In its report “Philippines, China play down Duterte’s talk of war in disputed sea” today, Reuters describes the trouble Philippine President Duterte is in as opposition denounces him for failure to impose the Hague arbitration ruling.
Whenever the Philippines tries to impose Hague ruling, it will face the question whether it wants to fight a war with China. As the US does not want to fight a war for it, it is not able to fight. However, the ruling will always be used to oppose anyone in power in the Philippines who dare not fight to impose the ruling, knowing well the war will result in massacre of Philippine troops.
For thousands of years to come, all those in power in the Philippines will have trouble due to the ruling.
How stupid it has paid millions of dollars to get the trouble!
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southchinasea-philippines-china-idUSKBN18I0D1.
An arbitration court ruling that rejected China’s claims to the South China sea and strained Chinese relations with the Philippines will not be on the agenda of this year’s Southeast Asian summit, a senior Philippine official said on Thursday.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte reiterated last month he wanted to avoid confrontation with China and saw no need to press Beijing to abide by the July ruling that went in favor of the Philippines.
“The Hague ruling will not be on the agenda in the sense that it’s already part of international law,” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Enrique Manalo told reporters ahead of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting chaired by the Philippines in April.
“So we really can’t discuss the ruling. It’s there.”
The July 2016 ruling rejected China’s territorial claims over much of the South China Sea. Beijing declared the decision as “null and void”, but called on countries involved in the dispute to start talks again to peacefully resolve the issue.
What the 10-member ASEAN will focus on is the completion of a framework for a code of conduct to ease tension in the disputed waters, Manalo said.
“We hope we will have a pleasant scenario during our chairmanship. We will talk to China in a way we will put forth our interest just as we expect china will put forth theirs,” Manalo said.
Since 2010, China and the ASEAN have been discussing a set of rules aimed at avoiding conflict. China claims most of the energy-rich waters through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. Neighbors Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims.
At the ASEAN summit last year, China’s closest ASEAN ally, Cambodia, blocked any mention of the court ruling against Beijing in a joint statement.
Duterte made a stunning U-turn in foreign policy a few months ago when he made overtures toward China and started berating traditional ally the United States.
(Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Nick Macfie)
Source: Reuters “Philippines says South China Sea ruling not on agenda at ASEAN summit”
Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
Former Philippine President Aquino was so excited when the US declared its pivot to Asia aimed at containing China. He soon sent his navy to round up Chinese fishermen at disputed Scarborough Shoal in order to drive Chinese away from the shoal and take control of the shoal.
In return, China sent its navy and coast guards to take the shoal and drive away Philippine navy. It even did not allow Filipino fishermen to continue to fish there. There was standoff between China and the Philippines for quite a long time.
Aquino did not expect that the US did not send its navy to help him. When he asked the US to help him. The US, though wanted to contain China, did not want to fight a war with China for Philippines’ rights and interests. It told him to retreat and promised to tell China to retreat too. Aquino did have retreated but China would not.
To help Aquino, the US told Aquino to file an arbitration at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague and promised that it would use its influence to ensure that Aquino would win the arbitration.
As a Japanese was the head of the arbitration court, the US was sure Aquino would win. What it should do was but to use its military power to force China to obey the arbitration ruling.
Aquino did win the arbitration and the US did send two aircraft carrier battle groups to threaten China but could not subdue China. China conducted large-scale military drills to show its determination to fight a war to protect its rights and interests. The US had to give up as it had no intention to fight for Philippines’ rights and interests.
The Philippines had got nothing but been banned by Chinese navy and coast guards in exploiting the fishing and energy resources in the sea area it regards as its exclusive economic zone.
Now the Philippines is entirely a loser due to its illusion that the US will take actual actions in interfering with its disputes with China as the US has tried to make it believe.
The US is also a loser. It wanted to exploit China’s disputes with its neighbors to contain China and show that the US dominates the South China Sea, but China’s determination to fight a war to defend its rights and interests has made the US give up its attempt to interfere with the disputes. The US now only wants freedom of navigation and flightover that has never been hindered by China.
