In other instances, Cruz seems to be misinformed. He called the 1979 China-Vietnam war a “Punishment Border War,” but the actual cause was Vietnamese intervention in Cambodia in December 1978 (L. Shelton Woods, “Chinese Influence in Southeast Asia,” Encyclopedia of Modern Asia, Vol. 2). Cruz also presented the Tibet issue as a border dispute, which is quite strange. The Tibet issue of 1950 was a matter of China reestablishing control over Tibet. No major state recognized Tibet, and Tibet’s only sponsor when it appealed to the United Nations in 1950 over its “invasion” by China was El Salvador. Even a US State Department spokesperson noted in 1999 that since 1942, the United States has regarded Tibet as part of China (Barry Sautman, “Tibet: Myths and Realities,” Current History, 2001). Another possible “historic first” by Cruz was his presentation of China’s involvement in the Korean War as one of China’s border disputes.

National defense is important, but the crucial foundation of national defense is correct identification of friend and foe. The Philippines once thought that an enemy was a friend who would respect its independence. The Philippine government should now avoid committing the opposite

error—turning a still salvageable friend into a dedicated enemy.

Daniel Ong describes himself as  a physician and a student of history.

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  • Maongoloid

    History shows that China killed unarmed vietnamese at paracel islands and unarmed students of Tianamen Square.

  • ThudOthwacker

    “Daniel Ong describes himself as a physician and a student of history.”

    LOL Dr. Ong you need to read real history books. Not the approved books of the China’s ministry of reeducation.

    First, historically Uyghurstan are not part of China and the Uyghurs are ethnically not related to the Hans.

    Second, Aksai Chin was part of the state of Jammu and kashmir. The ruler was Maharaja Hari Singh choose to join India in 1947.

    Third, Inner Mongolia reunification with Outer Mongolia for a united Mongolia was prevented by newly established Republic of China by invading it.

    Fourth, Tibet was a independent empire during the 7th century. In 1913 after the collapsed of Qing Dynasty. They declared independence. Take note Qing Dynasty is not a Han Chinese. But a Manchu. The Hans, Tibetans, Uyghurs and Mongols are conquered subjects of the Manchu.

    Fifth, Manchuria was never occupied by the Ming Dynasty.

    This whole historical lunacies started when the founding leaders of Republic of China namely Sun Yat-sen and Chiang Kai-shek thought they are entitled to inherit the Qing Dynasty empire.

    Chiang Kai-shek outdid his mentor Sun Yat-sen idiocy, by declaring the eleven dash line in south china sea after his syphilis attack. Later, Mao Tse-tung who never taken a bath. He preferred hot towel swipe instead, reduced it to now known as the nine dash line. Mao reasoned and explained to his comrades. that Chiang is not thinking properly due to his various STD affliction. While defecating behind the bush just few steps from the main entrance of the forbidden city.

    Dr Ong you ungrateful migrant descendants should go back to China.

    • Reptilian

      Oh boy, if only this idiotic post were AT LEAST accurate in its assertions, never mind the fact that it’s written in the typical pidgin English of Flips, it should merit a response. But it isn’t, therefore I don’t see why Dr. Ong, even if he has read this, should dignify it with a reply.

      First, Uyghurstan or what is more popularly referred to as East Turkestan was NEVER an independent kingdom; the concept of ET was conjured only after the Moslem separatist movement in China was started in 1974. The borders of modern China, however, were drawn up and two years after founding of the Qing Dynasty in 1646. It is important to note that the cartographic demarcation was not challenged by any country ever since.

      Second, your point about Aksai Chin is….pointless. What were you trying to say? That somehow monarchical succession establishes the rightfulness of the Indian claim? If you can provide legitimate references to how Aksai Chin was “invaded”, by all means do so.

      Third, the region of Inner Mongolia wasn’t the one that was fluxing between independence and coming under Chinese rule, it was Outer Mongolia. Outer Mongolia finally reestablished its independence in 1911 after its Bogd Khan was declared as supreme ruler of the country. By the way, the main thing that had been preventing Mongolian unification was internal strife among the princes of different tribes, not any kind of Chinese intervention.

