Everybody's business

THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez (The Freeman) - June 9, 2014 - 12:00am

It's none of your business. This is China's response to the country's concern over reports that China has started reclaiming land on areas still under dispute. If you follow China's thinking and rationale, in that they own practically the whole ocean in the southeast Asian region, then whatever they do there is indeed nobody's business. Whether it is reclaiming land, building structures or poaching every living thing in the ocean, it is of nobody's business.  In fact, it is currently drawing the ire of two countries, Vietnam, and the Philippines, by putting up structures and commencing exploration of the ocean floor. Vietnam has been more obvious in its disapproval of the Chinese actions. They vented their anger at known or perceived Chinese businesses, they have sent several vessels to the Paracel Islands where an oil rig has been set up by the Chinese. Reports have it that Chinese and Vietnamese boats are ramming each other, with one Vietnamese boat already sunk. It's practically a notch below armed conflict.

The country on the other hand has refused to go the way of the Vietnamese, instead elevating all claims and complaints to the UN arbitration council. We will not be drawn into a standoff again, like what happened in 2012. We are going the legal and proper route and channels, in the hope that the UN, and the world recognize our actions.

But while we try to play the good guy, China continues to be belligerent, doing whatever they want. They will not even participate in the arbitration hearings where the council has ordered China to show proof of their ridiculous claim. And while that speaks volumes about the veracity of their claim, they couldn't care less what the UN, or the world thinks. So the question is, in the event of a favorable decision for the country, will China even recognize or respect it, and will the UN enforce it?

This whole issue just gets more and more complicated as time goes by. While we wait for the UN to come up with a decision, China will keep on doing what it wants. China's offensive actions are not limited to the southeast region, but to the northeast as well, testing the patience of Japan, not caring that it is making enemies left and right, or north and south.

Analysts have said that there isn't anything anyone can do about China's actions in the West Philippine Sea, and whatever ocean it claims to own. And that China itself, or world opinion are the only ones that can sway them otherwise. It is fair to assume that China will not lose face and do the former. So it is really up to the whole world to inform China that gone are the days when powerful countries can just claim territories.

What they are currently doing is, in fact, everybody's business.

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