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By Amando Doronila
The Philippines’ second warship acquired from the United States, the BRP Ramon Alcaraz, arrived on Sunday at the former US naval base in Subic Bay amid conflict between Manila and Beijing over ownership of territories in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). The Philippine government hailed the arrival of the Hamilton-class cutter, a [...]
By Loida Nicolas Lewis
On February 18, 1932, Japan proclaimed the state of Manchukuo as the governing body for the region of Manchuria, which it had invaded and detached from China.
Really, it’s enough to tempt even the patient observer to ditch the diplomatic niceties. China, through its Ambassador to Manila Ma Keqing, has raised concerns over “the Philippines coming up with structures, additional structures, on Ayungin Shoal” in the Spratly Islands, according to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin. In a report, Gazmin further quoted Ma as saying that China is continuously monitoring Philippine troops in the area or whether new structures are being built.
Walk softly and carry a big stick. Theodore Roosevelt’s dictum of practical diplomacy works only if a big stick is handy, like a powerful navy that has just circled the world. In the matter of the territorial disputes in the South China Sea, the Philippines does not wield anything that can be mistaken for a [...]
The government’s decision to challenge China’s expansive claims to the South China Sea by invoking the arbitration provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) is both unexpected and overdue. Many simply assumed that the government’s legal option (its so-called third track of resolving the conflict in territorial and maritime claims, after political means and diplomatic measures) meant filing a case before the right court; in this case, the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea, or Itlos, in Hamburg, Germany. At the same time, the clear and compelling arguments for the Philippine case fed a growing impatience for legal action; why was the Department of Foreign Affairs taking so long?
By Conrado de Quiros
It was the worst of times, it was the best of times.
By Amando Doronila
Barely three weeks after being elected chief of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping began a visit to south China on Dec. 7, proclaiming to the world that his regime was taking steps to build up the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) as the cutting edge of “the great revival of a strong Chinese nation” backed by “a powerful military.”
By Greg Torode
Placing consensus above all, it is fair to say that Asean leaders are generally not known for their displays of emotion or passion.
By Amando Doronila
By disregarding its passport, China has sparked a torrent of diplomatic protests. The new passport carries a map that shows China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea and on its border with India.
By Bobby M. Tuazon
In dealing with China particularly on territorial disputes, the Philippines’ foreign policy makers still live in the Cold War era. The Aquino administration lacks strategic thinkers and talks through variant voices, with its “backdoor diplomacy” compromised by leaks and acrimonious public debates.
By Carlos L. Agustin
Tensions among rival claimant-states to the waters and land features of the West Philippine Sea (WPS)—particularly China, the Philippines and Vietnam—have escalated significantly in the last several years, bringing the Philippines to center stage as a key participant in the future of security and stability in our part of the world.
The Chinese government has reiterated its commitment to a code of conduct that will resolve tensions and guarantee freedom of navigation in the South China Sea—that hub of major shipping lanes and suspected vast oil and gas reserves known in the Philippines as the West Philippine Sea, in Vietnam as the East Sea, and in China simply as the South Sea.