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By Amando Doronila
China stood reality on its head in its response to President Aquino’s call for more global support for the Philippines in resisting Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, drawing a parallel to the West’s failure to support Czechoslovakia against Hitler’s demand for Czech land in 1938.
By Narciso M. Reyes Jr.
Never mind Sun Tzu’s masterful treatise, “The Art of War.” Likewise Marxist-Leninist thought, and the more picturesque “cabbage-” and “salami-slicing” strategy of Beijing recently highlighted in the local and international media. China’s strategic plans in the South China-Philippine Sea are best understood in the immensely popular, 2,500-year-old Chinese game “go.”
By Juan L. Mercado
“Cartographic”—what? “Cartographic aggression” is shorthand for redrawing maps to gobble up territory, writes Australian Sinologist Geremie Barmé. And last week’s region-wide protests over Beijing’s clamping of new fishing access rules on disputed portions of the South China Sea is the latest edition.
Can the legislature of a Philippine province— Batanes, say, or Zambales, or any other province along the West Philippine Sea—pass an ordinance requiring that all foreign fishing boats wishing to enter its portion of Philippine waters first acquire a permit from the “relevant and responsible department” of the Philippine government? Or, given that such an ordinance carries grave import—chief of which is the risk of spawning tensions with neighboring countries that make use of the same waterways—should not such a directive be left to the highest diplomatic channels or the top decision-makers of the country’s government, and not to a mere local government unit? How would the LGU enforce its directive, anyway, if not by turning to the nation’s armed forces to help it go after foreign vessels without the required permit?
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.