features from SOBRIETY for the PHILIPPINES:
(Without Fear or Favor)
Friday, April 20, 2012
The standoff with China over the Scarborough shoal and the competing claims over the Spratly Islands have been all over the news recently. The Aquino government has been blowing hot and cold in its dealings with China. Its only consistent position is allowing the US to increase its military presence in the country and justifying a more frequent conduct of US-RP Balikatan joint military exercises.
It is ironical that while the Aquino government is asserting the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity over these oil-rich areas, it is surrendering the same to the US.
In the interest of presenting a different and progressive perspective, Bulatlat is publishing in full the reply of Prof. Jose Maria Sison of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle on the questions being raised by Renato Reyes of Bayan regarding this contentious issue.
Reply to Questions from Renato Reyes, BAYAN Secretary General
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
April 20, 2012
Renato Reyes (RR): I hope that you can answer briefly the following questions re China, Philippines and the assertion of national sovereignty. We have an all-leaders meeting this Saturday and we are trying to get views on how to deal with the issue of China’s incursions on Philippine territory, the Aquino regime’s response and US intervention.
Jose Maria Sison (JMS): First of all, as a matter of principle, the Filipino people must assert their national sovereignty and Philippine territorial integrity over the issue of Spratlys (Kalayaan) and other islands, reefs and shoals which are well within the 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone (EEZ) defined by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). According to the Philippine reactionary government, it submitted on time to the UN the necessary scientific and technical grounds to define the Philippine 200-mile EEZ under UNCLOS.
The UNCLOS is the strongest legal basis for the definition of the territorial sea and EEZ of the Philippine archipelago. Also, archaeological evidence shows that the islands, reefs and shoals at issue have been used by inhabitants of what is now the Philippines since prehistoric times. But the Philippine reactionary government muddles the issue and undermines its own position by making historical claims that date back only to a few decades agowhen pseudo-admiral Cloma made formal claims to the Kalayaan group of islands.
Chinese historical claims since ancient times amount to an absurdity as this would be like Italy claiming as its sovereign possession all areas previously occupied by the Roman empire. The name China Sea was invented by European cartographers and should not lead anyone to think that the entire sea belongs to China. In the same vein, neither does the entire Indian Ocean belong to India..... MORE
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