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Banlaoi Philippines China Security Relations

Banlaoi Philippines China Security Relations

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Philippines-China Security

Relations: Current Issues and
Emerging Concerns

Rommel C. Banlaoi


























Yuchengco Center
De La Salle University Manila
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
ii


© Copyright 2012
by the Yuchengco Center


Printed in the Philippines. All rights reserved.


No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a
retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means,
electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording,
or any information storage and retrieval system, without the
permission in writing from the Center.








ISBN: 978-971-94089-5-6


Please address all inquiries to:


Yuchengco Center
2
nd
Floor, Don Enrique T. Yuchengco Hall
De La Salle University
2401 Taft Avenue, Manila, 1004
Philippines


email: yuchengcocenter@dlsu.edu.ph
fax: (632) 525-3457
url://yc.dlsu.edu.ph

Cover photo source: Voice of America at http://blogs.voanews.com/state-department-
news/2012/07/27/is-china-overplaying-its-hand-in-the-south-china-sea/
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
iii


Preface

Since the publication of my book, Security Aspects of
Philippines-China Relations: Bilateral Issues and Concerns in
the Age of Global Terrorism, in 2007, my scholarly activities
on Philippines-China security relations have not stopped.
Within a period of more than five years (from 2007 to early
2012), I felt the strong need to revise and update my book in
order to accommodate current developments in Philippines-
China security relations.
Because of some technical issues associated with the
revision of my 2007 book published by Rex Book Store
International, I decided to just publish another book based on
conference papers, academic essays, and opinion pieces I wrote
from 2007 to the first half of 2012. This effort resulted in the
publication of Philippines-China Security Relations: Current
Issues and Emerging Concerns.
Like my 2007 piece, this present book critically
examines the security aspects of Philippines-China relations.
My 2007 book discussed how the global campaign against
terrorism provided various opportunities for both countries to
sustain their diplomatic friendship and enhance their defense
cooperation. The publication of that book coincided with the
32
nd
anniversary of the establishment of Philippines-China
relations. Two years before that, the Philippines and China
celebrated the “golden years” of their bilateral ties in 2005 on
the occasion of their 30
th
anniversary. But the renewed security
tensions in the South China Sea that started in 2007 created
various difficulties for Philippines-China security relations to
really move forward.
This present book is published to describe current
issues and emerging concerns in Philippines-China security
relations. The publication of this book coincides with the
commemoration of the 37
th
anniversary of the establishment of
Philippines-China relations, an odd occasion in the light of the
standoff between the two countries in the Scarborough Shoal.
Electronic version of this book has been published by
the Center for Intelligence and National Security Studies
(CINSS) of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and
Terrorism Research (PIPVTR). This print version is updated to
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.


make the book more current. The author is very grateful to the
Yuchengco Center, through its President, Dr. Trinidad Osteria,
for publishing this print version.
Readers can consider the publication of this present
book as a sequel to my 2007 book. It is my fervent hope to see
this book adding value to the existing literature on Philippines-
China security relations.

































Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
·


Table of Contents

Page
Preface iii
List of Tables vii
List of Figures vii
List of Abbreviations viii
1 International Relations Theory in
China: Evolution and Current State
1
2 A Philippine Perspective on China-
US-ASEAN Security Relations
11
3 Philippine Policy in the South China
Sea: Implications for Philippines-
China Security Relations
22
4 The Taiwan Factor in Philippines-
China Security Relations
36
5 Philippine Foreign and Security
Policy Towards China in the Post-
9/11 World: Current Realities and
Future Prospects
46
6 Renewed Tensions and Continuing
Maritime Security Dilemma in the
South China Sea: Current and
Emerging Concerns on Philippines-
China Security Relations
62
7 Philippine Solution to the South
China Sea Problem: More Problems,
Less Solutions in Philippines-China
Security Relations?
83
8 Standoff in the Scarborough Shoal: A
Difficult Challenge in Philippines-
China Security Relations
100
9 The Philippines and U.S. Pivot to
Asia: Implications for Philippines-
China Security Relations

108
References 114
Annex 1 Brief Essays on Philippines-China
Security Relations and the South
130
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
·i

China Sea Disputes
A West Philippines Sea: What’s in a
Name?
130
B West Philippines Sea: An American
Lake?
132
C PH Problematic Protest vs China
Over Spratlys
134
D A Mischief Reef in the Making 137
E Anarchy in the South China Sea 140
F Emerging Cold War in the Spratlys 143
G Risks of War in the Spratlys 145
H Clash of Sovereignties in the Spratlys 147
I Word War in the South China Sea: A
Diplomatic Crisis in Philippines-
China Relations
152
J PHL, China Row on Spratlys: Time
for Good Manners and Right Conduct
154
K What’s Needed: More Dialogues
Among Spratlys Claimants
157
L Peace and Stability: Way Ahead in
Spratlys

160
Annex 2 List of Bilateral Agreements between
the Philippines and China
162
Postscript 175
About the Author 178
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
·ii


List of Tables

Table 1 Oil and Natural Gas Potential in the South
China Sea
Table 2 Filipinos workers in Taiwan and the
undocumented (runaways, overstayers, etc.),
November 2006
Table 3 Breakdown of Filipino Workers in Taiwan by
Area of Destination, November 2006
Table 4 Presently Occupied Areas in the Spratlys and
Estimated Number of Troops

List of Figures

Figure 1 South China Sea
Figure 2 Overlapping Claims in the South China Sea
Figure 3 Overlapping Baselines in the South China Sea
Figure 4 Overlapping Fishing Activities in the South
China Sea
Figure 5 Navigational Activities in the South China Sea
Figure 6 Lagos Island or Spratly Island (Vietnam)
Figure 7 Pugad Island or Southwest Cay (Vietnam)
Figure 8 Pentley Reef (Vietnam)
Figure 9 Pag-Asa Island (Philippines)
Figure 10 Structure in the Rizal Reef (Philippines)
Figure 11 ST 57 Docked at the Ayungin Shoal
(Philippines)
Figure 12 Mischief Reef (China)
Figure 13 Johnson Reef (China)
Figure 14 Swallow Reef (Malaysia)
Figure 15 Ardasier Reef (Malaysia)
Figure 16 Itu-Aba (Taiwan)
Figure 17 Oil and Natural Gas Fields in the South China
Sea
Figure 18 Joint Cooperation Area


Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
·iii


List of Abbreviations

ADMM+ ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting
Plus
AFP Armed Forces of the Philippines
APEC Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation
ARF ASEAN Regional Forum
ASEAN Association of Southeast Asian Nations
ASG Abu Sayyaf Group
BFAR Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
CAFIU Chinese Association for International
Understanding
CARAT Cooperation Afloat Readiness Training
CBM confidence building measure
CCPIT China Council for the Promotion of
International Trade
CEO Chief Executive Officer
CFAU China Foreign Affairs University
CMR cooperative management regime
CNOOC China National Offshore Oil Company
COC Code of Conduct
COMELEC The Commission on Elections
CPRF Carlos P. Romulo Foundation
DFA Department of Foreign Affairs
DND Department of National Defense
DOC Declaration on the Conduct
DOST Department of Science and Technology
DTI Department of Trade and Industry
EAS East Asia Summit
EDA Excess Defense Articles
EEZ Exclusive Economic Zone
EU European Union
FMF Foreign Military Financing
FSI Foreign Service Institute
GDOFA Guandong Ocean Fisheries Administration
GWOT global war on terrorism
ICT Information and Communications
Technology
IMF International Monetary Fund
IR International Relations
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
ix

IRT International Relations Theories
ISEAS Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
JCA Joint Cooperation Areas
JI Jemaah Islamiyah
JMSU Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking
JSOTF-P Joint Special Operations Task Force-
Philippines
KIG Kalayaan Island Group
LME Large Marine Ecosystem
MBA Military Bases Agreement
MDT Mutual Defense Treaty
MECO Manila Economic and Cultural Office
MILF Moro Islamic Liberation Front
MLSA Mutual Logistic Support Agreement
MNLF Moro National Liberation Front
MNNA Major Non-NATO Ally
MOFCOM Ministry of Commerce
MRA Mutual Recognition of Academic Degrees in
Higher Education
NATO North Atlantic Treaty Organization
NDCP National Defense College of the Philippines
NFPC Navotas Fish Port Complex
NPA New People’s Army
OEF-P Operation Enduring Freedom-
Philippines
OFWs Overseas Filipino Workers
OPVs Offshore Patrol Vessels
OSTEX Operation Sea Training Exercise
PAGASA Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical
and Astronomical Services
Administration
PCCI Philippine Chamber of Commerce and
Industry
PCYPL Philippine Council of Young Political
Leaders
PD Presidential Decree
PDR Philippine Defense Reform
PETROVIETNAM Vietnam Oil and Gas Corporation
PLA People’s Liberation Army
PLAN People’s Liberation Army Navy
PN Philippine Navy
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
x

PNOC Philippine National Oil Company
PNP Philippine National Police
PROC/PRC People's Republic of China
RBN Royal Brunei Navy
RMN The Royal Malaysian Navy
ROC Republic of China
RP Republic of the Philippines
RSIM Rajah Solaiman Islamic Movement
SBMA Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority
SCS South China Sea
SEATO Southeast Asian Treaty Organization
SLOC Sea Lines of Communications
TAC Treaty of Amity and Cooperation
Tcf Total cubic feet
TECO Taipei Economic and Cultural Office
WB World Bank



















Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
1


CHAPTER ONE

International Relations Theory in China:
Evolution and Current State

Introduction

In the context of China’s rise as a global power, it is
imperative to study its current International Relations (IR).
This will give a sense of how it views itself in the global
community. Understanding how it grapples with international
relations at the theoretical level is essential at this juncture
where it plays a pivotal role in shaping the current trends and
future directions of international relations.
This chapter examines the development and current
state of IR in China in the context of its rapid rise as a global
power. It intends to describe the implications of the whole
gamut of issues for analyzing Philippines-China security
relations.

Development of IR Theory in China

Though China is proud of its more than 3,000 years of
civilization, IR as a field of study came much later than in the
West.
1

It is interesting to note that as early as 1926, a book on
China’s international relations had been published by a foreign
observer in Shanghai.
2
In 1955, the People’s University of
China established the Foreign Affairs College, which in 2005
became the Foreign Affairs University. It is the only university
in China affiliated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
3
The
China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU) offers not only
foreign language courses but also those international relations,
diplomacy, international economics and business, international

1
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2
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;´bavgbai: Covverciat Pre.., 1·2ó).
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Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
2

law, and foreign policy. It offers bachelor’s, master’s and
doctoral degrees in International Relations, International
Politics, Diplomacy, International Economy, English Language
and Literature, Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics,
etc.
4
Since its establishment, the CFAU has published
numerous textbooks such as History of Contemporary
International Relations, History of Modern Diplomacy of
China, Diplomatic Documentation, Deng Xiaoping’s Art of
Diplomacy, An Introduction to Diplomacy, China and the USA,
China’s Diplomacy: A New Presentation, US China Policy and
the Issue of Taiwan, Studies of Legal Issues on Multimodal
Transportation of International Goods, Fourteen Lessons on
Communication, and Economic Diplomacy.
5
The CFAU also
has the Institute of International Relations, which focuses on
the IR theory “with Chinese characteristics.”
The 1960s saw the establishment of the international
relations department in key universities in China aside from the
People’s University. In 1963, for example, Peking University
and Fudan University set up their own Department of
International Politics. During the same period, ten research
institutes on international relations were built under the control
and supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the New
China News Agency.
6
These research institutes published
textbooks and journals on international relations and some even
translated the works of Western international relations theorists
like Nicholas Spykman, Henry Kissinger, George Kennan and
Herman Kahn, among others.
7
The People’s Press and the
World Affairs Press have a long-standing reputation of
publishing IR-related books in China. However, no IR theory
was taught in China in the 1960s to the 1970s at the height of
the Cold War. During the prime of ideological propaganda of
the Cold War, IR studies in China were interpretations of
Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and Stalinism. University IR
courses were offered “just to explain Marxist theories of

1
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¨
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Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
3

imperialism colonialism, national liberation movements, and
war and peace.”
8

It was in the 1980s when China started thinking about
IR theoretically with the primordial objective of highlighting
Chinese characteristics. The landmark event was the holding in
1985 of the conference of the China Society of the History of
International Relations, culminating to the publication of the
book entitled Essays on the History of International Relations.
Thereafter, Chinese universities began to offer IR subjects,
which consequently encouraged schools to publish IR
textbooks annotated by Gerald Chan.
9
Though the 1989
Tiananmen Square Incident posed a challenge to IR theory-
building in China because of the negative international image it
projected as a result of what the Chinese government called
“Western propaganda,” theoretical studies on IR continued.
The development of IR theory cannot be understood
without a deep understanding of the evolution of IR studies in
the country. The major milestone in the growth of IR studies
was in 1979 when Chairman Deng Xiaoping enunciated the
policy of opening People’s Republic of China (PRC) to the
world. It is, therefore, not a surprise why IR theory-building
began in the 1980s as a result of the open policy of Chairman
Deng. The end of the cold war in 1989 accelerated IR theory-
building with the enthusiasm of students specializing in
international studies. Professor Wang Jisi of the Institute of
American Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
categorized the evolution of IR studies in China in the post-
cold war era into three periods:
10

