With Philippines Seeking Détente, China Prevails in South China SeaPosted: August 6, 2017
SCMP says in its report “No South China Sea trade-off for economic gains, Philippines says”:
Manila pursues twin track with Beijing, separating maritime disputes from finance and trade ties
Manila is unlikely to compromise on its maritime sovereignty despite Beijing’s chequebook diplomacy and economic inducements, according to the Philippines’ finance chief.
In an exclusive interview with the South China Morning Post, Philippine Secretary of Finance Carlos Dominguez said Manila was trying to protect its interests by separating maritime disputes from its efforts to woo Chinese investment.
Putting aside the dispute and conducting win-win cooperation in resource exploitation is precisely what China wants so that what Manila has been doing precisely plays into China’s hands.
SCMP says that other claimants especially Vietnam is unhappy, but what can they do?
With China’s strong military and artificial islands and the US unwilling to fight China for other claimants’ interests the South China Sea is already China’ lake. Other claimants can do nothing even if China wants to have all the resources there alone. They must regard themselves as lucky that China is willing to share as China has a tradition of being friendly to its neighbors.
Be realistic to cooperate with China. There is no other ways out for other claimants as the US is unwilling and unable to fight for them.
If China has grown even stronger and the US continues its decline, they may even lose the chance to have a share of the resources in the South China Sea. No one can ensure that China’s future leaders will continue Chinese current leaders’ policy of détente.
What if Chinese military drives away all other claimants from the islands and reefs claimed by China as its territories but occupied by others? What if China conducts resource exploitation alone with the technology and equipment other claimants cannot afford and with the protection of Chinese navy and air force?
Think about that.
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/2105582/no-south-china-sea-trade-economic-gains-philippines.