Fishing Deal, Initial Step to Restore Sino-Philippine Ties


Wu Shicun, president of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, (left) and former Philippine president Fidel Ramos have dinner in Hong Kong. Photo: SCMP Pictures

Wu Shicun, president of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, (left) and former Philippine president Fidel Ramos have dinner in Hong Kong. Photo: SCMP Pictures

SCMP says in its report “China-Philippines fishing deal ‘may help calm troubled South China Sea waters”, “Wu Shicun, president of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, said Ramos’ five-day fence-mending trip to Hong Kong could help lower tensions raised by the South China Sea disputes.”

According to Wu, Beijing and Manila could explore ways to open the Scarborough Shoal to fishermen from both countries. That will be the restoration of the status before the Scarborough standoff caused by Former Philippine President Aquino’s provocation to ban Chinese fishermen from fishing at Scarborough Shoal.

Before the standoff, China always allowed Philippine fishermen to fish inside and around the shoal.

Philippine fishermen who rely on fishing in the area for their survival are now in misery and Philippine new president Duterte is anxious to resolve the problem and enable them to fish there again. However, China, though is willing to allow Philippine fishermen to fish as they did in the past, would not let the Philippines regard that as China’s acceptance of the Hague arbitration ruling.

The Philippines, however, has difficulties to disregard the ruling that it has spent at least US$30 million to obtain and the rising nationalism caused by the ruling.

SCMP says, “A statement signed by Ramos, Fu and Wu said that in addition to marine conservation and fishing rights, the two nations should cooperate on tourism, investment, and cracking down on drugs and corruption.”

China has to provide quite a few sweeteners to attract the Philippines. However, China will not lose anything as those are in fact win-win cooperation. I hope there will be real progress in improvement of the relations between the two country.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be viewed at http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2003044/china-philippines-fishing-deal-may-help-calm-troubled.


16 Comments on “Fishing Deal, Initial Step to Restore Sino-Philippine Ties”

  1. Wisenthal says:

    The U.S. should abide by the legal ruling of the Kuala Lumpur International Criminal Court set up in 2014 which found George W Bush, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfield guilty of war crimes and should therefore be arrested and punished. The U.S., Japan, Australia and Europe should uphold the legal ruling adjudicating the heinous crimes committed by the George W Bush Administration.

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    • Steve says:

      The US, Japan, UK and Australia are genocidal blood brothers..To arrest Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield is like arresting John Howard, Tony Blair and even the Jap Abe refused to repent on war crimes against the Chinese. All these are Barbaric Genocidal Savages. They have already registered themselves as Hell Dwellers after this life is over. The dead souls that has being slaughtered by them are eagerly awaiting their arrival.

      Like

    • Joseph says:

      The American didn’t even abide their high almighty The Hague court when it did not serve American interests, so why do you think they would abide Kuala Lumpur International Court, in Asia? It is blasphemy to them. After all, the American was a well known rogue state who never care about international rulings. Which country that North Korea imprinted of? America, of course.

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      • A Nobody says:

        I think the comment was intended to put pressure on the hypocritical Obama Administration the way they continue their browbeating insistence that Beijing should adhere to the highly questionable illegal and rigged “ruling” declared by a similar private “court” financed by Manila. Of course it goes without saying, Beijing would be a fool to listen to the hypocritical liar Obama and his partners-in-crime-and-BSting and do what they, or any other hypocrite like that militant grandson-of-a-war-criminal Abe, or of Australia’s warmongering US proxy Foreign Minister Julia Bishop, insist.

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  2. Steve says:

    One certainty, China cannot give away Huangyan island. It’s the gateway to the Pacific Ocean and a strategic location against the US/PH military bases in the event of war. The US are concerned of China’s intention on the island as it would weaken the US bases significantly should China decide to reclaim and militarise it.

    I believe the Duterte Govt. will discount parts of the Spratlys in return for China’s infrastructure development in the PH and allowing Filipino fishermen to fish at the Scarborough Shoal.

    However, the PCA award is a legal document although it has no binding force. President Duterte cannot agree that the PCA award is illegal as it would contradict the Aquino govt. to claim the 200 eez and surrounding waters on behalf of the PH.

    However, China and Philippine can override this law abusing document by rewriting a brand new Agreement on maritime demarcation issues to claims on surrounding waters, fish and energy resources, infrastructure development and sharing of seabed exploration, without any need for Arbitration concerning UNCLOS. I believe this is the better way, by rewriting a new ‘Award Document’ and agree never to use the PCA ruling in any form for bilateral negotiation.

    Aquino will then be Sickened to Death and his PCA ruling legacy is dead and buried.

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    • Simon says:

      The PCA award is not legal because it is not backed by the UN to rule on UNCLOS. The Hague court is no different than a private court without any powers and are dead in the waters. The Hague don’t even have the powers to issue parking fines.

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      • Steve says:

        Yes, I am aware Mr. Tong.

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        • Simon says:

          Then there is no reason for Duterte to hang on to a bogus PCA ruling since it is not a “legal document” but one of liability.

