The falsehood of China’s position

OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide - The Freeman

We would like to believe that in international relations, there is a right of equality among states. According to Dr. Jovito Salonga, former Philippine senator and respected authority in International Law, states are equal whatever their differences as to size of territory, population, wealth or degree of culture and civilization. Although Salonga hastens to write in his book Public International Law that the equality referred to is called “legal equality” which means that all States are, in law, equal. It is not quite correct to say that all States have equal rights because this principle merely means that all States are equally entitled to have whatever rights they have upheld by the law with the weakness of a State being no excuse in law for disregarding its legal rights. Whew! I am not sure if present Philippine senators like Robin Padilla, Lito Lapid and Bong Revilla understand what Salonga had written.

There is a caveat that Salonga said. Unfortunately for militarily weak states like the Philippines, it is in legalese lingo that is true by necessity or by virtue of its logical form. Legal Equality, in all of its profundity, is not the same as political equality in its accepted verbal grandeur. “Weak States cannot be compared to the Great Powers in terms of influence, political prestige and resources. It would be sheer naïveté to think of the Philippines xxx” as a political equal of Communist China.

Salonga does not anymore walk among us. Sadly, he has not lived long enough to see what how great a power has Communist China become. We can however expand on his observation of how Great Powers work vis-a-vis weak states. It is presently observable that the Peoples Republic of China, now a world super power, has shamelessly twisted all truths in its international relations affecting us. What is more lamentable is that it is at liberty to use carefully crafted diplomatic jargon in order to white wash the truth and still face the world with unflinching boorishness. Inversely, a country like ours, with no demonstrable military might, can only shout our voice harsh about the truth yet accomplish no measurable success.

Indeed, this is what communist China is doing. Just read what Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Mao Ning recently said: “The Philippines refused to tow away the warship illegally grounded there.” What a shameless twisting of facts! We are talking about the Ayungin Shoal. The permanent International Arbitral Tribunal has ruled that under the UNCLOS, the Ayungin Shoal lies within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Philippines. That is the truth. Yet, read again how China twisted this truth. Why should the Philippines tow away its warship that is anchored on Philippine territory? The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman lies, bare faced, when he said that the Philippine warship is illegally grounded there. The Ayungin Shoal is part of our country’s exclusive economic zone. The Philippine government can do what it wants done in this part of the West Philippine Sea to the complete exclusion of China.

Despite that the international arbitral tribunal debunked its nine-dash line, China continues to backstop with superior military force its pretentious claim of ownership of the West Philippine Sea. Our government should not allow China to perverse the truth. Let our weakness in military strength be compensated by our indomitable resolve to adopt whatever available remedial measures there are.

vuukle comment


  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

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!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with