Share Resources with China in Disputed Waters or Let China Have AllPosted: August 3, 2017
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 http://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2105153/beijing-defends-east-china-sea-activities-after-japan.