Previously, the US opposed China’s proposal on resolution of the disputes through bilateral talks. Its alleged that China might use its strength to force its terms on weaker nations. It wanted all China’s opposing claimants to hold multilateral talks with China and even wanted to be a party to such talks. At first, Philippine new president Duterte did want the US and Japan to participate in Philippines’ talks with China on the disputes. US did not refuse to participate though it had repeatedly declared that it would not take side in the disputes.
Now, the US has changed its stance that opposes bilateral talks. US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel said in Manila on October 24 that the United States supports direct dialogue negotiations between the Philippines and China in settling the South China Sea dispute.
Mr. Russel has given a clear signal to all the claimants in South China Sea disputes that the US will not interfere. No claimant can rely on US help in the disputes.
The US has not only lost face but also almost all its influence in Southeast Asia, poor United States of America.
China is the absolute winner.
It now is the host of not only Scarborough Shoal but also all the disputed waters. Other claimants can exploit the resources in disputed waters only when they have held successful bilateral talks with China on cooperation with China in exploiting the resources. China will not allow them to exploit the resources alone and the US will not interfere.
What about China allowing Philippine fishermen to return to Scarborough Shoal and the areas around it to fish?
Does that not mean that China is respecting the arbitration ruling it has openly rejected?
Please note that Philippine President Duterte has not concluded any agreement between China and the Philippines on Philippine fishermen’s right to fish there. The Philippines has no right to fish there. It is now allowed to fish there because its president has visited China to recover the long-term friendship between China and the Philippines.
The situation now is that China allows its friend to fish in its shoal and its sea area around the shoal.
That is why Chinese Foreign Ministry says there is no change in the situation at Scarborough Shoal after Philippine fishermen were allowed to fish there.
What situation? China owns the Shoal and the waters around it. Allowing a friend to fish there does not change the ownership.
Seeing that Malaysia soon follows Duterte’s example. Reuters says in its report “China and Malaysia sign deals on navy vessels” yesterday, “Malaysia has agreed to buy four Chinese naval vessels and pledged with Beijing to handle South China Sea disputes bilaterally, a Chinese official said on Tuesday, in what could be China’s latest counter to U.S. influence in the region.”
Article by Chan Kai Yee
SCMP carried its senior editor and China affairs columnist Cary Huang’s article titled “Four reasons Duterte will have to change tune on China and U.S.” specifying the following reasons:
1. The US-Philippines relationship has been strong for the nearly 70 years.
Sorry! Cary Huang forgets that the Philippines drove US troops away by taking back US military bases in the Philippines during the 70 years. I said in my post “South China Sea Disputes: Lucky China; Unlucky Philippines” on June 21, 2013:
Luckily, the Philippines drove away the US and took back the bases to deprive the US of the obligations to spend lots of money for the defense of the Philippines. At that time, we were really very happy about that as we were worried that US presence would make it very difficult for China to maintain its sovereignty to the islands, reefs and sea areas given that it took time for China to develop its navy.
Luckily for China, Filipino navy tried to drive away Chinese fishermen and provided China with the excuse to drive away Filipino fishermen. China is thus very lucky to gain complete control of Scarborough Shoal peacefully.
Why peacefully? The US did not send its navy to interfere as the 70-year relationship was not so strong!
2. The US ranks the third in Philippines’ foreign trade and Filipinos make lots of money in the US and sent back US$17.6 billion last year.
Duterte does not want to cut Philippines’ economic relations with the US; therefore, the trade relations and remittance will not change Duterte’s pro-China stance.
Moreover, the trade benefits not only the Philippines but also the US. The US is no longer a mentor in its foreign trade given the huge foreign exchange deficit in US foreign trade.
As for the US$17.6 billion that Filipinos working in the US sent back last year. Cary Huang perhaps mistakes the money as US donations. No, it had been earned by Filipinos through working hard for and making contributions to US economy and welfare. Do not forget that the US benefits from the Filipinos’ work.
3. Filipinos are overwhelmingly pro-American.
However, they have elected a pro-China and anti-American president and the president has been working to benefit the Philippines through improvement of relations with China.
4. Filipinos are also known for their patriotic passion and will not give up its territorial claims in its dispute with China.