      Fourth, Tibet was a Buddhist empire but was never recognized as an independent state by any country in the world, and never even applied for United Nations observer state like East Timor did before its UN accession. When China reasserted its control over Tibet after internal political strife, even the US State Dept in 1922 recognized that Tibet was part of the Republic of China. Having a different ethnic composition and culture does not automatically make it an independent state, otherwise Mindanao and its Moslems should long ago have been granted its Bangsamoro aspirations.

      Fifth, Manchuria has been part of China since the Yuan Dynasty in the 16th century. It WAS part of the Ming Dynasty, so I don’t know what kind of dogfood history you were reading. Chinese sovereignty over Manchuria has been continuous, except for the brief interruption when Japan invaded and occupied it pre-WW2.

      YOU should read real history books, ThudOthwacker, not ones bought along the rathole called Recto that were discarded by your Dept of Education for factual errors even after several revisions (I might not be in the Philippines but I do keep myself up to date via the internet, and I distinctly remember former DepEd Sec. Andrew Gonzales being very angry about the factual errors in the books). Now be a good Flip and go eat your rice and study your books.

      • Reptilian

        And by the way, comments like “Chiang is not thinking properly due to his various STD affliction. While
        defecating behind the bush just few steps from the main entrance of the
        forbidden city” just make the point that you are unqualified to debate intelligently, like the rest of your Flip compatriots. Uneducated, boorish, full of hot air. Typical Filipino.

      • ThudOthwacker

        “like the rest of your Flip compatriots. Uneducated, boorish, full of hot air. Typical Filipino.” ~Reptilian

        I bet you’ll never read those tidbits from the approved books in PRC and ROC. But those are facts. Just stay DIMWITTED and pretend to know everything.

      • Reptilian

        But I don’t come from the PRC, and if you’ve been to the ROC, you’d know they have a freer press and a more accountable journalistic standards than your Mikey Mouse tabloids. Your last sentence reflects you and your compatriots current state of education (and general IQ). When I was in Manila recently, I heard a Dept of Education report that stated that about 75% of Filipinos do not get to finish high school. And of those who do, another 80% attain an educational level not at par with the rest of the region (China, Japan, SoKor). Small wonder why most of the Flips I come across in the Middle East and elsewhere rarely rise above mid-level managerial positions. Stay employed, chipmunk. That’s about the only chance you have for a halfway decent life.

      • ThudOthwacker

        LOL Sycophant Reptilian you seem to be drinking a lot of China juice lately. Before I enlighten you, I like to commend you for your copy and paste expertise.

        Ming dynasty was the last Han Chinese dynasty. Before the Qing, Ming dynasty only covered the full extend of “China proper”.

        A statecraft scholar in the late 19th century, Wei Yuan a loyal subject to the Qing dynasty and a Han Chinese descent. Clearly distinguish Zhongguo or “China proper” from the new territories: Taiwan; Mongolia; Uyghurstan and Tibet.

        “Zhong” means “central” and “guo” means state. Zhong refers to the North China plain is where the first Han dynasty was established.

        Sun Yat-sen, Chiang Kai-shek, Mao Tse-tung and the present day China communist party are guilty of corrupting “Zhongguo” term by incorporating territories not part of it.

        “First, Uyghurstan or what is more popularly referred to as East Turkestan was NEVER an independent kingdom” ~Reptilian

        LOL How deep have you research on the subject, DOPEY? Uyghur Khaganate empire are stretched from Caspian sea up to Manchuria.

        Twice in the modern era they declare independence. In 1934, First East Turkestan Republic was formed and again in 1944, Second East Turkestan Republic. LOL It look likes Dr Ong is not alone in reading doctored Chinese history books.

        “Second, your point about Aksai Chin is….pointless” ~Reptilian

        LOL Really!? Just admit it you’re DUMBfounded by the facts and can’t repute it. Newly established Pakistan supported the Muslim revolution in Jammu and Kashmir. The Maharaja Singh signed the Instrument of accession as a pre-condition for Indian aid against the uprising. Aksai Chin is part of the Ladakh district of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

        “Third, the region of Inner Mongolia wasn’t the one that was fluxing between independence and coming under Chinese rule” ~Reptilian

        When Jebtsundamba Khutugtu was declared Bogd Khan of Mongolia. Inner Mongolia recognized Bogd Khan as the supreme ruler of Mongols wants full reunification. But internal strife prevented it. Mongolian princes hoped a restored Qing dynasty in Manchuria and Mongolia. But the disreputable Republic of China suppressed and destroyed the plan of unity.

