Philippines has Everything to Fear from China

Strong and threatening words are being spewed each passing day as the stalemate between China and the Philippines over the Scarborough Shoal continues to permeate on local and international headlines.

China had accused President Noynoy Aquino of issuing strong words in referring to the appertaining issue as Pnoy immediately and vehemently denied this in a very dramatic oratory on evening news just a couple of nights ago.

There was nothing strong in his words according to President Aquino; in fact, according to him, it is China who is excessive in its statements.

Philippine Star had bannered how ‘there should be nothing to fear against China’. Now, that would be too presumptuous and premature and could be dangerously misleading.

In the economic sense, the Philippines have everything to fear against China with a warning of trade embargo when China pulled off against buying our banana produce. With China being one of our important trading partners, and being the looming economic giant that it is - we have everything to worry about.

More worrisome would be China’s record of military engagements and interventions especially within the Southeast and East Asia region. The Vietnam War could not have been as disastrous if China had no hand in strengthening Vietcong’s resolve and fierceness.

In the Spratley dispute alone, china had engaged Vietnam in two unforgettable naval battles. The first one was the so-called the Battle of the Paracel Island in 1974 when Chinese frigates had sunk a Vietnamese warship on an aftermath that it had initiated by stealth moves to territories being patrolled by Vietnamese troops.

In 1988, A Vietnamese warship detected a Chinese vessel attempting to enter an area in the Spratley’s it had occupied, namely the Johnson South Reef, as Chinese troops erected Chinese flags on the said islands. 

Vietnamese made moves to retake the island when firefight broke out and another Vietnamese warship was sunk in the ensuing battle. Vietnam was not able to defer China’s construction of installations on the specific area in the Spratleys.

While Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Senurges ASEAN to establish a protocol with China on the safe and peaceful use of the disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea becomes a timely and important proposition, the memory of past treatises on the dispute does not become altogether encouraging.

In 2002, China and ASEAN adopt the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties on the South China Sea which there was a consensus against building of structures in the disputed islands. Just months after that one country after the other violated this specific agreement.

China as the biggest nation involved in the dispute for the control and jurisdiction over the Spratleys as well as over the Scarborough Island becomes ultimately a fearful participant in the entire controversy. With its history of military confrontation, especially with Vietnam, the Philippines should take every precaution and protocol available; and should have everything to fear against China.
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7:33 PM GMT+8 delete

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