First Period (1989-1991). This was characterized by the
security uncertainties unleashed by the end of the cold war and
the international ramifications of the Tiananmen Incident. The
period also saw the rapid economic growth of Japan and the
phenomenal economic integration of Western Europe. Having
these events as a backdrop, Chinese scholars found it difficult
to engage in IR theorizing as most of them were preoccupied in

º
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·
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10
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Covaitiov. ;. Re¡ort to tbe íora íovvaatiov) at
btt¡:,,rrr.ircbiva.org,ev,·ve/e,ivcbiva,gai/vavg,gai/vavg.a.¡.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
4

observing current and emerging international events. Their
enthusiasm on IR theories never waned as seen through the
translations of the works of well-known IR theorists like
Kenneth Waltz, Stanley Hoffman, Robert Gilpin and Joseph
Nye, Jr.
11

Second Period (1992-1998). Wang Jisi (1995)
described this period as the start of “fascinating growth of IR
scholarship in China,” which coincided with the promotion by
the Chinese government of cordial and friendly relations with
key countries in the Asia Pacific and Africa.
12
Though Asia
was disturbed by the harsh impact of the 1997 Asian financial
crisis aggravated by Taiwan’s growing pro-independence
sentiments, IR studies “became increasingly consolidated,
diversified and pluralized.”
13
This led to intense scholarly
discussions on various IR topics like peace and development,
multipolarization, economic globalization, strategic
partnership, international cooperation, international political
economy, security outlook, human rights and international
intervention, the clash of civilizations, democratic peace, and
comprehensive national strength.
14

Third Period (1999 – present). The third period
describes the current state of IR studies in China where
scholars discovered new unfamiliar areas in IR. According to
Wang Jisi, the Kosovo War in 1999 and the US spy plane-
Chinese jet air collision in 2001 further increased the
enthusiasm of Chinese scholars on IR issues not seriously
discussed before. These issues are ethnic relations and tensions,
the impact of religion on world politics, comparative party
politics, crisis management, domestic sources of foreign policy,
human rights diplomacy, the role of the media in IR, mutual
images and perceptions between nations, and other topics like
good governance, non-governmental organizations, new
peoples’ organizations and civil society.
15

Though Wang claimed that Chinese scholars have a
tradition of attaching great importance to IR theories, he

11
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12
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11
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1:
íbia., ¡¡. º··.
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
5

underscored that IR theorizing in China is different from IR
theorizing in the West in terms of content, discourse and
approach. Thus, Chinese scholars attempted to develop IR
theories with “Chinese characteristics.” Professor Liang
Shoude of Peking University was the leading IR scholar who
argued for the development of IR theory with Chinese
characteristics to challenge other IR theories that were
constructed and developed to “serve the Western countries.”
As mentioned previously, Professor Song Xinning, a Professor
of International Relations at the Renmin University of China
(also known as the People’s University of China), also
advanced the idea of building an IR theory with Chinese
characteristics. Professor Yiwei Wang of Fudan University
stressed the end of IR theories of the West and the rise of the
Chinese school.
16
Yiwei Wang summarized his arguments in
the following words:
International Relations (IR) is both a
science and an art: The unity of object and
subject. Traditional International Relations
Theories (IRT) have probed the laws of IR, in an
attempt to become the universal science. IRT
developed into a class doctrine that defends the
legitimacy of Western International System as a
result of proceeding from the reality of IR while
neglecting its evolving process, and overlooking
the meaning of art and the presence of multi-
international systems. In other words, IRT have
turned into what Karl Marx might have deemed
as the Vulgar International Relations Theories
(VIRT). Thus, the end of international relations
theories. This phenomenon will be negated by
the so-called Chinese School, which will set the
sustainable and harmonious relations among
nations, between state and non-state actors, and
within states and non-state actors (in one word
“global-society”) in five life-forces of economy,
politics, military, culture and religion.
Consequently, this will bring about a real


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Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
6

regression of nationality and compatible
development of various international systems.
17


Current State of IR Theory in China

According to Song Xinning (2001), there are three
major groups of IR scholars in China: a) Researchers in
institutes under various government agencies, who focus more
on policy-oriented studies to justify government policies and
provide policy reports to the government; b) University
professors and researchers who concentrate more on theoretical
and general IR studies; and, c) Researchers in the Chinese
Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing and various academies
of social sciences at the provincial level, who conduct both
activities of the first two groups.
Despite the efforts of these three groups, Xinning
lamented that IR theory in China remains backward compared
to IR theory-building in North America and Europe. He,
however, expressed hopes for progress because of increasing
interests in IR theory in China both by Chinese and foreign
scholars. Since the 1980s, IR as a field of scientific inquiry has
grown dramatically amidst ideological constraints and political
inhibitions.
18
The 1990s saw the publication of some excellent
books on IR theory. In 1998, Wang Yizhou published a book,
The Discipline of International Politics in the West: History
and Theory
19
while Zi Zhongyun published the Explorations of
Theories of International Politics in China.
20
In 1999, Lu Yi,
Gu Guanfu, Yu Zhengliang, and Fu Yaozu edited a volume
entitled Research on International Relations Theories in
China’s New Era.
21
These publications strongly demonstrate
that intense discussions on IR theory have been taking place in
China. Professor Alastair Ian Johnson of Harvard University


íbia.

Yovg;iv Zbavg, ívtervatiovat Retatiov. 1beor, iv Cbiva 1oaa,: 1be ´tate of tbe
íieta, 1be Cbiva ]ovrvat, ^o. 1¨ ;]avvar, 2002), ¡. 101.

