The trouble with China
Published by the Visayan Daily Star Publications, Inc.
|NINFA R. LEONARDIA|
Editor-in-Chief & President
NIDA A. BUENAFE
MAJA P. DELY
ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA|
To Filipinos who have been both dismayed and alarmed at the recent acts of China in claiming territory that had been known to belong to the Philippines since early history, the decision of the Philippine Government to seek for arbitration from the United Nations is a very welcome and comforting development.
It had been a shock to the entire country when it was discovered that, not only had China claimed the territory in the West Philippine Sea as its own, it had also made free with the construction of buildings in the islands there without regard for the Philippine ownership as defined by international law.
Diplomatic communications and protests have not worked and were, in a manner of speaking, even ignored by the Chinese government while its embassy in Manila gave statements that were neither direct nor conciliatory.
The problem escalated when it was also determined that the area is believed to be rich in such resources as oil which, of course, would be a major consideration in the decision of China over the problem.
The issue had come to the point that, after realizing that China was remaining immovable in its stance as far as the Philippine claim was concerned, our Foreign Affairs officials had to submit the case for arbitration before the United Nations.
It was not surprising that China, upon hearing of this action, would indicate that the matter could have been resolved through diplomatic processes. At the same time, however, it also made it clear that it is rejecting the legal action being sought. Naturally, since it knows how puny our country is, compared to it.
It is therefore very commendable of our Foreign Affairs Department to press the resolution of the case before the United Nations despite the rejection by China. Ours may be a small, virtually helpless country compared to the giant that China is, but in this day and age, bullying should never be condoned or ignored by the United Nations because it is for such cases that it had been formed in the first place.*