The Secret of US Ignoring Hague Ruling, Backing China-Philippine TalksPosted: July 28, 2016
Reuters says in its report titled “U.S. says backs resumption of China-Philippines talks on South China Sea”, that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi “told his U.S. counterpart that China and ASEAN had agreed the dispute should get back on to the ‘correct’ track of being resolved by direct talks with the parties concerned, according to a foreign ministry statement released on Tuesday” hinting that the arbitration is not the “correct” track and should be disregarded.
The US was not on the “correct” track before Wang said that. Reuter says, “Kerry said earlier that China’s dismissal of the international court ruling is ‘illegitimate’ and has presented a challenge when the international community, including the United States, sees it as legally binding and a matter of law.
Reuters quotes Kerry as saying, “So we still have a task ahead of us … which is to try to work going forward to make sure that we are resolving the issues through diplomacy and the rule of law”. Obviously Kerry want to make China respect the ruling, which is not something for talks between China and the Philippines. That is equivalent to say that the US is to try to work to make sure the issues are resolved through US diplomacy to make China submit to the rule of law, i.e. respect the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which Reuters regards as a UN-backed agency but the UN has made clear it is not.
Reuters reported on July 26 that Japan and allies Australia and the United States issued a joint statement calling on both the Philippines and China to abide by the legally binding ruling.
It says in its report the next day, “In an address to foreign ministers, including Kerry, at the gathering in Vientiane, Wang (Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi) criticized the United States, Japan and Australia for a joint statement on the issue they released late on Monday. The statement ‘continued to hype up the South China Sea issue and play up tensions,’ he said. ‘Now is the time we will test whether you are protectors of peace or agitators.’”
Therefore, Wang’s criticism must have upset the US, but after US Secretary of State Kerry had a meeting with Wang, he accepted China and ASEAN’s view to put the ruling aside in spite of the fact that he has had made a joint statement with his Japanese and Australian counterparts to ask China to respect the arbitration ruling.
Reuters quote Wang as saying, China “hopes the United States side takes actual steps to support the resumption of talks between China and the Philippines, and supports the efforts of China and ASEAN to maintain regional peace and stability.”
Urging China to accept the ruling that has angered China and coursed China to show its muscle certainly will not help maintain regional peace and stability.
Therefore, according to Reuters, later Kerry said at a news conference, “The foreign minister (referring to Wang Yi) said the time has come to move away from public tensions and turn the page and we agree with that …”
The US has agreed to move away from public tensions caused mainly by US urging China to respect the ruling.
What has caused US abrupt change in stance?
I am quite interested in that and want to lay bare the secret causes of the change as my blog mainly provide analysis of the wisdom and stupidity in political incidents and events to entertain readers.
First, the US misunderstood China in regarding China as a nation similar to the US that regards saving its face as top priority. However, it has turned out that China regards safeguarding its sovereignty, rights and interests as its first priority though it has made great diplomatic efforts to prevent its reputation from being damaged by its rejection of the ruling. In fact, even if all nations in the world (that is certainly not the case now as only a few countries has so far sided with the US in urging China to respect the ruling), China will not respect the ruling and will fight to safeguard its sovereignty, rights and interests.
Such is certainly not the case with the US. The US has lost its war in Vietnam but would not withdraw its force for fear of losing face. It had made great efforts to obtain an agreement for a withdrawal without losing face but lost face entirely as when it had left, South Vietnam was entirely taken over by North Vietnam.
It is the same with US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan. The US had no hope to win but refused to withdraw and wanted to establish an impossible democracy there to give the impression that it is the winner. As a result, it has given rise to ISIS by its invasion of Iraq and made Taliban revive due to its unpopular prolonged stay in Afghanistan. It has withdrawn its troops from Iraq, but has been forced to send its air force and special force back there.
Knowing that, China is wise in helping the US save face. Before US change of its stance, Wang Yi has concluded an agreement with ASEAN that ensures freedom of navigation and flyover in the South China Sea. Previously, a high-ranking Chinese admiral Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of PLA general staff, was so stupid as to give the warning that freedom of navigation operation will end in disasters. That is utterly unacceptable to the US.
I will tell how stupid the US is in advocating and China is in opposing freedom of navigation in my next article.
The US has sent its navy to the South China Sea to pressure China to accept the ruling, but it could not make public that true intention in making China give up its claim to benefit the Philippines as it has repeatedly alleged that it does not take side in the disputes between China and other claimants in the South China Sea. Its public explanation of its naval operations is to uphold freedom of navigation and flyover not only for the US but for all other nations as the US is world leader.
In my next post, I will elaborate on how stupid the US is in persisting in advocating freedom of navigation and how stupid China is in opposing such freedom.
Another secret that has already been very clear to people who have followed the developments in the South East Sea closely, that is the US will never fight for Philippines’ interests.
Some people may think that the US is afraid of China when it shows muscle. That is utterly untrue. The US has never had any intention to fight for Philippines’ interest in the first place since the Philippines drove US troops away from US military bases there though it remains Philippines’ ally.
The US gave priority to liberating the Philippines from Japanese occupation and lots of US boys were killed and wounded in the battles there during World War II, but has got in return of the humiliation in being driven away from the Philippines.
Even if American political leaders are stupid enough to make the decision to fight for Philippines’ interests, American people will not support.
The Philippines perhaps thought that it was wise to exploit US desire to contain China to make the US military fight for it to get from China what the Philippines itself cannot get.
The US, however, exploits Philippines’ attempt to exploit the US in making the Philippines submit the arbitration to hurt China’s reputation but is disappointed that the arbitration ruling has no such effect.
The above secrets are quite obvious though they are my speculation while the third secret that I am going to lay bare may be entirely a groundless speculation but is still reasonable given the facts.
It is that China has threatened to take by force all the islands and reefs occupied by the Philippines but claimed by China if the Philippines refuses to talk but insists on enforcing the ruling that China has rejected.
That will be a normal response: If you want to deprive me all I claim, then I will deprive you of all you claim. Normal retaliation!
What shall the US do if China really acts that way? Fight for the Philippines to keep its occupation of those rocks? It will be a waste of US resources and even its people’s blood to help an ungrateful nation. However, the US will lose its credibility if it fails to support its ally militarily.
I believe only when Wang Yi has told Kerry China’s secret plan to take back by force the islands and reefs occupied by the Philippines but claimed by China can China force Kerry to change his stance so abruptly.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ reports.
Reuters reports “U.S. says backs resumption of China-Philippines talks on South China Sea”, “Diplomatic win for China as ASEAN drops reference to maritime court ruling” and “Cambodia says urged ASEAN to avoid words that would ‘escalate tension’” at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southchinasea-ruling-china-idUSKCN10604M, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southchinasea-ruling-asean-idUSKCN1050F6 and http://www.reuters.com/article/us-cambodia-asean-idUSKCN1071PD