!avg Yi¸bov, 1be Di.ci¡tive of ívtervatiovat Potitic. iv tbe !e.t: íi.tor, ava 1beor,
;´bavgbai: ´bavgbai Revviv Cbvbav.be, 1··º).
20
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´bavgbai Revviv Cbvbav.be, 1··º).
21
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Retatiov. 1beorie. iv Cbiva`. ^er íra ;ßei;ivg: ´bi.bi Cbvbav.be, 1···).
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
¯

observed that Chinese IRT has gone through three stages or
three styles of IR theorizing in China: traditional, realist and
social scientific stages.
22

Traditional stage or style, which became predominant
in the 1960s and 1970s, views theory not as an explanatory
device but more of a guiding philosophy. As a guiding
philosophy, “it was politically important to get this ‘theory’
right.”
23
It means that “the correctness of theory rested in its
consistency with the political interests of the state as defined by
the CCP. Theory was both positivist in the sense that it rested
on understanding objective laws of historical development (the
legacy of historical materialism in PRC scholarship), but it was
also normative in the sense that what was often cast as an
objective process was, in fact, desired by China’s leaders.”
24

The realist stage or style, which became popular in the
1980s and early 1990s, saw some Chinese scholars abandoning
the traditional style of IR theorizing with the waning of
ideological influence of Marxism. During this stage, some
Chinese scholars, particularly the younger ones, were attracted
to realist schools advanced by Hans Morgenthau and Henry
Kissinger. These younger IR Chinese scholars expressed their
dissatisfaction over the idea of an IR theory with Chinese
characteristics arguing that this is “backward” and it isolates
Chinese scholars from Western IR discourses.
25
This
theoretical debate among Chinese scholars has positive effects
in terms of acquiring a “higher level of awareness of the meta-
theoretical issues behind social sciences, and the need to think
more systematically about ontology what is researchable) and
epistemology (how to research it).”
26

The social scientific stage refers to events of the mid
1990s when some Chinese scholars became more conscious
about “understanding and situating Chinese research in
relationship to US and Western IR theory.”
27
There are three
major sources of this “turn to theory.” The first was a group of

22
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at btt¡:,,rrr.ircbiva.org,ev,·ve/e,ivcbiva,gai/vavg,gai/vavg.a.¡.

íbia., ¡. ²².
21
íbia.
2:
íbia., ¡. ²1.

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Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
8

Chinese scholars who returned to China after acquiring IR
education in the US and Western Europe. These returning
scholars who were required to teach IR in China “brought with
them their specific training in theory and methods which they
passed on to their students.”
28
The second was the translation
into Chinese major classic IR works of Western theorists like
Robert Gilpin, Kenneth Waltz, Peter Katzenstein, Robert
Keohane and Joseph Nye. The third was the entrepreneurship
of a key group of younger IR scholars in Beijing and Shanghai
who took over the editing of IR journals and book series.
29

According to Johnson, though there is the current
growth of IR theory consciousness in China, explicit theorizing
is still relatively new in the PRC. In fact, in IR studies in
China, there are more discussions on current international
events than on IR theory.

Is There an IR Theory With Chinese Characteristics?

Though at present there is an increasing interest on IR
theory in China, which encourages other scholars to develop an
IR theory with Chinese characteristics, the state remains
nascent or embryonic. Even in the more specific area of
foreign policy, the scientific theory and method are still new.
30

William A. Callahan (2001) expressed doubts about the
existence of IR theory with Chinese characteristics.
31
Professor
Qin Yaqing contended that China is yet to develop a Chinese
IRT. He identified three reasons why there had been no
Chinese IRT, to wit:
There is not yet a Chinese international
relations theory (IRT) mainly due to three factors: the
unconsciousness of ‘international-ness’ in the
traditional Chinese worldview, the dominance of the
Western IR discourse in the Chinese academic


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.vvirer.ar, of tbe íairbav/ Cevter for ía.t ..iav Re.earcb, Decevber 200:).
²1
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ßvitaivg ívtervatiovat Retatiov. 1beor, ritb Cbive.e Cbaracteri.tic., ]ovrvat of
Covtev¡orar, Cbiva, rot. 10, vo. 2ó ;2001), ¡¡. ¨:·ºº.
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
9

community, and the absence of a consistent theoretical
core in the Chinese IR research. A Chinese IRT is likely
and even inevitable to emerge along with the great
economic and social transformation that China has
been experiencing and by exploring the essence of the
Chinese intellectual tradition. The Tianxia worldview
and the Tributary System in the two millennia of
China's history, the radical thinking and revolutions in
the nineteenth and twentieth century, and reform and
opening-up since 1978 are the three milestones of
China's ideational and practical development and
therefore could provide rich nutrition for a Chinese
IRT. In addition, a Chinese IRT is likely to develop
around the core problematic of China's identity vis-à-
vis international society, a century-long puzzle for the
Chinese and the world alike.
32

One of the major reasons why IR theory remains
undeveloped in China is that there is no fully developed IR
research institutions in the PRC that are academically
independent from state institutions.
33
Most IR research
institutions are regulated by the government whose principal
interests are not in theories but in strategies and tactics. IR-
related research works and studies are heavily influenced by
the state’s demand to justify its present political ideology and
strengthen its current foreign policy. According to Gustaaf
Geeraerts and Men Jing (2001), “if social scientists pay much
attention to what the government requires, they will not be
scientists but rather aides and staff to government officials.”
34

This argument was reinforced by Wang Jisi (1995) who
underscored that without academic independence in the field of
IR, there can be no scientific theory.
35
IR theories developed by
Western scholars will continue to be used by Chinese
counterparts to analyze PRC foreign policy strategy and its

²2
Qiv Yaqivg, !b, i. tbere vo Cbive.e ívtervatiovat Retatiov. 1beor,. at
rrr.ircbiva.org,ev,¡af,q,q0¨a.¡af.
²²
Cv.taaf Ceeraert. ava Mev ]ivg, ívtervatiovat Retatiov. 1beor, iv Cbiva, Ctobat
´ociet,, rot. 1:, vo. ² ;2001).
²1
íbia.
²:
!avg ]i.i, ívtervatiovat Retatiov. 1beor, ava tbe ´tva, of Cbive.e íoreigv Potic,: .
Cbive.e Per.¡ectire`` , iv 1bova. !. Robiv.ov ava Daria ´bavbavgb ;ea..), Cbive.e
íoreigv Potic,: 1beor, ava Practice ;O·fora: Ctarevaov Pre.., 1··:), ¡. :¨.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
10

place in the international community.
36
Even China’s security
practice will still be analyzed within the prism of Western
theories.
37
With the rise of China as global superpower, some
scholars argued that China can present a challenge to existing
international relations theory.
38


Summary and Conclusion

Though China can be proud of its 3,000 years of
civilization with excellent statecraft on foreign relations, IR
theory remains undeveloped. It was only in the 1950s when
serious academic interests on IR began. IR as a field of study
became more popular in 1979 during its economic opening.
The end of the cold further accelerated the interests of scholars
on IR studies. Yet, IR theorizing continues to be nascent
because of limited academic independence of IR research
institutions. The government is more interested in strategy
development and foreign policy-making rather than on theory-
building. Without greater academic independence in the field
of IR, scholars will find it difficult to develop their own IR
theory.











