Territorial dispute already ‘resolved’ at The Hague
In the news item “Row over Chinese vessels won’t hurt ties, COVID-19 vaccines supply—Duterte” (4/7/21), we saw presidential spokesperson Harry Roque having another field day lying through his teeth: The row would be “resolved through diplomatic channels and … peaceful means.” The so-called “expert in international law” has conveniently forgotten that the Philippines had already done that at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague. Nothing could be more “diplomatic and peaceful” than that!
The Philippines won, but China simply sneezed at the arbitral judgment declaring its claim over numerous islands in the West Philippine Sea to be more imagined than real. China continued to build, build, build on those islands while President Duterte continued to adore Chinese President Xi Jinping and cautioned everyone in this country against displeasing his “best friend” who, in his mind, would go to war against the Filipinos at the slightest provocation. What a friend, indeed!
Roque must think Filipinos are hopelessly dumb and cannot tell when he is lying—which he does all the time to cover up his boss’ reckless and indecorous utterances. Talking diplomacy with China is like talking good manners with Attila the Hun! In geopolitics, the only way to deter a bullying superpower like China from its ever-increasing aggression is for the Philippines to lean on a greater superpower like the United States. How else has Taiwan survived more than 70 years of mainland China’s continuing threat of invasion if not for its very cozy and well-entrenched relations with the United States?
ARNULFO M. EDRALIN
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