Win-win solution to the Spratly issue

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What do we do now?
What happens now? China will only talk if the PCA decision is not brought up. The Philippines withdrew from the negotiation. The Philippines won the legal battle; but it can’t fish, or explore, or drill for oil or gas in the disputed area. The US said that China should follow the rule of law; follow the legal decision of the PCA, and it has brought to the SCS two aircraft carrier strike groups and nuclear submarines. China says that those are mere pieces of tissue paper; null and void. China also intimated that it is ready to go to war with anyone who tries to enforce the PCA decision using military force.

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Here are two superpowers, with nuclear forces ready, finding themselves face-to-face, eyeball-to-eyeball. The fate of the entire planet now depends on who will push the nuclear button first. What can we, ordinary mortals, do to diffuse the situation? Suggestion, anyone?

To start off, here are a couple of suggestions:

1. Diffuse the situation through the “backdoor.” Uncle Digong can send FVR and Chito Sta. Romana to conduct “backdoor” talks with the Chinese ambassador. The agenda is to convince the other side that we set aside the issue of sovereignty for the rest of the century. This is the only way we can proceed on a WIN-WIN strategy. This is because the sovereignty issue cannot be resolved in a thousand years. The Philippines stresses the legal aspect; China stresses the historical aspect. Both have a point; but “never the twain shall meet.” So, better that both of us set the sovereignty issue aside for the next 100 years so we can move forward; with both side agreeing that neither side is surrendering its territorial claim so that no one loses face before their respective constituencies, and the RP side will not be bothered with claims of unconstitutionality by local critiques who want to torpedo the negotiations. When both sides agree to shelve the sovereignty issue, then the real win-win negotiations can begin.

2. A win for RP

a. Joint exploration, exploitation, and development of oil, gas, and other mineral resources in the disputed area;

b. Joint exploitation, development and environmental protection of fishery and other marine resources in said area;

c. That China include Manila as the easternmost terminal hub of the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st Century that will start from Manila all the way to Madrid;

d. That China assist in the establishment of the Manila Silk Road hub that will include the modernization of existing ports, airport, railway networks north to south of both Luzon and Mindanao, alternative energy facilities (wind, solar, etc.), and industrial/manufacturing economic zones in select cities along the rail network.

3. A win for China

The core interest of China in the Spratly Islands is not oil, or gas, or fish. To them, the area spells their survival as a nation and civilization – or their extinction.

Some renowned geopolitical scientists (like Kaplan) view the South China Sea as consisting of a couple of “barren rocks,” sparsely populated, with not much geo-strategic value.

China’s view is just the exact opposite: to them, that is the only ideal area that has enough depth (Philippine trench) where US submarines can maneuver and launch a surprise first strike with their Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads on China’s east coast, where its industrial/manufacturing base and most of its more than 1.3 billion population are concentrated.

Such first strike can be finished in a couple of hours. And the Chinese nation and civilization, as we know it, will be extinct. Hence, China is willing to risk war with the US or any of its allies on this issue. That is the reason why China set up those artificial islands/ bases – to monitor and counter or prevent a surprise attack by US submarines coming from the deep of the South China Sea.

So a win for China is for the Philippines to agree on the current status quo: that both China and the Philippines continue occupying and developing the islands each country is occupying at the moment. This will put China’s mind at rest. If this win-win solution is adopted by both parties, there will no longer be a reason for continuing with EDCA. There is no more reason for China to put Philippine bases in the crosshairs of their missiles. There is no more reason for the Philippines to be the epicenter of a battle between two superpowers.

About the Author: A graduate of Philippine Military Academy Cl’67; MPA ’90 from Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; spent five years with the New People’s Army (1971-76); detained for 10 years under Martial Law; and became Chief, Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. May be reached at: viccor2003@yahoo.com

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16 Comments

  1. The reason why China did not honor the ruling was because it wasn’t really a ruling issued by the International Court of Justice, much less the Permanent Court of Arbitration (which really does not have jurisdiction on the case, and which merely gave secretarial service to the ad hoc tribunal orchestrated by the U.S.and Japan). So these two countries should really reimburse the $30 million spent to rent the room atThe Hague, Peace Palace and to pay the 5 arbitrators headed by Reichler. As a result, the INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE (ICJ) made an announcement posted on its website distancing itself and the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) from the tribunal and ruling. The past administration should be made responsible for all the brouhaha.Here is the ICJ posted on their website.

    The International Court of Justice (ICJ) wishes to draw the attention of the media and the public to the fact that the Award in the South China Sea Arbitration (The Republic of the Philippines v. The People’s Republic of China) was issued by an Arbitral Tribunal acting with the secretarial assistance of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA). The relevant information can be found on the PCA’s website (www.pca-cpa.org). The ICJ, which is a totally distinct institution, has had no involvement in the above mentioned case and, for that reason, there is no information about it on the ICJ’s website.

