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Thorny sovereignty issue

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Thorny sovereignty issue

By Carol Pagaduan-Araullo
Streetwise | BusinessWorld
It is quite easy for the Aquino government to arouse the people’s anger at China bullying in the South China Sea considering what appear to be clear encroachments on Philippine territorial waters and its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Couple this with the sense of frustration that the Aquino administration and the Armed Forces of the Philippines are undeniably militarily powerless in this recent confrontation over Chinese fishing poachers protected by no less than two Chinese warships, the inclination to run towards Uncle Sam and sic US might and firepower to make China turn tail appeals to many pundits, whether professional or of the barbershop variety.

And thoroughly misses the point. There is more to the conflict in the Spratlys and Scarborough Shoal than an assertion of sovereignty arising from rival territorial claims.

This is not the first time tension rose over alleged incursions in the Kalayaan Islands which are also being claimed by the Vietnamese and Malaysians aside from the Chinese. But while the news would hog the headlines for a few days, not without a large dose of sensationalism about the risk of a military confrontation, there had never been such open clashes between Philippine and rival armed forces, with each side eventually stepping down, resorting instead to diplomatic protests until invariably the controversy simmers down and fades away..... MORE


URL: http://bulatlat.com/main/2012/04/20/thorny-sovereignty-issue/


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