‘Study China’s offer’

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Bilateral talks better than taking hardline stance, says Escudero

MANILA should seriously study Beijing’s offer to bilaterally settle the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) dispute instead of rejecting it outright, an administration senator said on Monday.

Accepting the offer for the Philippines and China to sit across the negotiating table, according to Sen. Francis Escudero, is a better alternative to taking a hardline stance.

“We should study any offer that would promote peace without giving up our regional, multilateral and legal moves in relation to the West Philippine Sea issue,” he said.


Escudero was reacting to a statement attributed to Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. that turned down a suggestion of Beijing’s envoy to the Philippines to restart talks with no pre-conditions.

Chinese Ambassador to Manila Zhao Jianhua on Friday told a select group of journalists that Beijing was also amenable to “share” with the Philippines facilities they constructed in areas they occupy in the West Philippine Sea.

Escudero’s statements were a reiteration of Vice President Jejomar Binay’s call early this year.

At the time, in April, surveillance pictures showing China’s massive construction work were first made public.

Binay said he would try a different tack in dealing with the China problem if he got elected President in 2016.

He added that he was looking forward to striking a win-win joint venture as a result of direct talks with Beijing.

“May pera po ang China, kailangan po natin ng kapital [China has the money and we need capital],” the Vice President said.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario dismissed the Vice President’s position that the country should resume bilateral talks with China, saying Manila had exhausted all means to deal with Beijing in an attempt to resolve tensions in the West Philippine Sea.

“We are for bilateral talks, but we ran into a dead end in terms of using that approach,” del Rosario said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.

“In the case of Scarborough Shoal, we had over 50 bilateral engagements with them and that did not work because … in every bilateral meeting you have with China, unfortunately, [they say]to you, ‘We have indisputable sovereignty over the entire South China Sea’,” he added.

China’s hardline stance prompted Manila to elevate the dispute to the UN International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (Itlos).

Vietnam, which also has overlapping claims with China in the South China Sea, also sought arbitration from the Itlos.

Beijing refuses to recognize the arbitral tribunal’s jurisdiction on the issue and has repeatedly insisted that claimants should approach the dispute bilaterally.

When asked if Coloma’s statement turning down China’s offer may further escalate the tensions, Escudero said he does not think so, adding that Malacañang may have valid reasons in taking such position.

One of which, Escudero said, is the ongoing G7 summit this week where China’s expansionism is reportedly in the agenda.

Manila on Sunday welcomed reports that the G7 summit would express concern about unilateral efforts to assert sovereignty claims in the West Philippine Sea.

Regional alarm is growing at moves by China aggressively staking its claim to most of the sea, including a large-scale island-building program.

The United States has also urged China and other nations to halt reclamations there.

WITH AFP

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23 Comments

  1. During the early stages of China’s illegal reclamation and construction frenzy, China ignored/thrashed all forms of diplomatic protest/letters from the Philippines. They even vocally averred that they would snub any and all calls for arbitration at the UNCLOS/ITLOS just to slap on everybody else that they would not recognize any such procedural norms to settle sea disputes.
    Now that almost all their newly acquired acreage had been built and military installations installed, they call on the Philippines to sit down with them for bilateral talks.
    To begin with, any and all bilateral with China at this stage will not really be a “give-and-take” talk. China wants these talks for the sole purpose of drubbing it to our face that our diplomatic protests sorties are useless and that they are the sovereign owners of their newly stolen islets. Do they really intend to listen to our side ? Of course, not !! They are hard-line “commies” and they dictate……………not listen !
    To Chiz Escudero, forget about any plans to run for president. With your lame duck way of thinking, you are just another TRAPO who do not even deserve your present senatorial seat.

  2. To all Escudero haters:
    Where were you when Tita Cory was asking for help on a referendum on US bases?

  3. Bakit Mr. Escudero yung bang China nakipagusap ba sya sa Pilipinas ng nagtatayo sila ng military facility sa ating bakuran? sinira ng China ang mga coral reef at pinagbabawalan pa ang ating mga mangingisda? ngayon sabihin mo kung dapat nating pakinggan ang China. Sa UNCLO sya humarap at sagutin nya ang mga pinanggagawa nya. o kaya kung gusto mo ikaw na ang mag represent sa China sa UNCLO.

    • China build all those structures that cost millions on dollars.
      do you think they can be trusted. This is a big problem
      with our leaders who just talk and talk just to be recognized
      specially election is around again next year.

      China, and the other countries including Taiwan who is not
      even to be in here has to go. Those Maps that are now
      recovered China will just ignor it.

      PH should think 1000 times to reform and start to build up
      our economy and maybe China and others will show
      respect on us Filipinos . Corruption has to be reduce
      and time to go towards PARLIAMENT as this is the way
      to go. Selling our Land to those investors from different
      parts of the world sooner and later we will be the slaves
      specially our farmers that comprises almost 89%
      of our people.

      Are we selling our selves to the DOGS . Wake up cause
      it will come if we not act now.

  4. pfftt… now they talk of bilateral talks?! There was already an agreement, before the Aquino government shot it to shreds with their stupid greed. Now, what was once a rich fishing ground full of corals, is nothing but a man made island where China pisses on Philippine claims over it.
    Good job. Add that to your SONA.

  5. Wala tayong maaasahan maganda sa Tsina sa Bilateral Talk(s). Tulad ng panukala ni Chiz Escudero at Nognog Binay. Di na sila natuto. Labanan natin ang PRC instead ngunit sa tamang paraan. Sa UN Tribunal dapat at may puruhan tayo. Malakas ang kutob kong mananalo ang Pilipinas!

  6. Di ba puro bigtime Chinese businessmen ang mga naging ninong ni Chiz? Kaya nakakapagduda ang gagawing negosasyon ng hudas na yan.

