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The China dilemma

12:02 AM March 22, 2017

Beijing’s actions have become worrisome. It doesn’t respect the rule of law, much less its commitment under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos).

Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. made a strong statement saying that China should demilitarize in the West Philippine Sea.

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At the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) conference held last March 2, with the theme “US-Asean Relations: Charting the next 40 years,” CSIS Southeast Asian program senior adviser Ernest Bower said that the Chinese are not going to walk back just because they are asked to do so by a group of Asean foreign ministers. And it would be great if they dismantled their weapons systems, but that’s not going to happen.

Some foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asia Nations expressed “grave concerns” regarding China’s militarization in the region. China is resorting to the use of force in asserting its claims. Today the claims cover disputed territories; tomorrow they could be anything.

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China’s intention is to build up its military capability to pursue its economic interest. What’s next? China seems bent on speeding up its territorial expansionist thrust by imposing its laws on other nations. Its incursions are indicative that it really wants to start a conflict in the Asean

region.

We are in a dilemma and could land on the losing end if we fail to discern keenly. We should focus on avoiding a full-scale war with China because we all know we cannot afford it. What we hope to attain is to get what is legally ours.

ANN R. AQUINO, [email protected]

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TAGS: China, dispute, letter, Letter to the Editor, Maritime, opinion, South China Sea, territory, Unclos
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