China’s military drills won’t work – expert

Lionel Jensen

Lionel Jensen

CHINA’s ongoing military drills in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) only make the looming arbitration ruling “enforceably intelligent,” an expert said.

The Chinese navy is holding its military exercises in the waters around the Paracel Islands that started earlier this week and runs until July 11, a day before the scheduled issuance of award by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

Beijing’s maritime safety administration even prohibited other ships from entering the area within the week.

Professor Lionel Jensen, an expert on Chinese history, culture and politics, at the Notre Dame University deemed that the move was an apparent attempt by China to steal the thunder of the decision.

But it won’t work, he said.

“Do all you want. That’s fine. But in the end, it only makes the result more enforceably intelligent for people who are sitting on the side of the decision to say, ‘My god? Look at these people! The result was even out and look what they are doing?’” Jensen said at a student forum in Makati City Thursday night.

He claimed that the United Nations-backed tribunal will in no way rule in favor of China’s excessive nine-dash line claim, and the Philippines may use the award to assert its rights to areas within 200 nautical miles of its coastline.

With the backing of powerful nations that argue their freedom of navigation and overflight in the West Philippine Sea, Jensen said, Manila could position its navies to the area and drive away the Chinese.

“It’s possible. You have something that could be applied. You have to do it,” he said. “I think with US assistance, you can do what’s right.”

China has been persistent that it will neither accept nor honor the ruling as it questioned the jurisdiction of the tribunal to decide on the case.

Jensen said the ruling could only be enforced if the countries committed to the freedom of the seas will gather together and act on behalf of what has been decided and support the Philippines.

“If we abide by it, therefore, we have to work toward it,” he said.

“Once the decision comes out, then you now have the rules to play the game. It’s up for the countries concerned to play the game. If the Chinese do not abide, you have something that you could refer to,” he added.

Jensen said the new administration should not back off in the battle and spoil the efforts made by the previous government.

President Rodrigo Duterte, he suggested, should find a way to make a more coherent policy regarding the West Philippine Sea.


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  1. The Hague Tribunal will decide in favor of the Philipnes claim, because that is the interest of USA; such Tribunal does always what USA tell them to do.

    If China has or not rigth to the SpratlIey Islands I am not in a position to comment; but there are the rigths of History, my own country has some desert islands based on such rigths, which are disputed by Spain.

    Any way there is no return point; there will be a decision on the 12 July establishing that Philippines have the rigths to wahtever waters claimed… and then Phillipines have a dilema to enforce such decision:- To do it or not, but even if Philipines want to avoid the implementation USA will force Phillipines to do it. Then we have China that clearly and soundly stated that it will not accept whatver decision comes up from the Tribunal… and if necessary will use military force to keep its own territory, and that USA if that will be the case will pay a high price for any military intervention. USA has already two Navy Battle Groups and two aircraft carriers in the area to support Phillipines enforcing its new territorial waters… neither USA nor China will have no any chance to go back… so we have a clear and unavoidable military conflict to blow up between Phillipines and China… in a situation of no returning point… ready to explode on the 13th July… or immediately afterwards… of course the USA Navy is there to support Phillipines… it migth give the feeling that China will not dare to clash militarely with USA… but if so… it means that China will loose its face through all the World… it will be very difficult to China to deal with this case without going to the war… I really believe that USA expects that its show off with those two battle groups will be enough to force China to give up of the Islands or part of them… but I don´t believe China will not react at all without the use of military force.. in Europe we are just now watching a clear declaration of war made by NATO against Russia… they call it still Cold War but it is already half way to Hot War… USA by unknown reasons is desesperately trying everything they can to force Russia and China to go to the 3rd WW… and here we are … simultaneously the NATO Summit declaring War diplomaticaly and in a covered way against Russia with its decisions from the Summit ( 8 /9 Jly) and the Decision of the Hague Tribunal (12 July) forcing China to go to the war against USA in the Southern China Sea… ther is no douubt USA wants the war against Russia and China… and this is the 1st very serious attempt from USA to catch both Russia and China under attack…. in order not for Russia and China to join forces but to figth each one … at the same time… in thei rown territories… in my opinion either China and Russia have already a strategy together not to go to war now because that is what USA wants… or we have a 3rd WW looming… but sooner or later is going to happen. I am very sorry that Philippines were pushed into the war by USA… but nothing can be done… USA have the most of the countries in the world under full control. God save us…


    President Duterte i know is just playing safe he knows we don’t have the capability and even we wait for hundreds of years we cannot attain superpower military might as china so he play accepting talks OFFERED BY/with china on the issue. Because war will only make worse for the present problems besetting our country.He doesn’t want to be called PUPPET of america, remember he is a leftist, who believes In our independence IDEALS, but it doesnt mean we filipinos are cowards .We have proven our bravery already to the world countless times!!! So better for filipinos to be and are smart to even give the nearby scarborough shoal to china even though it is within our 200 nautical miles EEZ with plea to china that must allow all phil fishermen to make a living unhampered , unbullied in our 200 EEZ , and lend resources for huge funding of LRT AND THE LIKE transport systems , including undersea tunnel train systems connecting mainland LUZON VISAYAS MINDANAO and thirdly, peace amd usual trade and commerce with china and all nations – NO TO ANY WAR OR DESTRUCTION!!!YES TO CONTINUOUS PROGRESS AND NATION-BUILDING OF THE PHILIPPINES.!!!!! But very sad to think, that the Philippines, cannot do without its international commitments and obligations to the international community of UN and ASEAN that ALL RIGHTEOUS NATIONS say must defend the UNCLOS ,that all south china sea is international freedom of navigation,commerce and trade, and that no nation should assert its ownership of such international waters. “pls note territorial limit for any international maritime (countries with seacoastlines) nation is 12 nautical miles only’. “if china want all South china sea, let all NATIONS OF THE PEACE- COMMITTED WORLD “”UN”” MILITARY POLICE FORCE, WHICH PHILIPPNES IS A DELEGATE AND MEMBER enforce the BETTERMENT FOR ALL NATIONS, NOT ONLY CHINA’S !!!. AS ANY MEMBER STATE, THE PHILIPPINES MUST CONTRIBUTE AND SEND SELECTED MILITARY STRIKE FORCE TO JOIN THE UN MILITARY POLICE FORCE!!