^

EDITORIAL - Lack of respect makes China a pariah

(The Freeman) - November 1, 2015 - 9:00am

One newspaper just couldn't restrain itself, describing as a knockdown the ruling of the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration that it had jurisdiction over the case the Philippines has filed against Chinese claims to the South China Sea. Other newspapers were just as exuberant, calling the ruling a round victory for the Philippines. On to the next round, they all jubilantly exhorted.

The mood among many Filipinos was just as upbeat and it is not clear whether the news stories reflected the public sentiment or it was public sentiment that mirrored the news reports. Whatever it is, the fact that the UN court took cognizance of the Philippine petition underscores the validity of the Philippine position and should send the message to China that the Philippines does have a case worth hearing.

Of course China never recognized the jurisdiction of the court even long before it made the ruling. In fact, it never recognized the Philippine position. Based on these alone, it is clear China will never give up what it has already claimed as its own, a resolve that is not lost even to the court itself, which is well aware that any ruling it hands down cannot be enforced against a state unwilling to accept it.

And this is what makes any victory we might claim a victory only in the moral sense, something we cannot materially benefit from. Indeed, we can already see where this is going. In all probability, we will secure our moral victory but we will never get to recover the tiny pieces of territory that China has brazenly grabbed from us in a display of brute force awkward to behold given the loftiness of its position in this modern and civilized world.

Clearly there is a savage beast deep in the heart of China that remains untamed despite its 21st Century pretensions. This is why the best it can manage among its neighbors in the region are relationships of accommodation. Instead of deep-seated friendships, all it has are diplomatic ties that are a matter of course among nations. Shorn of these trappings, China is actually surrounded by conflicts and rivalries.

China is never comfortable anywhere it looks. It is uneasy with Russia to the north and it is uneasy with Taiwan to the east. It has conflicts with Japan to the northeast, and it has conflicts with India farther west. It has conflicts everywhere in the southeast -- with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. Its rivalry with the United States is driving it paranoid.

The majority of the world's 200 or so countries do not have this problem. That is because these countries are modern societies, not necessarily in their level of economic, educational and political development, but in their acceptance and willingness to trust in the innate goodness of the human race. It is this trust that develops and inculcates respect among modern states. China is incapable of such respect, and thus gets nothing in return.

CHINA CONFLICTS COURT MALAYSIA AND BRUNEI NEVER PHILIPPINES RULING SOUTH CHINA SEA UNITED NATIONS PERMANENT COURT OF ARBITRATION UNITED STATES VICTORY
Philstar
  • Latest
Latest
Latest
Recommended
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with