Share Resources with China in Disputed Waters or Let China Have All

Yoshihide Suga, speaking on behalf of the Japanese government, described China’s actions as ‘extremely regrettable’. Photo: Reuters

Philippine President Duterte is wise to accept China’s offer to conduct win-win cooperation in exploiting the rich energy resources in disputed waters.

His predecessor former President Aquino tried to get the resources alone not only he energy but also the fishing resources. He sent Philippine navy to round up Chinese fishing boats in order to prohibit Chinese fishing in the disputed Scarborough Shoal and thus gave rise to a standoff with China.

Aquino thought that Philippines’ ally the US would have sent its powerful navy to drive away Chinese warships since what he did was helping the US contain China, which was precisely the aim of US President Obama’s pivot to Asia. Unfortunately for him, the US would fight for the Philippines. Instead, it told Aquino to withdraw and seek remedy from an arbitration.

Aquino did get a favorable arbitration award that completely deny China’s historical sovereignty and rights and uphold Philippines rights to the area it claims as its special economic zonearea. However the arbitration court is not a UN agency. It award has no binding force unlike the verdict of the International Court, a UN agency.

Moreover, even if Aquino had got a favorable verdict from the International Court, he could have sought remedy at the UN Security Council. However, as China has veto power there, Aquino could not have got anything even if he had been able to obtain such a verdict.

Aquino’s successor President Duterte was soon able to make a clear analysis of the situation. Since China will fight to protect its sovereignty and rights to the disputed waters and the US is unwilling to fight to help the Philippines impose the arbitration award, the only way out for the Philippines is to recover Aquino’s predecessors’ friendship with China and begin cooperation with China in exploiting the resources in the disputed waters.

China is growing increasingly strong while the US is declining. If China has overwhelming superiority to the US and a future Chinese leader refuses to share the natural resources with the Philippines, the Philippines will get nothing.

After all China has the technology and equipment to exploit the energy resources there while the Philippines has none. It has to draw in a foreign partner to exploit the resources but who would like to take the risk to upset China when China has become that extremely strong?

SCMP’s report “Beijing defends East China Sea activities after Japan protests” yesterday proves Duterte’s wisdom.

SCMP says that China is busy conducting exploration of energy resources in the area that claimed by both China and Japan. Japan protests but China simply ignore the protest and insists that the area is indisputably under China’s jurisdiction.

What can Japan do? Nothing except protesting. The US is Japan’s ally with relations much closer than with the Philippines would not send its navy to help Japan in its confrontation with China. Therefore, if Japan is not willing to conduct win-win cooperation with China in exploiting the resources, it can only watch helplessly till China has exploited all the energy resources there.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s report, full text of which can be found at


3 Comments on “Share Resources with China in Disputed Waters or Let China Have All”

  1. Fre Okin says:

    Remember the hundreds, even thousands of Chinese fishing boats went to Diaoyu/Senkaku about a year ago? China can do that in SCS, ECS to take away all the fishes from her enemies. In Hainan, Big fishing boats will take much of the fishes in SCS if VN, PH get too greedy. China can use some of her islands for fishery and even use her upcoming seaplane to transport fishes quickly to mainland to deliver Fresh Seafood, better than sushi!

    If China must, she will be wise to wage a Proportional Sensible War to smack down bad actors. Just low level fighting to teach them how to behave. This kind of war must be balanced against the economic loss her enemies steal from her. They should be reminded they stole Billions while China was weak in last few decades. China is very kind to them and they should not push their luck!


  2. johnleecan says:

    Yes, Japanese government is now regretting extremely.


  3. Steve says:

    Excellent Post…

    As for the Japanese govt.,China should lay down authoritatively and not allow the barbaric savages to gain an inch of it’s demand in areas indisputably under China’s jurisdiction.

    The winds of political change in the Philippines under President Duterte is unprecedented. And not just the sharing of resources, also training of PH military forces in China to combat terrorism in PH. Duterte knows he can curry favour under President Xi’s term of office to procure naval boats, armaments, military expertise from China with favourable loans. Before the end of President Duterte’s term of office, he has to pivot towards China and be free of US military alliance. Under Aquino, it’s government allowed US free excess to set up at least 5 military bases in exchange for free 2nd coastguard cutters as naval boats.

    Unlike Vietnam, Duterte is wise to joint exploration of resources. Imagine the scientific knowledge gained by PH engineers learning first hand of from Chinese experts.