²ó
´ee for e·av¡te .rer, Cota.teiv, .v ívergivg Cbiva`. ívergivg Crava ´trateg,: .
^eo·ßi.varccbiav 1vrv. iv C. ]obv í/evberr, ava Micbaet Ma.tavavvo ;ea.),
ívtervatiovat Retatiov. 1beor, ava tbe ..ia Pacific ;^er Yor/: Cotvvbia |virer.it,
Pre.., 200²), ¡¡. :¨·10ó.
²¨
´ee !v `ivbo, Cbiva: ´ecvrit, Practice of a Moaervi¸ivg ava ..cevaivg Porer iv
Mvtbiab .taga¡¡a ;ea), ..iav ´ecvrit, Practice: Materiat ava íaeatiovat ívftvevce.
;´tavaora, Catiforvia: ´tavafora |virer.it, Pre.., 1··º), ¡¡. 11:·1:ó.
²º
]erev, Pattiet, 1be Ri.e of Cbiva a. a Cbattevge to ívtervatiovat Retatiov. 1beor,
;Pa¡er ¡re.evtea at tbe ivtervatiovat covferevce of tbe ívtervatiovat ´tvaie. ...ociatiov,
íovotvtv, íarai, Marcb 200:).
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
11


CHAPTER TWO

A Philippine Perspective on China-US-ASEAN Security
Relations
39


Introduction

To maintain regional stability and promote regional
security, the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN)
has been constructively engaging all major powers in the Asia
Pacific. This has been manifested in ASEAN’s dynamic
dialogue partnerships with Australia, Canada, China, India,
Japan, Russia, and the United States. ASEAN also has dialogue
partnerships with the Republic of Korea, Pakistan and some
regional and international organizations.
Among its dialogue partners, ASEAN relations with
China and the US are considered to be the most challenging
because of the prevailing perception that the security of the
Asia Pacific region, as well as of Southeast Asia, rests
enormously upon the status of China-US relations.
40
The two
major powers are also seriously competing for influence in
Southeast Asia,
41
which test the ability of ASEAN to deal with
the rising dragon and the American eagle.
42
Being a founder
member of ASEAN, the Philippines also confronts the
formidable challenge on how to engage the rising China
without creating unnecessary discomforts with its American
security ally.

39
ßa.ea ov a ¡a¡er ¡re.evtea at tbe ívtervatiovat Covferevce, ^er Cbavge. iv .vericav
íoreigv Potic, 1orara ía.t ..ia ava ´ovtbea.t ..ia ava ´ivo·.vericav Retatiov.
orgavi¸ea b, tbe Cevter for .vericav ´tvaie., of ]ivav |virer.it,, Cvavg¸bov, Cbiva ov
1¨·1º ´e¡tevber 2011.
10
íret,v Cob, ív ´earcb of ´vitabte Po.itiov. iv tbe ..ia Pacific: ^egotiativg tbe |´·
Cbiva Retatiov.bi¡ ava Regiovat ´ecvrit,, íD´´ !or/ivg Pa¡er ´erie., vo. :1
;´e¡tevber 200²), ¡. 1.
11
Katbr,v í. Cavtbier, ¨Cbiva a. Peer Cov¡etitor. 1reva. iv ^vctear !ea¡ov., ´¡ace,
ava ívforvatiov !arfare,¨ .ir !ar Cottege Ma·rett Pa¡er ^o. 1º ;]vt, 1···).

12
Qvivc, Cro.b,, 1be íagte ava tbe Dragov: Cbiva`. ícovovic ..cevt ;^er ]er.e,:
]obv !ite, ava ´ov., ívc., 200º). íor bi.toricat bac/grovva of tbe retatiov., .ee Dov
íar.ov, 1be íagte ava tbe Dragov: 1be íi.tor, of |.´.·Cbiva Retatiov. ;Catiforvia:
Crorett, 1·º:).
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
12

This chapter presents a Philippine perspective of China-
US-ASEAN relations in the post-9/11 world. It starts with the
discussion of the background of China-US-ASEAN relations
during the cold war followed by an analysis on the status of
these trilateral relations after 9/11. It then examines the
implications of China-US-ASEAN relations on Philippine
foreign and security policy towards China.

Background on China-US-ASEAN Relations

Since its establishment in 1967, ASEAN foreign policy
has always been influenced by the behaviors of major
powers.
43
Southeast Asia became the fulcrum of major power
rivalries in the Asia Pacific. During the cold war, the founding
members ASEAN sided with the Western powers to contain
the spread of communism in the region.
Among the Western powers, the US became the most
important partner of ASEAN in preventing communist
expansionism in Southeast Asia. In fact, "support for and
cooperation with ASEAN is a linchpin of American Pacific
Policy" during the cold war in order to protect ASEAN states
from falling to communist rule.
44
The US also entered into
military alliances with Thailand and the Philippines to support
American regional security strategy in Southeast Asia. It even
attempted to form a NATO-type security organization in
Southeast Asia in 1955 through the Southeast Asian Treaty
Organization (SEATO). SEATO met its untimely demise
when it was dissolved in 1977. Nonetheless, the US remained
committed to security in Southeast Asia through its existing
military alliance with Thailand and the Philippines.
During the cold war, ASEAN viewed China as an
ideological enemy.
45
Beijing’s support to the communist
insurgency movements in Southeast Asia created negative
feelings and hostility towards China among the non-communist


^. Cave.eav, .´í.^`. Retatiov. ritb Ma;or í·tervat Porer., Covtev¡orar,
´ovtbea.t ..ia, rot. 22, vo. 2 ;.vgv.t 2000), ¡. 2:º.
11
Kevvetb ]. Covro,, Cbattevge. to tbe |´·.´í.^ Qva.i·.ttiavce, 1be íeritage
íovvaatiov ..iav ´tvaie. ßac/grovvaer, vo. ó0 ;21 .¡rit 1·º¨).
1:
íor av e·cettevt bi.toricat bac/grovva of Cbiva·.´í.^ retatiov., .ee íeo
´vr,aaivata, Cbiva ava tbe ´ovtbea.t ..iav ´tate. ;´ivga¡ore: ^atiovat |virer.it, of
´ivga¡ore, 1·º:).
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
13

Southeast Asian states.
46
In fact, none of ASEAN founding
members had normal relations with China in the 1960s.
47

ASEAN-China security relations improved in the late 1970s
when Southeast Asian countries normalized their relations with
the People’s Republic of China (PROC). China’s security
relations with ASEAN improved further in the 1980s when
Beijing rallied behind ASEAN in opposing Vietnamese
occupation of Cambodia.
48

