There are some realities that the Philippines must face with regard to the Chinese ships that frequent our waters.
One major reality is that the Philippine Navy and the Philippine Coast Guard combined cannot engage the Chinese Navy in any kind of hostilities. The Philippines has about as much hope of defeating their Chinese counterparts in a shooting war as the Philippine national team has of upending the Chinese national team in the Olympics, the Asian Games, or the FIBA Asiad.
It’s never going to happen.
But this does not mean that the Philippines has to tolerate the incursions of the Chinese in what are clearly local waters.
Just like birth control, there is a natural means of ridding Philippine waters of Chinese fishing vessels. Call it the rhythm method, if you will.
The country’s greatest “weapon” is none other than Mother Nature herself.
Nature has a rhythm that can be depended upon come hell or high water. At certain months of the year, the waters in such places as Scarborough (or Panatag) Shoal are too rough to fish in. The Chinese ships dare not head for our areas unless they wish to expose themselves to the risk of paying a permanent visit to the bottom of the sea.
What can the Philippine Navy and Coast Guard do during such months?
They can dare the Chinese to come in if they wish. If they do not, the PN and CG can loudly proclaim that they have succeeded in ridding the country’s waters of unwanted intruders. And if the Chinese do come in, we simply let Nature take its course.
Either way, the Philippines can claim a moral victory, which should drive some of the warmongering Chinese politicians and military leaders batty.
Then, when the weather clears, the Philippines and the United States Armed Forces can have their next Balikatan war games in the contested area. And if the US balks at the idea, the country can host the war games with Australia or Japan or even India.
Or any other country that China has issues with.
There is, after all, a saying. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Not that China is an enemy of the Philippines, but…