  7. We can not double cross America, Japan, and Australia. They are trying to defend our sovereignty and here comes Chiz Escudero with a weird suggestion. Learn form our past mistake, never trust the Chinese.

  8. Si Chiz Escudero is speaking without using his head. What happen when Senator Trillianes spoke with Chinese Officials in the back door diplomacy? We lost the very thing we were trying to protect, the West Philippine Sea. Now, we have another misguided Senator who thinks he know so much. Besides, I do not trust Chize Escudero who has 100% Chinese blood. No, leave the case to the UNCLOS. Let us stick on it. I’m suspecious what these Filipino-Chinese Legislators are up to. I do not trust them, their loyalty is questionable.

  9. Vic PenetranteVic on

    Nasilaw na naman ang Vice President sa pera, reading from what he was quoted above.
    Damay lang sa sise ng mundo ang win-win joint venture offer ng China. And even Escudero is falling into the trap.

  10. Bilateral agreements with China should no longer be entertained at this point because by now, we’re all fully aware that China is full of shit.

    China wants to solve this issue via bilateral talks, well we already did that several times, 50 times to be exact as pointed out by this article. If China wants to pursue the same avenue in solving the issue, then we’re just going to get the same reply over and over again. There’s no reasoning with China without international intervention, they’re just gonna keep claiming that they have undisputed sovereignty over the islands. It’s time for us to look for another solution and stop wasting our time with China.

    Why do you think China has suddenly proposed a sharing agreement with the Philippines?
    Because they know that their claim would go down to zero after the G-7 summit and the ITCLOS resolution. This is why they suddenly put their tail between their legs – they know they’ll eventually lose.

    and about the idea of sharing…
    Why should we share the islands with China when the entirety of the islands legitimately belongs to the Philippines? and there’s no way that I’d want to share these islands with China – a country notorious for their blatant disregard for environmental impact. Given our close proximity, it’s the Philippines which will suffer if these islands become severely polluted.

  11. ZULTAN WAHID on

    “When asked if Coloma’s statement turning down China’s offer may further escalate the tensions, Escudero said he does not think so, adding that Malacañang may have valid reasons in taking such position.” playing safe answer by escudero. after mag comment biglang bawi agad…

  12. ZULTAN WAHID on

    escudero always playing kaya hindi pwede maging pangulo…. walang tibay na maasahan sa kanya…

  13. Can never trust the NAZI of Asia.Their ultimate goal is to conquer the whole southeast asia.

  14. sonny dela cruz on

    Escudero is out of his mind. He doesn’t know how to handle a situation when China encroached inside Philippine jurisdiction and do reclamation of the islets inside the Philippine waters and our fishermen was fired upon to get out of the Philippine waters not to fish then Escudero will say let’s talk. He should just shot his mouth and say nothing because it shows what kind of mentality he has, TOO LOW. The only way you can agree to talk with China is, demolished all the structures they built on the islets inside the Philippine jurisdiction and get out of the Philippine waters, then let’s talk, if not, just forget about it and wait for the UN decisions. As I’ve said before when the Chinese fired upon our fishermen fishing inside our Philippine waters, if I am the President of the Philippines I will send a squadron of planes and attack that ship who fired on our fishermen fishing inside our Philippine waters, then through US-Philippine military agreement, the US, Japan and Australia to take over the fighting against China.

  15. The rejection of China’s call for two way talks is a big mistake. Yes, we must do all we can to protect our property but talking with neighbors is also a must.

  16. Norodin Lucman on

    You take away what is not yours (Mindanao and Sulu) and God will take away what is yours with far greater consequences and retribution. What does it feel to be helpless while China is chipping away at Luzon’s prime territory with rich oil deposits? Congress should now declare war against China. You cannot win justice by merely pointing at maps. But if they think MILF and other Islamic forces are easy picking, think again.

  17. Letting international arbitration decide must be our stand. With the present situation l don’t think China will stop its expansionist plan in Asia. The Philippines after all has strong documentary evidences to proved that the island which China is building structure is part of the country archipelago.

  18. well, maybe just maybe, we’ll replace del Rosario, and find some guys who can negotiate better with the Chinese. GMA might be right in negotiating with the Chinese after all. If not, we’ll get a world war 3.

  19. The best way for the Philippines to agree on any bilateral talks is for China to first back off from their baseless claims of a nine-dash line that nobody recognizes, and abandon all illegal reclamation projects they have completed and those undergoing construction. Common sense dictates that you do not talk peace with a neighbor after you built your own house in his property, parked your own cars in his driveway, and then restrict his movements by telling him to ask permission (from the trespassers) for freedom of passage within the confines of his own sanctuary. In any negotiation, both parties should come empty handed but with something to offer in order to have something to gain.
    In China’s case, they offer to negotiate holding a “royal flush” with the Philippines as the perrenial lame duck holding nary a pair.

  20. I agree with the stance that we should not reject outright the offer of China for bilateral talks at the very least such stance will ease the tension that could possibly lead to a situation we can never hope to win. I have not heard or read that there were in the past bilateral talks with China which lead to a dead end as del Rosario now claims. He had from the start been the one taking the hard stance with statements like “what’s ours is ours” and nothing but a total surrender by China is acceptable. Supporting this stance are statements from gazmin and catapang that we are ready to fight the Chinese “to the last man”. This sounds to me like our side has been the reason for the dead end.

  21. fred villaragoisa on

    Allow China to continue building their infrastructures in Spratly would only mean in a short period of time PH, Vietnam and the rest of the claimants would be owned by Chinese; those small countries will be within or less than the 200 miles exclusive zones on this islands that China claimed to have sovereignty.

    China thinks that the water we drink, the water we used planting our food came from China sea and thus we should look at them as our friend…