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Winning the Struggle Against China

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WINNING THE STRUGGLE AGAINST CHINA

In a military war, the Philippines does not stand a chance against China. In a word war, the odds are reversed. To win the struggle over disputed territories against China, it is pivotal therefore, that the Philippine government and Filipinos hammer on the merits of its claims.

On April 2012, the Philippines bowed down to China’s military supremacy. On April 10, Filipino sailors were prevented by Chinese ships from arresting Chinese fishermen discovered poaching corals and endangered species in Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal, located 124 nautical miles (M) off Zambales and over 550 M from China’s nearest port. A stand-off occurred but eventually the Philippines’ warship pulled out of the shoal.

Today, Filipino fishermen watch from the sidelines as Chinese poachers monopolize the waters surrounding the Panatag Shoal. Worse yet, China continues to build unlawful structures on disputed territories and has even designated a new naval patrol route close to Philippine shores. This naval patrol route lies clearly within the Philippines’ 200 M Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and includes areas as close as 50 M from Philippine islands.

The Philippine government rightly believes that for now, its only chance of defending its territory is to shape world opinion against China’s ludicrous nine-dash line.

The Nine-Dash Line and the UNCLOS

In its nine-dash line, China claims a vast area of the West Philippine Sea (WPS), which includes the Panatag Shoal, and the Spratly Islands (also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam). China pounds on its “absolute sovereignty” on the basis of old maps and expeditions during the Song Dynasty, and asserts that the Philippines is an illegal occupant. Using its robust and dominant naval forces, China is slowly taking over these disputed areas that are reputably rich in natural gas, oil,…...

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