A matter-of-factly, China is not only bullying Philippines but also other members of the ASEAN. ASEAN countries like Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines, are contesting other territorial domains in South China Sea (West Philippine Sea). This time, diplomacy will never work. The dispute among territorial domains aroused three decades ago when China claimed ownership of the said maritime territories without the approval of its neighboring nations.
China will never stop bullying third world countries unless they get what they want. They will never take diplomacy as means of getting the issue fixed. China has always been the ‘hard-headed’ of all the ASEAN nations. A couple of years ago, to settle maritime disputes, the United Nations Convention proposed to all ASEAN countries the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea and the UN Law of the Sea. All agreed except China. Moreover, the said country has already given its statement that they will not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice so as diplomat talks.
US has currently made a statement that in order to come up with a positive conclusion of the issue, all affected ASEAN countries should make one stand. The maritime issues of today, if not addressed thoroughly, might affect the relationship of all Asian countries in the future. The Philippines has done so, during a very recent ASEAN Convention, a statement was to be addressed in the said conference that is related to the maritime disputes in the region. Unfortunately, Cambodian delegates blocked the proposition, thus, Philippines was never heard again. Cambodia is the chair of ASEAN and a known ally of China.
“China is, to put it bluntly, a gorilla…We are mosquitoes and China is a dragon. Mosquitoes just buzz around your ear, you slap them and they’re dead… We cannot engage its economy. We cannot engage in an arms race with (the Chinese). If we lack the power, then we use our brains.” This is the solution given by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago over the territorial disputes of Panatag Shoal and Spratlys Island between ‘mosquito’ Philippines and ‘giant dragon’ China.
We need help from our Western Allies: United States of America, Australia, Europe, and other powerful Asian countries like Singapore, Japan, and South Korea. “You don’t want to give China power over a … maritime territory that represents 10 percent of the fisheries catch of the entire world, in the sea lane where half of world’s tonnage passes.”
U.S. and our country have a Mutual Defense Treaty. US will rescue the Philippines once an external attack by a foreign country is confirmed. Moreover, there is a pending Mutual Defense Treaty in the Senate between the Philippines and Australia. We need to get that. That is our only chance of surviving the bullying of China. That is the reason why China did not attack Philippine vessels in a recent encounter when our patrolling marine officers arrested Chinese citizens fishing inside our territory. That is also the reason why China only puts paramilitary vessels in the said marine area instead of war ships. Western countries need something from us. We are oozing with natural resources. They will protect us. WE ARE BIG BECAUSE WE HAVE ALLIES.