        “Fourth, Tibet was a Buddhist empire but was never recognized as an independent state by any country in the world” ~Reptilian

        The Republic of China recognized the Tibetan independence when they engaged in the Simla Accord with the British and Tibetan representatives in 1913 and 1914.

        In 1913 Tibet and Mongolia signed the Treaty of Friendship and Alliance.

        Later in 1959, Tibetan rebellion erupted SUPPORTED by the UNITED STATES and NEPAL. Nobody recognized? Yeah right DOLT!

        Don’t compare the Bangsamoro with Tibet. Bangsamoro notion was Malaysian invention to ship the trouble in Sabah to Mindanao.

        “Fifth, Manchuria has been part of China since the Yuan Dynasty in the 16th century.” ~Reptilian

        LOL IDIOT! Yuan dynasty was establish by Kublai Khan a Mongolian. Ming dynasty revived the the Great Wall concept to defend itself from Mongolian and Manchurian attacks. Just I mentioned in the second paragraph. Ming dynasty never expanded beyond the “China proper” or “Zhongguo”. The original Manchuria was divided by the Russians and Kuomintang Chinese after the war.

        “therefore I don’t see why Dr. Ong, even if he has read this, should dignify it with a reply.” ~Reptilian

        Unless he uses the alias “Reptilian”.

        Pigdin english of flips…… rathole called Recto? Is that the best juvenile taunts you possess?

        First of all, I am not a grammar police. There should be a “the” between “of” and “flips”. I really hate reading barok sentence.

        Second, Taglish is the Filipino pigdin english. Where in my whole essay did I mixed in a Filipino or Tagalog word?

        Third, the books in Recto are second hand books. Most of it are imported from the US, MORON!

      • Reptilian

        Err…I’m not Dr. Ong. I wouldn’t dare to pretend I was him, because if called to debate many of the points he raised, I’d be at a weak position, being no expert at maritime history. All I did was to refute what I saw were gross inaccuracies and outright lies being peddled by a typical brown monkey who thinks a few units of history in college makes him qualified for intellectual debate. And in typical ignoramus fashion, the wounded pride of the Flip who thinks he knows everything about China has risen to defend his tiny Filipino manhood. So let’s start dissecting, shall we? And try to use facts, not the inventive stretches of half-baked historical trivia you remember from watching Jeopardy.

        First, do substantiate your allegation of me cutting and pasting my post. Point out to me which phrases/sentences I cut and pasted, or even slightly paraphrased, and from where I got them. You can’t, can you? Because you saw that I spoke much, much more eloquently than you, you automatically assumed that I must’ve copied my data from somewhere.

        On the other hand, YOU’RE the one who obviously copied from Wikipedia’s English entries about the origins of “Zhongguo” (中国), as well as the East Turkestan movements–I checked ;-) How lazy and unoriginal of you. But seeing how dumb your first posts were, I’m not really surprised.

        The etymology of “China” came from Westerners that dealt with the Qin Dynasty (pronounced “chin”), which came after the end of the Warring States Period in 220BC. The present form of Zhongguo is an abbreviation for 中华人民共和国,which reflects the multi-ethnic makeup of China, which Mao wanted to stress as the PRC was founded. The territories that were taken back were those that foreign instigators had teased away from the Chinese mainland during WWII and the civil war, when the Chinese government was at its weakest and most helpless. That includes territories like Tibet, the NE border with Russia, Hong Kong and Macau.

        It is pointless to argue that the last Han Dynasty was the Ming; the Manchus considered themselves becoming accultured to the Chinese way of life, and themselves quite Chinese. How many times have you heard that the Manchus conquered China, but got conquered instead? That is why the six major ethnic groups, aside from the ethnic minorities in Yunnan, Xinjiang and Qinghai are: Han, Manchu, Mongol, Hui, Zang, Miao. The integration of the Manchus reached the point that all Qing Emperors spoke and wrote in Mandarin Chinese, and required that all imperial exams be conducted in Mandarin, not their native Jurchen language. The famous pianist Lang Lang (YouTube him if you’re ignorant about his identity) is Manchu; his generation already cannot speak Jurchen, that is how deep the integration has become.

