Tensions in the South China Sea put the Philippines at a crossroads


The Philippine government, which once tried to ease the South China Sea conflict by begging the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is facing increasing dissatisfaction domestically due to repeated provocations from the Chinese Communist Party. Defense facilities are also increasingly dissatisfied with President Duterte’s concession to the Chinese Communist Party in the South China Sea.

It all started with the Hague arbitration five years ago. The Philippines has accused the CCP of violating the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) by claiming maritime rights based on the “nine-dash line” in conflict areas in the South China Sea, and is engaged in maritime law enforcement and reef development activities. He then filed a complaint with the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague.

On July 12, 2016, in the absence of the CCP, the PCA issued an award in support of almost all Filipino claims on incident-related issues. Under UNCLOS, five court arbitrators unanimously ruled that the CCP has no historical right to natural resources in the South China Sea under the “Nine-dash Line.” The referee also found that the CCP landfill in the South China Sea caused irreparable damage to the environment and urged the government to suspend its activities at sea.

On July 12, the fifth anniversary of the award, several countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan, called on the CCP to comply with the ruling. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also said the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty targets attacks on the South China Sea.

“NS The award was finally settled The status of historical and maritime rights in the South China Sea. ” Filipino Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin, Jr., is celebrating its fifth anniversary of the issuance of the South China Sea Arbitration Award. “We welcome the growing number of states that have come to support this award and its implications.”

Manila-Beijing relations are becoming more and more tense this year over the disputed claims in the South China Sea. In March, hundreds of Chinese vessels were stranded in the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines. Manila repeatedly demanded Beijing to withdraw, but it didn’t help.

In April, the Philippine Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement calling on hundreds of militia fishing vessels from the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone to leave the Whitson Reef. The CCP claims that it owns a coral reef and that the fishing vessels are doing nothing wrong to evacuate there.

Manila’s defenses are increasingly dissatisfied with President Rodrigo Duterte’s failure to take full advantage of the PCA awards and concessions in the South China Sea.

“China, my friend, how polite I can put it? Let’s see … O … GET THE [expletive deleted] In a social media post on May 3, Filipino Foreign Minister Roxin described the CCP’s invasion of Philippine waters.

Roksin explained in a follow-up when he was criticized for not using the proper language as the country’s chief diplomat. Tweet, “Does nothing with the usual modest diplomatic remarks.”

Locsin’s tweet followed a statement by the Philippine Ministry of Foreign Affairs accusing the China Coast Guard vessels of taking “aggressive action” against Philippine vessels practicing near the Scarborough Shawl in the South China Sea. .. The Chinese Communist Party-controlled scarborough shawl is one of the richest fish regions in the ocean, claimed by both China and the Philippines, and a point of tension between the two countries.

On July 19, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said a Chinese Navy survey vessel had invaded the Philippine waters while the Philippine Coast Guard patrol vessel BRB Cabra was patrolling fishing grounds in the northeastern Spratly Islands. .. The ship with hull number 189 was carrying the Chinese flag. Chinese ships maintained their course, speed, and radio silence, and Filipino ships were forced to listen and use speakers to issue warnings. After that, Chinese ships changed course and left the area with patrol boats.

A spokesman for the Philippine Coast Guard said he strictly followed international agreements when confronting Chinese vessels. This is to ensure that we follow a peaceful rule-based approach to protect the sovereignty of the Philippines, while preserving the ideals of democratic ideals of the country.

The incident occurred on the same day as the fifth anniversary of the PCA Awards in favor of Manila, but the Philippine government did not announce standoff news until a week later.

On July 21, Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States would be amended rather than terminated before President Duterte’s State of the Union address. The agreement allows US troops to be stationed in the Philippines and provide host countries with military interaction, ocean security, maritime territory awareness and capacity building, and economic benefits.

The Philippines has long been an ally of the United States. However, President Rodrigo Duterte, who took office in 2016, contacted the CCP for the first time and changed the foreign policy of his predecessor Benigno Aquino III.

July 26, Duterute performs the last of the nation speech, repeated that it is not reluctant to war with the Chinese Communist Party On territorial disputes in the South China Sea, called the Xi Jinping as a “good friend”. Regarding the PCA’s 2016 arbitration, the President of the Philippines said there was no arbitration because he did not believe the document would bind the CCP. He asked his compatriots: “Do you want a war with China? Well, even on the beaches of Palawan’s coast, Chinese missiles take about 5 or 10 minutes before you take off. It will be there. “

Retired Supreme Court Judge Antonio Carpio argued against the president shortly after his speech. “War is not an option, so that’s why I went to The Hague,” he said, adding that the CCP has signed and ratified UNCLOS and cannot deny international arbitration because it did not attend. .. 2006 Convention.

“When ratifying UNCLOS, we agree in advance with future disputes under the UNCLOS Reconciliation Mechanism. China is only responsible for itself and knows it.”

Carpio pointed out that even the Chinese Communist Party does not want war, as only the Philippines has a mutual defense treaty with the United States in the South China Sea conflict.

“The last thing China wants to do is give the United States a legal excuse to intervene in the South China Sea conflict,” he said, with the Chinese Communist Party threatening with its military and economic power and the strategy working. Claimed to be.

“Because the state is being threatened and leaders like Duterte are being threatened. They are in a trap. [with] China. “

On July 12, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement on the fifth anniversary of the South China Sea arbitration, calling on the CCP and the Philippines to accept the arbitration, revealing attacks on Philippine troops and government ships. , Or an aircraft in the South China Sea triggers the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT). The treaty contains provisions that an attack on one party is considered an attack on the other party. Therefore, both countries provide assistance to each other.