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          • Steve says:

            Duterte for the sake of his constituents and all Filipinos will ‘hang on’ to the farcical and law abusive PCA award, but can shelve the ruling with a brand new Document with China on bilateral agreement as I mentioned in my previous post. During his election campaign, Duterte
            boasted that he will jet ski to China’s engineered islands and plant a PH flag. He was elected on his heroic tough approach. His people wanted a hero statesman. No reason for Duterte to rip off the PCA ruling because he will lose his hero status and end up ripping off his own people. He will have problems of untrustworthiness, a coward towards China or a wayward unreliable leader. As U said the PCA ruling is a liability rather than an asset, if Duterte insist on using it against China. In the face of his Filipinos, the PCA award is a legal document, but Duterte being a lawyer knows it has no binding force. Duterte is politically wise and he will be negotiating with China without the PCA ruling. As long as the new agreement benefits both nations and Duterte can secure Chinese $$$$$$ for infrastructure development, exploration and sharing of energy resources, cheap loans, etc, etc, will be a win-win situation. I believe President Duterte is pro Uncle Han and anti US, but his Government must be tread carefully.

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            • Simon says:

              I just have issues with the Hague “PCA” and “legal document” being said in the same breath.

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              • Steve says:

                I share your concern. As I understand it, the PCA award itself is a legal document because it was issued by the arbitral tribunal, but China exercised it’s rights not to participate under article 298 UNCLOS. Therefore, the one-sided arbitration is more of a political issue than a legal issue because the PH paid on China’s behalf, which according to legal experts it’s farcical and law abusive because the lawyers proceeded beyond their jurisdiction. Still the award is a legal document judged by the permanent court of arbitration.

                However, China is Not obligated to conform or abide by the jurisdiction due to article 298 UNCLOS, therefore, it’s illegal as far as China is concerned. The PCA award has nothing to do with the ICJ and UN as it is not supported by them, but that does not mean it is illegal, in fact, it is a legal document because it was awarded to the plaintiff – Philippines. Unfortunately, the PCA award has no legal binding force and therefore not enforceable. The Only way it can be enforced is by WAR. Just like Taiwan send its warship to enforce Taiping island even the PCA award deemed the island a rock because Taiwan do not recognise the ruling. I don’t think PH will send their warships to enforce the PCA award in the SCS because China will sink it as an act of war. I hope I have shed some light, but I probably have missed out some important points. In the meantime, China has to pick up pace to enforce the SCS with naval and air combat patrols and active defence. China will be under the spotlight at the G20 conference in relation to their SCS build up.

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  3. johnleecan says:

    This deal is unlikely to happen because Pres Duterte does not want to be labeled a traitor by the Filipinos by not insisting on China obeying the illegal ruling by PCA which the Philippines had paid for US$30M including the rent, secretarial services, salaries of their lawyers and even the salaries of all judges of the biased tribunal.

    If someone wants proof, I saw recently in the online edition of Philippine Daily Inquirer(it says it’s the largest and leading newspaper in the Philippines) an article with the information stated above. Even if the article was taken I think from China Daily, them printing the article without any rebuttal means they agree with it.

    Most probably China will insist that the Philippines junk the illegal PCA ruling publicly or no deals. This is the correct way since the Philippines will most probably use the illegal PCA ruling again in the future as a leverage against China whenever it is convenient for them, even after China has helped them financially and economically.

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  4. Simon says:

    I want to know what sweetener is the Phillipines offering China to enable their fishermen to fish in Chinese territories?

    Since the PCA is iilegal and entirely the making of America and the Phillipines, and China and ASEAN has completely ignored it, officially abandoning the PCA ruling by the Phillipines is not enough. That just mean removing something that was created by them and was not there in the first place. Only accepting Chinese jurisdiction over disputed territories as a precondition in return for Fillipino fishermen to share resources would be a win win co-operation.

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  5. Fre Okin says:

    Silly Philly. It will be Back To Square One, as if the lawsuit against China never happen. Silently letting Filippino fishermen go back to Scarborough Shoal/Huangyan Island. No mention of PCA ruling. It’s like the nightmare of PCA verdict never happen. Win Win for both China and Philippines. In this case, Silence Is Golden.

    If a reporter ever ask President Duterte about PCA verdict, he should retort: ‘What verdict?” This is to distance himself from Aquino’s misadventure against China which Duterte want no part of.

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  6. Simon says:

    Also China does not have to provide any sweetener to attract the Phillipines, it is the Phillipines who are the beggars who should’nt be choosey. News out today the Filipinos has accepted two large patrol boats from Japan. China must be getting soft if they want to make peace and allow Fillipino fishermen to fish in its territories after what they did to humiliate China.

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  7. Simon says:

    The only acceptable deal to allow Filipino fishermen to fish in Scaborough Shoal is for the Filipino to scrap the PCA ruling and accept Chinese sovereignty and their fishermen pay Chinese tax. Anything less is seen as China accepting the illegal PCA ruling.

    Like


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