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Active, not passive, stance on China

/ 05:12 AM November 22, 2018

The Inquirer’s editorial, “Show the fine print” (11/14/18), warning of the dangers of entering into agreements with China during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit, is well-taken.

The dangers extend to possible unconstitutionality as perceived by Acting Chief Justice Antonio Carpio in the case of joint exploration agreements.

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Former solicitor general Florin Hilbay says joint development contracts would waive our victory at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague and validate Chinese aggression.

President Duterte seems obsessed with the notion of war as an unacceptable alternative. But he does not mention negotiation as an acceptable option, which could well be handled by his able foreign secretary.

Others have warned of Chinese economic loans as debt traps, as experienced by Sri Lanka and guarded against by Malaysia and Pakistan.

Xi’s country harasses our fishermen, invades our exclusive economic zone, destroys our reefs with irreparable ecological damage and artificial islands, and builds military bases on them.

Mr. Duterte’s passive reaction sounds like that of a consenting victim.

Our priority should not be joint projects, but to get them out of our territory by diplomacy and international pressure.

This requires an active and  not a passive stance, and certainly not a waiver of our victory in the arbitral court.

BENITO LEGARDA JR., [email protected]

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TAGS: Benito Legarda Jr., China-Philippines relations, Florin Hilbay, Inquirer letters, Rodrigo Duterte, xi jinping
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