With the end of the cold war, the ideological conflict
among the major powers subsided. The interests of major
powers on ASEAN persisted, as they re-defined their interests
in the region. ASEAN, on the other hand, deliberately pursued
a post-cold war strategy of engaging all major powers though
bilateral and multilateral means. A scholar called this strategy
“omni-enmeshment,” which refers to the process of engaging
an actor or entity to draw it into deep involvement into a
system or community, enveloping it in a web of sustained
exchanges and relationships, with the eventual aim of
integration.”
49

Meanwhile, the post-cold war period increased tensions
between the US and China. With the disintegration of the
former Soviet Union, the US was freed of a former archrival.
American attention was then focused on China considered by
many Western security analysts as a great threat to the security
of the world.
50
Though China resisted this perception, the
Tiananmen Incident in 1989 created a negative image of China
in the world. American security analysts viewed China as the


.vitar .cbar,a, ´ee/ivg ´ecvrit, iv tbe Dragov`. ´baaor: Cbiva ava ´ovtbea.t
..ia iv tbe ívergivg ..iav Oraer, íD´´ !or/ivg Pa¡er ´erie., vo. 11 ;Marcb 200²),
¡. ².

.tice D. ßa, Cbiva ava .´í.^: Revarigativg Retatiov. for a 21
.t
Cevtvr, ..ia,
..iav ´vrre,, rot. 1², vo. 1 ;200²), ¡. ó21.

íbia.

íret,v Cob, Creat Porer. ava ´ovtbea.t ..iav Regiovat ´ecvrit, ´trategie.: Ovvi·
ívve.bvevt, ßatavcivg ava íierarcbicat Oraer, íD´´ !or/ivg Pa¡er ´erie., vo. º1
;]vt, 200:), ¡. º.
:0
´ee ßitt Cert., 1be Cbiva 1breat ;!a.bivgtov DC: Regver,, 2000). .t.o .ee íerbert
Yee ava íav ´tore, ;ea.), 1be Cbiva 1breat: Perce¡tiov., M,tb. ava Reatit, ;^er Yor/:
RovtteageCvr¸ov, 2002).
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
14

“great American foreign policy problem in the 21
st
century”
51

and a “potential peer competitor to the U.S. in world affairs.”
52

News reports and experts’ analysis demonizing China
dominated Western literature after 1989. The EP-3 incident in
April 2001 exacerbated the negative view about China.
This “aura of tragedy” surrounding US-China security
relations in the post-cold war era resonated strongly in
ASEAN.
53
Though ASEAN carried an ambivalent view of
China after the cold war and was aware of American
preeminent power in the Asia Pacific, the fragile China-US
security relations was a source of security concern in Southeast
Asia.
54

China’s assertive attitude in the South China Sea since
the 1990s left a negative effect in China-ASEAN relations.
China recovered from this when it played a constructive role in
the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Since then, China’s image in
ASEAN dramatically improved while American image
deteriorated since it left Clark and Subic in 1992.
55
China’s
negative image in Southeast Asia resurfaced in 2011 when
PRC displayed anew its assertive attitude in the South China
Sea.
Though the US continued to be the most important
security partner of ASEAN (particularly of the founding
members), China’s effective “charm offensive”
56
of Southeast
Asia marked by American “neglect” of the region in the late
1990s, made ASEAN relations with US and China tilting in

:1
]o.e¡b Crieco, Cbiva ava .vericav iv a ^er !orta Potit, Carot,v !. Pvv¡bre,
;ea) 1be Ri.e of Cbiva iv ..ia: ´ecvrit, ív¡ticatiov. ;Carti.te, P.: ´trategic ´tvaie.
ív.titvte, 2002) P. 21.
:2
Marriv C. Ott, ´ovtbea.t ..ia ava tbe |vitea ´tate.: Potic, !itbovt ´trateg,,
P.C^í1 ^er.tetter, ^o. 21 ;2º Ma, 1··). .t.o at
·tt¡:,,rrr,c.i..org,¡acfor,¡ac21··.btvt>.

Devv, Ro,, Ri.ivg Cbiva ava |.´. ívtere.t.: íveritabte r.. Covtivgevt ía¸ara.,` Orbi.
1ot. 1¨, ^o. 1 , 200², ¡. 1²¨.
:1
íarr, íaraivg, . íragite Retatiov.bi¡, ;!a.bivgtov D.C.: 1be ßroo/ivg. ív.titvtiov,
1··2).
::
|.´. ívftvevce iv ..ia |vaer ßv.b !avivg, .gevce íravce Pre..e, ;2· .vgv.t
2001).

Kvrtavt¸ic/, Cbiva`. Cbarv Offev.ire iv ´ovtbea.t ..ia, Cvrrevt íi.tor,,
´e¡tevber 200ó.
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
15

favor of the latter.
57
It was argued that US relations with
ASEAN became problematic in the 1990s because “ASEAN’s
interests and concerns have never been a major consideration
in the formulation of US policy towards the Asia-Pacific
region.”
58


China-US-ASEAN Relations after 9/11

The 9/11 event served as a significant milestone in
China-US-ASEAN relations. After a decade of neglect, the US
declared Southeast Asia as the “second front” in the global war
on terrorism. This occurred amidst China’s strengthening
relationship with ASEAN after 9/11.
While the US reinvigorated its security alliance with the
Philippines, strengthened military relations with Thailand,
improved defense relations with Indonesia and Malaysia and
enhanced strategic partnership with Singapore in the aftermath
of 9/11 using its “hard power,” China also improved its
bilateral ties with Southeast Asian states and deepened its
dialogue partnership with ASEAN using its “soft power”
diplomacy.
59
This was reinforced by a new policy of
multilateralism which created a benign image of Beijing in
ASEAN.
60
On the other hand, American use of “hard power”
aggravated by a strategy of unilateralism isolated itself from
Southeast Asian affairs.
61

To assure ASEAN that China’s international behavior
was peaceful and constructive, it signed in 2002 the
Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea


Ri¸at ´v/va, |´·´ovtbea.t ..ia Retatiov. .fter tbe Cri.i.: 1be ´ecvrit,
Divev.iov ;ßac/grovva Pa¡er Pre¡area for 1be ..ia íovvaatiov`. !or/.bo¡ ov
.verica`. Rote iv ..ia ßavg/o/, 22·21 Marcb 2000).

íbia.

