With China’s growing military might, its intransigence and hegemonistic ambitions in the world, to include the whole of South China Seas (SCS), an on-going territorial conflict in the region that is beyond our capacity to protect what is ours and the safety of some of our citizens is becoming very much a reality that puts us, as a nation, at a disadvantage.
As much as it concerns the Philippines, in particular, for China military vessel’s continued presence, showing arrogance and force in preventing Filipino fishermen from fishing in what is considered the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) as prescribed by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the US, in general, is expressing also grave concern over China’s aggressiveness and continued military buildup in the region.
Unfortunately, China has shown no respect for UNCLOS, putting its historical claim of the SCS over and above any other conventions on the law of the sea.
Of course, this does not sit well with the US, which has national interests in freedom of navigation, open access to Asia’s maritime commons and respect for international law in the SCS.
Reasonably, it does not sit well for the region is very important to America’s economic, strategic and security interests.
It is in this regard that talks are going on between the US and Philippine Defense Departments for the use of the bases for US troops, ships, aircraft and other equipment to pass through.
This development should be taken positively by all Filipinos for our own good.
We must remember that we are no longer in Andres Bonifacio’s era where we have to wield bladed weapons against the aggressors in our fight for independence.
Even when we are now in the 21st century, the more that we are incapable and inutile to defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity because we have remained poor and powerless against other smaller, yet much developed nations, but more so against giant China whose economy and military mights are seen to be catching up with the US.
Let us not pretend we can do it on our own standing up against China because rhetoric/words alone won’t stop Chinese bullying and aggression on its track.
We may possess the courage and heroism that the Filipinos are known for, but what good will martyrdom do if from the start you already know that all will only be futile exercise.
We have known the Americans for a long time now – the good, the bad and the ugly.
But, I would rather have this type of ally helping us contain peace, order and stability in the SCS and assuring us of our safety and security from some evil forces who violates human rights with impunity, has no compunction of their misdeeds towards a sovereign nation and who continue to arrogantly pursue to satiate their wicked desires, than have it the other way around.
Somehow, it gives us peace of mind.