While Duterte does not give up the claims, China does not force Duterte to accept its claims. China has set no preconditions in providing loans and investment to the Philippines. What China wants is to put aside the disputes over sovereignty as it is very difficult to resolve the disputes in a short time but the two sides may conduct cooperation in exploiting the resources in the disputed waters.
Cary Huang concludes, “The effect of the July 12 ruling by the international tribunal in The Hague will be felt in years to come. And that ruling – which the court stated as final and binding – will stand in the way of the Philippines-China relationship, regardless of the rhetoric.”
Sorry, no one is able to enforce the ruling that China has rejected.
Cary Huang is perhaps ignorant that diplomacy is driven by interests; therefore, there are the following two compelling reasons that Duterte will not change his pro-China stance:
1. The US will not fight to protect the Philippines’ interests in the South China Sea. It will not use its force to enforce the ruling in favor of the Philippines. If the Philippines does not cooperate with China in exploiting the resources in the disputed waters, the resources will entirely be exploited by China.
Shall the Philippines wait till the US has grown strong enough militarily and willing enough to help it enforce the ruling when the natural resources have entirely been taken away by China?
What is the use in enforcing the ruling when the resources have dried up?
Duterte is wise in improving ties with China to get a share of the resources.
2. The Philippines urgently needs Chinese loans and investment for construction of its infrastructures and developing its economy while the US is hard up and unable to give the Philippines any significant help.
As for Duterte’s angry words against the US, it is due to US opposition to his anti-drug campaign instead of his pro-China stance though the stance upsets the US.
Comment by Chan Kai Yee on SCMP’s article, full text of which can be found at http://www.scmp.com/week-asia/opinion/article/2041077/four-reasons-duterte-will-have-change-tune-china-and-us
By Ben Blanchard | BEIJING Thu Oct 20, 2016 | 3:48pm EDT
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced his “separation” from the United States on Thursday, declaring he had realigned with China as the two agreed to resolve their South China Sea dispute through talks.
Duterte made his comments in Beijing, where he is visiting with at least 200 business people to pave the way for what he calls a new commercial alliance as relations with longtime ally Washington deteriorate.
“In this venue, your honors, in this venue, I announce my separation from the United States,” Duterte told Chinese and Philippine business people, to applause, at a forum in the Great Hall of the People attended by Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli.
“Both in military, not maybe social, but economics also. America has lost.”
Duterte’s efforts to engage China, months after a tribunal in the Hague ruled that Beijing did not have historic rights to the South China Sea in a case brought by the previous administration in Manila, marks a reversal in foreign policy since the 71-year-old former mayor took office on June 30.
His trade secretary, Ramon Lopez, said $13.5 billion in deals would be signed during the China trip.
“I’ve realigned myself in your ideological flow and maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to (President Vladimir) Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world – China, Philippines and Russia. It’s the only way,” Duterte told his Beijing audience.
Duterte’s remarks will prompt fresh concern in the United States, where the Obama administration has seen Manila as an important ally in its “rebalance” of resources to Asia in the face of a rising China.
The administration agreed a deal with Duterte’s predecessor granting U.S. forces rotational access to bases in the Philippines and further doubts will be raised about the future of this arrangement.
In Washington, the U.S. State Department said it was “baffled” by Duterte’s comments and would seek an explanation when Daniel Russel, the top U.S. diplomat for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, visits Manila this weekend.
“We are going to be seeking an explanation of exactly what the president meant when he talked about separation from the U.S.,” said State Department spokesman John Kirby. “It’s not clear to us exactly what that means in all its ramifications.”
Both the State Department and the White House portrayed Duterte’s comments as being at odds with the close, long-standing alliance between the two countries. They said Washington would welcome closer ties between Beijing and Manila, however.
“The U.S.-Philippine alliance is built on a 70-year history, rich people to people ties and a long list of shared security concerns,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters, noting that the administration has not received any request from Filipino officials to alter bilateral cooperation.
A few hours after Duterte’s speech, his top economic policymakers released a statement saying that, while Asian economic integration was “long overdue”, that did not mean the Philippines was turning its back on the West.