1bova. ívv, !a,ve M. Morri.ov, ava ßrvce 1avgbv, Cbiva`. ´oft Porer iv
´ovtbea.t ..ia, CR´ Re¡ort for Covgre.. ;1 ]avvar, 200º). .t.o .ee íric 1eo Cbeor,
Cbiva`. Ri.ivg ´oft Porer iv ´ovtbea.t ..ia, Pac ^et 1·., ;² Ma, 2001).
ó0
Kvi/ Cbevg·Cbree, Mvttitaterati.v iv Cbiva´. .´í.^ Potic,: ít. írotvtiov,
Cbaracteri.tic., ava ..¡iratiov, Covtev¡orar, ´ovtbea.t ..ia, rot. 2¨, ^o. 1 ;.¡rit
200:), ¡¡. 102·122.
ó1
Mitter, ßev;aviv. ¨íara Porer ava ´oft Porer: tbe íffect. of ·,11 ov |´ íegevov,
iv tbe ívtervatiovat ´,.tev¨ ;Pa¡er ¡re.evtea at tbe avvvat veetivg of tbe .vericav
Potiticat ´cievce ...ociatiov, Marriott, íoer. Pbitaaet¡bia, ava tbe Pevv.,travia
Covrevtiov Cevter, Pbitaaet¡bia, P., 200º).
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
16

(DOC) and acceded in 2003 to the ASEAN Treaty of Amity
and Cooperation (TAC). The US upholds its neutral position
on the South China Sea disputes and has not ratified the TAC.
Though the war on terrorism in Southeast Asia brought
renewed US attention to ASEAN, Washington failed to match
Beijing’s increasing influence in Southeast Asia. There is even
the view that the US was so preoccupied in Iraq and
Afghanistan that it exhibited a strategic neglect of Southeast
Asia.
While China was busy forging economic ties with
ASEAN countries using its soft power, the US was using its
hard power, hunting for so-called terrorist personalities in
Southeast Asia associated with Al-Qaeda, Jemaah Islamiyah
(JI) and the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). This shift in China-
ASEAN relations affected not only American interests but also
the US status in the region.
62

The post-9/11 era was a period of China’s tactical gain
in ASEAN vis a vis the US.
63
China’s soft power re-emergence
in Southeast Asia resulted in a dramatic change of ASEAN
states’ attitude towards the PROC – they are now “less-biased,
less anti-communist and less anti-Beijing.”
64
On the other
hand, American assertiveness to use its hard power to achieve
political and strategic ends in the global war on terrorism has
created dissent and anti-Americanism in Southeast Asia.
65

Though ASEAN needs American presence to balance China’s
growing influence in the region, it detests American
predominance. ASEAN also expressed disappointment that the
US after 9/11 has become less consensual and more coercive.
66

This is in stark contrast with China, which has become more
consultative, cooperative and socializing in the aftermath of

ó2
ßrvce 1avgbv, Cbiva·´ovtbea.t ..ia Retatiov.: 1reva., í..ve., ava ív¡ticatiov. for
tbe |vitea ´tate., CR´ Re¡ort for Covgre.. ;º íebrvar, 200:).
ó²
Mobav Mati/, Dragov ov 1errori.v: ...e..ivg Cbiva`. 1acticat Caiv. ava ´trategic
ío..e. Po.t ´e¡tevber 11 ;Carti.te, P.: ´trategic ´tvaie. ív.titvte, 2002).
ó1
]obavve. Drag.bae/ ´cbviat, Cbiva`. ¨.oft ¡orer¨ re·evergevce iv ´ovtbea.t ..ia
;Pa¡er ¡re.evtea at tbe ivavgvrat ivtervatiovat ror/.bo¡ Cbiva !orta` at ..ia Re.earcb
Cevtre, Co¡evbagev ßv.ive.. ´cboot, ov 10·11 Marcb 200ó), ¡. ²º.
ó:
Mar/ ßee.ov, Re.i.tivg begevov,: 1be .ovrce. ava tivit. of avti·.vericavi.v iv
´ovtbea.t ..ia ;Pa¡er for tbe ror/.bo¡ ov Ctobati¸atiov, Covftict ava Potiticat Regive.
iv ía.t ava ´ovtbea.t ..ia, írevavtte, !., 1:·1ó .vgv.t, 200²).
óó
íbia., ¡. 1².
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.


9/11.
67
Now, ASEAN no longer views China as a threat.
Though the rise of China poses security challenges in
Southeast Asia, ASEAN regards Beijing as a partner in
regional security.
68
This new reality in China-US-ASEAN
relations endangered American primacy in Southeast Asia.
69


Implications for Philippine Foreign and Security Policy
Towards China in the Post-9/11 World

The growing China-ASEAN ties unleashed profound
effects on Philippine policy towards China. While 9/11
resulted in the reinvigoration of Philippine-American security
relations,
70
it also led to the enhancement of Philippines-China
defense and military cooperation.
71
Since the establishment of
Philippines-China diplomatic ties in 1975, both countries have
gone a long way in their relations. After 9/11, Philippines-
China relations became comprehensive. In 2005, in fact, the
Philippines and China celebrated the 30
th
anniversary of the
establishment of Philippines-China diplomatic relations.
According to Chinese President Hu Jintao who visited the
Philippines that year, the 30
th
anniversary represented the
“golden-age” of Philippines-China relations. That year was
also a landmark period in both countries’ bilateral relations as

ó¨
.tice ßa, !bo´. ´ociati¸ivg !bov. Cov¡te· ívgagevevt iv ´ivo·.´í.^
Retatiov., 1be Pacific Rerier, rot. 1·, vo. 2, ;]vve 200ó), ¡¡. 1:¨·1¨·.
óº
Rovvet C. ßavtaoi, ´ovtbea.t ..iav Per.¡ectire. ov tbe Ri.e of Cbiva: Regiovat
´ecvrit, .fter ·,11, Paraveter., rot ²², vo. 2 ;´vvver 200²), ¡¡. ·º·10¨.
ó·
Dava R. Dittov ava ]obv ]. 1/aci/, ]r., Cbiva ava .´í.^: ívaavgerea
.vericav Privac, iv ´ovtbea.t ..ia, 1be íeritage íovvaatiov, ßac/grovvaer, vo.
1ººó ;1· October 200:).,
¨0
Paoto Pa.icotav, ¨´trevgtbevivg |´·Pbiti¡¡ive .ttiavce for íigbtivg 1errori.v¨,
íeritage íovvaatiov í·ecvtire Mevoravavv, vo. º1: ;1² Ma, 2002). .t.o .ee Rovvet
C. ßavtaoi, 1be Rote of Pbiti¡¡ive·.vericav Retatiov. iv tbe Ctobat Cav¡aigv .gaiv.t
1errori.v: ív¡ticatiov. for Regiovat ´ecvrit,, Covtev¡orar, ´ovtbea.t ..ia, rot. 21, vo.
2 ;.vgv.t 2002), ¡¡. 2·1·²12; Revato Crv¸ ae Ca.tro, 1be Reritati¸ea Pbiti¡¡ive·|´
´ecvrit, Retatiov.: . Cbo.t frov tbe Cota !ar or av .ttiavce for tbe 21
.t
Cevtvr,,
..iav ´vrre,, rot. 1², vo. ó ;^orevber,Decevber 200²), ¡¡. ·¨1··ºº; ava, ^oet M.
Moraaa, Pbiti¡¡ive·.vericav ´ecvrit, Retatiov. .fter 11 ´e¡tevber: í·¡torivg tbe
Mvtvatit, of ívtere.t. iv tbe íigbt .gaiv.t ívtervatiovat 1errori.v, ´ovtbea.t ..iav
.ffair. ;]avvar, 200²), ¡¡. 22º·2²º.
¨1
Rovvet C. ßavtaoi, Defev.e ava Mititar, Coo¡eratiov ßetreev tbe Pbiti¡¡ive. ava
Cbiva: ßroaaevivg ßitaterat 1ie. iv tbe Po.t··,11 íra ;1ai¡ei: Cevter for tbe
.aravcevevt of Potic, ´tvaie., ]vve 200¨).
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
18