  2. firstly the court of arbitration is not a legal court. it is not just china that thinks the ruling was ridculous – an island or even islands that have suported human habitation continuously for over 80 years and has its own water supply, flora and fauna is a rock.
    had the panel come up with sensible statements then there may have been some reconiliation. people should remember that the eez limit has not ben agreed and remember it was not china that has killed two fishermen in disputed waters. ,As it is i agree with the author. ,they should further allow chinese observers on the island stolen by Marcos and similarly China should allow Filipino observers on their artificial islands. thus showing that neither side wants war.

  3. Amnata Pundit on

    I agree but this will only make Amerika treat our government as an enemy. We must have the people on our side to pull this off this which means we must inform the people through a massive campaign that the real villain here is America and not China ( after all, this is the thesis of you article, right?). Duterte must waste no time and start this campaign today.

  4. If you cannot fight them, “join ’em!” Is what Victor Corpus is saying. It is a very pragmatic approach. After all, we need capital and technology which China has; so why not “join ’em”? We lose nothing but “face” but we get all the investments in infrastructure. To hell with “face”. What our people need is employment and income, and that can only come from investments, capital, and technology. If the Americans are not willing to sink in investments in the Phils and share technology, then go to China! Nakakahiya? Who can eat pride?

  5. We insult God by calling ourselves a Christian nation yet disregard HIS Biblical and Prophetic words as a futile and desperate last resort. GOD’s protection and guidance should be considered the first resort for it is more powerful than any nuclear weapon of a Godless superpower like China. To know the future is a great tactical advantage.

    So prophetically why is the RP in crisis? First we must know that originally Israel’s greatest enemies, worse even than the Philistines are the devious Amalekites. Known for sowing corruption, deceiving Gods people by supporting unworthy leaders to highest positions of God’s people so they became vulnerable and foolish. Is that not like what happened to the RP, and who? WHO? are these Amalakites today! Not surprisingly their blood line is the nation of China.

    Pls. Read China (Gog & Magog) in Prophecy :
    http://www.discoveringislam.org/china_gog_magog.htm

    Yes, if the Jews are Gods Chosen people, the Chinese (Amalakites) are Satan’s chosen race. In the Philippines they expertly corrupted our politics with campaign bribes, monopolized and manipulated business, poison our peoples bodies and minds with meth and media, defile our Faith in God with Chinese superstition, astrology and pagan idol festivals. The word Amalek means “to lick” or to “salivate,” truly the Chinese people are known for spitting in public.

    Mao adopted Sun Tsu’s “The Art of War” into his brand of communism, it is the state religion, as China plots and schemes in secret societies, spy networks and crime syndicates to take over the world. Honestly there are some righteous Chinese, but as a whole nation they are fascistic Asian Hitlers & Nazis. China is Gog & Magog of the Anti-Christ Army. In fact till today Chinese themselves call the Great Wall of China, “the Ramparts (Wall) of Gog.

    The above link website also prophesied the Philippines together with Asean, described as the young lions in the Bible (Asean Tigers?), will in the near future object to Red China’s invasion of the U.S. and its allies (as punishment for becoming a perverted nation). Then China will rise to world dominance as an army of the Anti-Christ, but be assured it will only be a short rule, before it’s armies of 200 million is completely destroyed by God in the final battle of Megiddo (Amagedeon.)

    So V. Corpus don’t wish us allied with China, prophetically they are cursed and doomed!

    YHWH blessings be upon all who heed his warning.

  6. Joshua Schneider on

    Achievable objective:

    Webster’s Synonyms lists the following: possible, attainable, doable, feasible, practicable, realizable, viable, workable

    Webster’s Antonyms lists the following: hopeless, impossible, impracticable, infeasible, non-viable, unattainable, undoable, unfeasible, unrealisable, unviable, unworkable

    When the Philippine people face a problem such as China and fishing rights there has to be a achievable objective to resolve the problem that is facing us. Why is it that so often our politicians and important businessmen seem to work within Webster’s antonyms? Personal gain perhaps?

    We seem to have in DU30 unlike past Presidents, someone who wants to to work in the achievable realm. Lets support him in enabling us to work with the synonyms of achievable… as in get the damn job done and start bringing wealth into the hands of the everyday person.

    Make the deal DU30… China has much bigger problems than trying to swat a fly off its ass. They need a win even more than we do.

    So as we like to say ” get er done”…

  7. vic penetrante on

    We are the losers of your proposal:
    1. Nothing happened to the backdoor negotiations of Sen. Trillanes. We were driven off the shoals while China started building artificial islands.
    2. Joint exploration and joint exploitation will only benefit the richer country, China, because of interests on investment.
    3. A military facility of China will be off-limits to everybody.
    Better cry for help from the whole world than talk with China!