“We will maintain relations with the West but we desire stronger integration with our neighbors,” said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia in a joint statement. “We share the culture and a better understanding with our region.”
RED CARPET WELCOME
China has pulled out all the stops to welcome Duterte, including a marching band complete with baton-twirling band master at his official greeting ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People, which is not extended to most leaders.
President Xi Jinping, meeting Duterte earlier in the day, called the visit a “milestone” in ties.
Xi told Duterte that China and the Philippines were brothers and they could “appropriately handle disputes”, though he did not mention the South China Sea in remarks made in front of reporters.
“I hope we can follow the wishes of the people and use this visit as an opportunity to push China-Philippines relations back on a friendly footing and fully improve things,” Xi said.
Following their meeting, during which Duterte said relations with China had entered a new “springtime”, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said the South China Sea issue was not the sum total of relations.
“The two sides agreed that they will do what they agreed five years ago, that is to pursue bilateral dialogue and consultation in seeking a proper settlement of the South China Sea issue,” Liu said.
China claims most of the energy-rich South China Sea through which about $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. Neighbours Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims.
In 2012, China seized the disputed Scarborough Shoal and denied Philippine fishermen access to its fishing grounds.
Liu said the shoal was not mentioned and he did not answer a question about whether Philippine fishermen would be allowed there. He said both countries had agreed on coastguard and fisheries cooperation, but did not give details.
SEA DISPUTE TAKES ‘BACK SEAT’
Duterte’s tone towards Beijing is in stark contrast to the language he has used against the United States, after being infuriated by U.S. criticism of his bloody war on drugs.
He has called U.S. President Barack Obama a “son of a bitch” and told him to “go to hell”, while alluding to severing ties with the old colonial power.
On Wednesday, to the cheers of hundreds of Filipinos in Beijing, Duterte said Philippine foreign policy was veering towards China.
“I will not go to America anymore. We will just be insulted there,” Duterte said. “So time to say goodbye my friend.”
The same day, about 1,000 anti-U.S. protesters gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Manila calling for the removal of U.S. troops from the southern island of Mindanao.
Duterte’s abrupt pivot from Washington to Beijing is unlikely to be universally popular at home, however. On Tuesday an opinion poll showed Filipinos still trust the United States far more than China.
Duterte on Wednesday said the South China Sea arbitration case would “take the back seat” during talks, and that he would wait for the Chinese to bring up the issue rather than doing so himself.
Xi said issues that could not be immediately be resolved should be set aside, according to the Chinese foreign ministry.
China has welcomed the Philippines approaches, even as Duterte has vowed not to surrender any sovereignty to Beijing, which views the South China Sea Hague ruling as null and void.
China has also expressed support for his drug war, which has raised concern in Western capitals about extrajudicial killing.
(Additional reporting by Roberta Rampton, Arshad Mohammed and David Brunnstrom in Washington; Writing by Michael Martina and Ryan Woo; Editing by Nick Macfie, Alex Richardson and Grant McCool)
Source: Reuters “Duterte aligns Philippines with China, says U.S. has lost”
Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
The South China Sea arbitration case will “take the back seat” during talks with China, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday in Beijing, adding that he would wait for the Chinese to bring up the dispute rather than doing so himself.
Duterte arrived in Beijing on Tuesday with at least 200 top business people to pave the way for what he calls a new commercial alliance, amid deteriorating ties with longtime ally the United States.
The effort to engage China, months after the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled over South China Sea disputes in favor of the Philippines, marks a reversal in Philippine foreign policy since Duterte took office on June 30.
China refused to participate in the arbitration case or recognize its findings.
Speaking to reporters at his hotel, Duterte described the judgment as a “piece of paper”.
“It would not be in keeping with courtesy and goodwill if I am the one to open it,” he said. “And you will say, will it take a back seat? Of course, it has to take the back seat.”
China has welcomed the shift in tone that has added to strains between the Philippines and the United States, even as Duterte has vowed not to surrender any sovereignty to Beijing.
Duterte said on Sunday he would raise the arbitral ruling, and vowed not to deviate from the tribunal’s award.
Speaking in Beijing, Duterte said he did not want to make any “hard impositions” on the South China Sea, and would wait for Chinese President Xi Jinping to raise the subject.
