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Can’t afford war with China

05:01 AM July 01, 2019

The sinking of FB Gem-Ver 1 by Chinese ship Yuemaobinyu 42212 is the fieriest issue in the disputed waters since the 2012 deadlock between Philippine and Chinese vessels in Scarborough Shoal, which provoked Manila to file a case against Beijing.

Aggression has been China’s mark in the past years, and it has become increasingly annoying. It doesn’t want to respect any law and continues to test our sovereignty by encroaching on our territory. It seemingly covets the entire area because of its economic prospects.

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China’s objective is clear: To build up its military capability to pursue its economic interests. If only China could show maturity in dealing with its rival countries in territorial disputes, it would gain more respect not only from its rival claimant-nations and Asian neighbors, but also from the whole world.

Instead, China is consolidating its power in the South China Sea, showing off its might and ability to control the disputed territories, as well as the flow of commodities for its own economic gain.

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But it should exercise self-restraint and refrain from using force in accordance with universally recognized declarations and international laws, instead of being stubborn in laying claim to the islands that are not even within its territorial boundaries.

The Philippines does not want war but peace, and it will always say no to conflict. I’d like to believe that President Duterte wants to focus on avoiding a full-scale war with China because we all know we cannot afford it.

ROAN REY TOMBADO
[email protected]

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TAGS: Inquirer letters, PH-China relations, Recto Bank incident, Reed Bank incident, Roan Rey Tombado
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