  8. LA must be high on drugs. Everybody knows that the CPP NPA is anti-Marcos and could not have been organized by Marcos. In fact, there are sworn statements and official intelligence reports that it was Ninoy Aquino who helped form the CPP NPA by introducing his “friend” Bernabe Buscayno alias “Kumander Dante” to Joma Sison. At that time, Joma had a party without an army and Dante had a small armed group that had just separated from the old P.K.P. It should also be worth noting here that all Liberal Party stalwarts were in Plaza Miranda on August 21, 1971 except the party’s Secretary-General or “Punong Abala” for that occasion – Ninoy Aquino. He was the Punong Abala but he was the only LP stalwart who was conspicuously not there.

    • Amnata Pundit on

      Ninoy was the campaign manager too and as campaign manager he should have been the first to arrive in Plaza Miranda that day. HIs reason was he attended the debut party of Doy Laurel’s daughter but he overstayed ( baka nililigawan niya yung anak ni Doy, di kaya?) and according to Doy himself Ninoy kept looking at his watch and left only after hearing on the radio that the plaza had been bombed. Ninoy and all of his allies accused Marcos of that evil deed but today these yellows never mention it anymore, as if that bombing never happened. Bakit kaya?

  9. Btw, one of tsai-nha’s top general has acknowledged that the Japs can obliterate their whole eastern navy in just four hours. Hence, it only goes to show that the power projection and hegemonic stance is only for domestic consumtion geared to fan patriotic feelings to shore continuing support to their leadership. When tsai-nha requested ADB to allow them to be a retailer od ADB funds, it means that cabal has really no financial means and organizational acumen really thst merits any need for any joint pursuit with them.

  10. Tell us Vic, was the job to infiltrate the NPA a direct mission and order from Marcos and Enrile? Did you in all the years of association with Joma ever thought that maybe, the NPA was formed long before in 1969 because even at that time, Marcos was already planning a martial law and he needed a group to create havoc as its justification and Marcos needed you inside the group as a semblance of his control and monitoring over the group?

    Why not concentrate instead on developing the gas deposits at Benham Rise in Eastern Luzon which is now the biggest gas deposit in the world? In ten years time, the demand for oil may have subsided especially in the fast development of electric cars now. When that demand falls, there is no economic or financial benefit to any joint exploration with tsai-nha in the Spratlys and tsai-nha may even leave the area. We can start large-scale development of deuterium-based or gas-based fuel cells for cars or baseload plants as the better alternative. Paging DBP to provide funds for research and development of these fuel cells!!!

    • Amnata Pundit on

      How about this: Vic Corpuz surfaced only after Marcos was gone. Who received him? FVR did. He was a lieutenant when he joined the NPA, yet who reinstated him as colonel, telling the world that he never lost his seniority in spite of defecting to the mortal enemy? FVR. Who is FVR? A West Point graduate and the highest ranking amboy in the Philippines. Who defends the NPA and the left against our military with the use of the human rights issue? The Americans. Where is Joma now? Safely ensconced in the strong American ally country The Netherlands. Who is the country that kidnapped Marcos? Amerika. Now connect the dots.

    • Victor N. Corpus on

      I would like to refer you to my interview by Sec Martin Andanar in Martin’s Mancave in You Tube. It was done in four parts. It will answer all your questions, L A.

    • Victor N. Corpus on

      We can develop the Benham Rise but that will not address our problem with China in the Spratlys. As things stand, we are left with two choices after that resounding legal victory at the Hague: we do not talk to China or talk. If we refuse to talk, then we suffer the consequences of that action because China will surely not allow us to fish or drill is the disputed area. If we convince the US to implement the PCA ruling by militarily forcing China to vacate the islands or reefs, then we will be opting for war because China already dared the US to a military confrontation but the US did not have the stomach to fight and die for us. Right now, China’s fighters, fighter-bombers, strategic bombers and air-refueling aircraft are constantly patrolling Scarborough Shoal and the other islands occupied by China. And the US Navy cannot do anything. This situation that is highly inimical to our national interest will continue as long as we refuse to talk to China.

      Now, the other alternative is for us to talk. And the proposed approach is outlined in the article above. I would welcome any critique or comment regarding the proposal.

  11. In that case then why does China forbid our fishermen in our EEZ when they are not a threat to China? They also does not allow Vietnam to explore oil and gas in their EEZ. China is the new imperialist bully in the neighborhood.

  12. The most naive and stupid act we can do is trust/deal/or have anything to do with china.

    We are not even a speed bump in china’s drive for world domination! In fact we are even aiding this monster with our local binondo tribe and politicians.

    Another attempt at a bullshit game from an old pinoy version of characters from a Le’ Carre pocket book – kuno?