“I have to be courteous and I have to wait for your president to mention it in passing for me to respond,” he said.
“It is in the broader outline of talks that we have agreed. But as a matter of courtesy, and the oriental way, we will always wait because I am a visitor. I cannot destroy the goodwill just by blurting out something.”
STRONG TIES WITH CHINA, OTHERS
In a series of conflicting statements, Duterte has insulted U.S. President Barack Obama and the U.S. ambassador in Manila for questioning his war on drugs, which has led to the deaths of 2,300 people. He told Obama to “go to hell” and alluded to severing U.S. ties.
Speaking earlier, Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay said territorial disputes between China and the Philippines may take a lifetime to resolve, but should not prevent warming ties.
On Wednesday, Philippine Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez told reporters in Beijing that Bank of China had agreed to provide a $3 billion credit facility for infrastructure investments in the Philippines.
Their remarks came as Philippine police used teargas to disperse about 1,000 anti-American protesters outside the U.S. embassy in Manila.
Yasay reiterated that the thaw with China was “not going to erode our close ties with the rest of our allies and traditional partners”.
“As we renew our ties with this great nation, it does not mean that we are weakening ties with the rest of the members of the international community. This is at the core of the independent foreign policy that our president has moved and put forward,” he said.
After weeks of anti-American rhetoric, Duterte said the Philippines would maintain its existing defense treaties and its military alliances.
China has expressed support for Duterte’s drug war, even as it has sparked concerns in Western capitals about extrajudicial killings.
Philippine police made 29 arrests at the rally outside the U.S. embassy, where protesters were calling for the removal of American troops in the southern island of Mindanao.
(Additional reporting by Karen Lema in Manila; Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel and Mike Collett-White)
Source: Reuters “Philippines’ Duterte says South China Sea arbitration case to take ‘back seat’”
Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.
By Ben Blanchard | BEIJING Mon Oct 17, 2016 | 7:15am EDT
There is no sense in going to war over the disputed South China Sea as talks are far better, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told China’s official Xinhua news agency, praising China for not criticizing his country, unlike Western nations.
Duterte goes to China on Tuesday with at least 200 members of the Philippine business elite to pave the way for what he calls a new commercial alliance, amid deteriorating ties with longtime ally the United States.
On Sunday, Duterte said he would raise a controversial arbitral ruling on the South China Sea with China’s leaders and vowed not to surrender any sovereignty or deviate from the July award by the tribunal in the Hague.
The ruling dealt a blow to China’s extensive claims in the South China Sea. Beijing has refused to recognize the case and has chided any country telling it to abide by the ruling.
In the Xinhua interview published on Monday, Duterte said he wanted negotiation, not confrontation, over the South China Sea.
“There is no sense in going to war. There is no sense fighting over a body of water,” Duterte said.
In Brunei, Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay said the South China Sea issue was not the sum total of the relationship between China and the Philippines, but the time was not yet right to discuss resolving it.
“We still have to build up the lost trust and confidence that was weakened or eroded during the past administration,” Yasay told reporters.
“But then we should not also miss out on the opportunities for trade and economic relationship that we would need as much as China.”
Duterte also expressed gratitude to China for not criticizing his war on drugs, which has sparked concerns in Western capitals about extrajudicial killings, with Philippine police saying it has killed nearly 2,300 people.
“China never criticizes,” Duterte said in the Xinhua interview. “They help us quietly.”
The unpredictable president’s moves to engage China, just a few months after the arbitral award sparked fears in the region of a backlash by Beijing in the South China Sea, mark a striking reversal in Philippine foreign policy since he took office on June 30.
Duterte told Xinhua his grandfather is Chinese.
“It’s only China (that) can help us.”
China’s Foreign Ministry earlier sought to downplay Duterte’s Sunday remarks on the arbitration.
Asked about his comments, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Duterte would make his policy in the best interests of his country and people.
“China’s door has always been open to the Philippines, and I think you’ve also noticed that President Duterte has many times said he wants dialogue with China,” she added.
(Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
Source: Reuters “Ahead of China visit, Philippine leader says no sense in war”