The Double Talk of China
on the Issue of West Philippine Sea
…and America’s late entry into the scene
by Apolinario Villalobos
Going straight to the point, the problem with China as regards the issue on the West Philippine Sea is the tendency of her leaders to “double talk”. Simply put, they talk with fingers crossed behind them. They say that the Philippines is the one doing massive reclamations in that disputed body of water, when all that such poor third-world country has done is try to keep a barnacle-covered ship afloat as a “station” on one of the reefs within her territory, for her haggard coast guards, as well as, keep alive, the spirit of a handful of her citizens on Kalayaan island. The whole world can see this, in contrast to what the giant Asian country is doing such as destroying the habitats of marine life, as they are topped with soil to become fake islands to accommodate airstrips and heavy bunkers for warfare armaments.
To the United States, they offered the use of the soon-to-be finished facilities which the Chinese say are intended for “rescue” operations and protection of the said area. But to the neighboring small Asian countries, their “territory” is “off limits”. The Chinese leaders say that they are respecting the area as a free international maritime highway, yet, they challenge the boats and planes that sail and fly by. They are also saying that they are not disturbing the peace that had been prevailing over the area, yet, they are naïve to the fact that since they started their unrestrained reclamation activities, such peace became a word of the past.
What made the matter worse is America’s getting into the picture…this late. Had this self-proclaimed “protector” of democracy listened to the clamor of the Philippines very long time ago, while reclamations have not been initiated yet, negotiations could have been possible. But with the project almost finished which the Chinese leaders declare to the world as akin to a simple road project, how can they swallow their pride and give in to the demands of a country which is thousands of miles away, and not even among their rival claimants?
Despite the word war and exchanges of threats between the two “giants”, the world still hope that a compromise can be made among claimant nations, but for sure, China will find ways so that the United States shall be kept out of the picture…a humiliating “request” for the so-called protector of world democracy and freedom, and home to the “sedate” United Nations Headquarters…that has done nothing about the issue.