US Fails to Help Its Philippine Ally While Boasting its Challenge to ChinaPosted: May 29, 2016
In its report titled “US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter warns China against building ‘Great Wall of self-isolation’”, SCMP quotes US Defense Secretary Ash Carter as saying that the United States is committed to upholding the freedom of navigation and commerce and peaceful resolution of disputes.
Now, China does not allow freedom of navigation of Philippine ships and boats in a large area around Scarborough Shoal since the standoff between China and the Philippines there, but the US has done nothing to help its ally the Philippines.
According to Reuters’ report on May 26 titled “Philippines’ Aquino says China breaks deal on South China Sea outcrop”, the US has brokers a deal between China and the Philippines for both countries to withdraw their vessels from Scarborough Shoal to put an end to Scarborough standoff. Philippine President Aquino said that the Philippines had withdrawn to implement the agreement but China did not and is now forbidding Philippine fishing boats fishing there.
In my previous post, I held that China should allow Philippine fishermen fishing there as they had been fishing there for generations and rely on fishing there for their livelihood.
I believe that Carter may hold the same view but why has he not order US powerful navy to do anything there to help US ally the Philippines, especially the deal has been brokered by the US.
Will it not be better for US warships to ensure Philippine fishermen’s freedom of navigation and peaceful solution of disputes there than conducting freedom of navigation near China’s artificial islands?
Will others, even US allies, not lose confidence in the US when the US has not do anything to honor its promises and ensure the implementation of the deal it brokered?
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP and Reuters reports. Full text of SCMP’s report can be viewed at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/1957204/us-defence-secretary-ashton-carter-warns-china-against while that of Reuters’ can be viewed below:
Philippines’ Aquino says China breaks deal on South China Sea outcrop
Thu May 26, 2016 9:13am EDT
Philippine President Benigno Aquino on Thursday accused China of breaking a U.S.-brokered deal between the two nations on the Scarborough Shoal, an uninhabited rocky outcrop in the South China Sea.
China claims almost the entire South China Sea, believed to have rich deposits of oil and gas. Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines also claim the waterway, through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne goods pass every year.
Beijing seized control of Scarborough Shoal, near the main Philippine island of Luzon, in June 2012, following a three-month standoff after a Philippine Navy vessel tried to arrest Chinese fishermen found illegally hauling giant clams there.
On Thursday, Aquino said the United States moved in quickly to resolve the standoff, brokering a “face-saving” deal by asking both nations to pull out their ships, but only the Philippines withdrew.
“Now, their continued presence is something that we have continuously objected to,” Aquino told reporters in his hometown in Tarlac, north of the Philippine capital.
“There was a deal, which we observed religiously. We hope the other side will do what we have done.”
China’s embassy in Manila did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment on Aquino’s remarks.
Beijing has denied ever making a deal with Manila and Washington, a Philippine diplomat who was involved in the negotiations told Reuters, on condition of anonymity, because he was not authorised to speak to the media.
China has reclaimed seven reefs in the Spratlys islands, building two airfields, ports, lighthouses radars, and other military structures, which the United States has called a clear move to militarise the disputed area.
In March, Washington warned that China might next reclaim the Scarborough Shoal, after Beijing sent survey ships to the area, although a Philippine military aircraft despatched to check the reports did not find a survey ship there.
“China is not reclaiming Scarborough Shoal,” Aquino said, allaying the fears that Beijing might reclaim the shoal, just outside the former U.S. naval base in Subic.
There have been many “red lines” in China’s assertive behaviour in the South China Sea, Aquino added, such as harassing a survey ship hired by an Anglo-Philippine firm seeking oil and gas in the Reed Bank.
Both Reed Bank and Scarborough Shoal lie in the Philippines’ 200-mile exclusive economic zone, Aquino said, calling China’s actions a violation of a 2002 pact on the South China Sea between China and ten Southeast Asian nations.
(Reporting by Manuel Mogato; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)