        I stand by my claim on the status of the 1st and 2nd East Turkestan Republics. The 1st ETR lasted only a few months, after which rival Hui tribes muscled into the Uyghurs’ territory. The 2nd ETR was backed by the Soviet Union only as a bulwark to contain Mao Zedong, even if the USSR and Mao were ideological allies. (Stalin knew he had to keep Mao busy with internal problems) But even the 2nd ETR lasted less than 5 years, coincidentally during China’s civil war, when the Communists and Kuomintang were busy fighting each other. Throughout those years, not one country save for the USSR recognized the two ETRs. Not one. The ETR kept no embassies abroad, had no substantial trade relations with anyone, and was not recognized by the League of Nations, or later the United Nations. What kind of a Mickey Mouse country is that? Malaysia can send troops into that Mindanao, assist the Moro rebels and declare themselves and independent state. Without UN membership, without diplomatic relations with anyone else, does that count as a truly legitimate, independent state? Now you see the light, monkey?

        Re: Tibet, again just like the case of ETR, no country in the world EVER recognized Tibet as an independent state. Try and look up the country roster of the United Nations and tell me if Tibet was even admitted as an observer state, the most basic precursor to full membership. Let me help you with that, seeing that you’re the typical lazy intellectual poseur. Nada. Zilch. They never even got a foot in the front door. As for your assertion that the US and Nepal supported Tibetan independence, I can see where you’re getting your facts—mainstream media’s half-baked “histories” and invented narratives. The only time the US “supported” Tibet was during the Cold War, when it decided to send in CIA operatives to train Tibetans to spy on China proper, and as standby forces to help fight Beijing in case a “hot war” broke out between the US and a Russia/China alliance. Those clandestine practices stopped after the Sino-Russian War at the Yalu River, wherein US Pres. Richard Nixon realized that China could ally with the US to defeat the USSR. Read “Tibet: The CIA’s Cancelled War” by Jonathan Mirsky (you CAN read more than 500pp, can you? Go slowly, you can do it!). You want final proof of the clandestine operation? The New York Times’ Oct 2, 1998 issue reported that the Dalai Lama finally admitted they received US$1.7M/year from the CIA for logistics. That’s not the overt national support you, in your eagerness to rebut me, wanted as proof. This kind of support is covert, illegal and it was stopped by Nixon at the advice of then Sec of State Henry Kissinger, right before they started the Sino-US rapprochement with Mao and Zhou Enlai.

        It really is a waste of breath trying to debate you, mutt. You’re a typical intellectual pedant, getting bits and pieces of half-baked facts here and there without fully reading the context, and trying to pass them off as facts. When challenged, you rise indignantly and peddle even more “facts” of dubious origin. I do hope you’re not a teacher of some sort; I mean, pity the poor minds you’ll be infecting with your hogwash.

        But admittedly, with your talents in fiction, you’ll go far as a novelist. (although with your slippery grasp of English grammar and spelling, you’ll have to work at it. Double-time. Seriously.) Maybe you can be the next Dan Brown, and change the image of Manila as the “gates of hell.” I for one am grateful I wasn’t raised in that shythole of a city you call “more fun.”

        Lastly, it’s spelled “refute” not “repute”; those are two very different in meaning. (Although I understand your crude tongue). And no, the use of “the” as a definite article (indefinite articles being “a” and “an”) in that instance is elective. “the brown fur of monkeys” and “the brown fur of the monkeys” are both grammatically correct. So who’s the moron now? #faceplant? Notice I never even needed to type in screaming all caps like you did, in hopes of getting my point across. That’d be the ultimate indicator of immaturity. #redfacedmuch? Find someone of your own level of mental retardation to argue with, I’ve wasted enough time on you. Poor little brown ding-dong.

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    Can’t trust the communist China. They talk with both sides of the mouth

  • Reptilian

    Seeing how cogent and level-headed arguments made by Daniel Ong can be rebutted with inane and mindlessly emotional rantings like the ones made by Flips below just shows how most Filipinos cannot be reasoned with. Unlike more intelligent nationalities who will debate you with FACTS and not assertions, Flips will just give you a bucketfull of BS that they construe to be facts (that they “read somewhere”) and tell you to F-off because you don’t know better than them.

    What Flips are not good at is “agreeing to disagree.” In their minds, when you take the opposite side of an argument, especially if it’s on a topic that is as sensitive as territorial disputes, you are to be reviled, crucified and maligned in every way possible, because you are wrong, never mind if you have facts to support your debating points.

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