they launched the First Philippines-China Defense and Security
Dialogue in May 2005.
72
The Philippines even played the
China card when Manila’s relations with Washington cooled
off in 2004 as a result of the withdrawal of Filipino troops in
Iraq.
73
Conservative analysts in Washington regretted the fact
that China’s relations with the Philippines improved amidst the
crisis in Philippines-American relations, to wit:
China has developed and refined a policy of
helping regimes in trouble by offering considerable
political and economic support. This will become true
for the Philippines, as China moves away from
threatening rhetoric on territorial disputes in the South
China Sea and employs a new approach. Beijing
offered Manila $3 million for the establishment of a
Chinese language-training program for the Philippine
military, donated engineering equipment, and invited
the Philippines to participate in naval exercises.
Moreover, in the midst of stern U.S. criticism of the
withdrawal of the Philippine medical team from Iraq,
President Arroyo signed a confidential protocol with
China on the exploitation of South China Sea
resources. With her presidency in dire straits, Arroyo
will gladly accept more largesse from Beijing.
74

To understand the post-9/11 Philippine foreign and
security policy towards China, there is also a need to
comprehend ASEAN policy in the post-9/11 era. The
improvement of China’s security relations with ASEAN
provided a conducive regional environment for the Philippines
to improve its foreign and security policy towards China.
ASEAN’s benign attitude towards China in the post-9/11 era
created a kindly attitude of the Philippines towards China, even
if Manila is known in ASEAN as Pentagon’s long-standing
security ally in Southeast Asia. China-US-ASEAN political

¨2
1bi. argvvevt i. ba.ea target, iv Rovvet C. ßavtaoi, ´ecvrit, ..¡ect. of Pbiti¡¡ive.·
Cbiva Retatiov.: ßitaterat í..ve. ava Covcerv. iv tbe .ge of Ctobat 1errori.v ;Qve¸ov
Cit,: Re· ßoo/ ´tore ívtervatiovat, 200¨), ¡. 1.
¨²
Met, Cabattero .vtbov,, ße,ova tbe íraq ío.tage Cri.i.: Re·...e..ivg |´·
Pbiti¡¡ive. Retatiov., íD´´ Covvevtarie. ;2º ]vt, 2001).
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Dava Dittov, Cri.i. iv tbe Pbiti¡¡ive.: !bat aoe. it veav for tbe |.´.. 1be íeritage
íovvaatiov !eb Mevo, vo. ¨·· ;1º ]vt, 200:).
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
19

and security dynamics greatly informed Philippine foreign and
security policy towards China in the post-9/11 world.
In the midst of the strategic uncertainty of the security
environment in the post-cold-war/ post-9/11 era, ASEAN faced
the dilemma of balancing its relations with China and the US.
Rather than pursuing a balancing act in traditional realist terms,
ASEAN, instead, adopted a strategy of what scholars of
international relations called “soft-balancing.”
75
This concept
departs from “hard balancing,” which requires the formation of
military alliances. According to the traditional realist
conception of hard balancing, ASEAN should side with the
weak to balance the strong. However, “ASEAN did not act
this way; it rejected the strategy of balancing against the
stronger power because it saw the stronger power (the United
States) as less of a threat than the weaker but rising power
(China or Japan).”
76
There is also view of hard balancing,
which contends that states form or join military alliances to
counter-check the rise of a new power.
77
In the case of Asia,
this new power may refer to China. Instead of “hard balancing”
China, ASEAN states were soft-balancing China by welcoming
American presence but at the same time engaging the new
power. One school of international relations calls this approach
as “bandwagoning” that is “crouching under” rather than
“containing” the new power.
78
Bandwagoning is a form of
acceptance of “a subordinate role to the dominant power in
exchange for material or ideational gain.”
79
It is argued that

¨:
Yvev íoovg Kbovg, Co¡ivg ritb ´trategic |vcertaivt,: 1be Rote of ív.titvtiov. ava ´oft
ßatavcivg iv ´ovtbea.t ..ia`. Po.t·Cota !ar ´trateg, ;Pa¡er ¡re¡area for tbe íD´´·
íarrara !or/.bo¡ ov ´ovtbea.t ..iav ívtervatiovat Retatiov. ava ´ecvrit,, Marcb 1:,
2001, !eatberbeaa Cevter for ívtervatiovat .ffair., íarrara |virer.it,). .t.o iv
Cba¡ter : of .ttev Cart.ov, Peter Kat¸ev.teiv, ava ].]. ´vb ;ea..) Retbiv/ivg ´ecvrit, iv
ía.t ..ia: íaevtit,, Porer, ava ífficievc, ;´tavfora |virer.it, Pre.., ·,2001).
¨ó
íbia., ¡. 1º.
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´te¡bev M. !att, .ttiavce íorvatiov ava tbe ßatavce of !orta Porer, ívtervatiovat
´ecvrit, rot. ·, vo. 1 ;´¡rivg 1·º:), ¡¡. ²·1².
¨º
Kvi/ Cbevg·Cbree, Ri.ivg Dragov, Crovcbivg 1iger.. Cov¡arivg tbe íoreigv Potic,
Re.¡ov.e. of Mata,.ia ava ´ivga¡ore 1orara a Re·evergivg Cbiva, 1··0·200:,
ßibtio..ia, rot. ², vo. 1 ;]avvar, 200º), ¡. 1.
¨·
íbia.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
20

instead of balancing, ASEAN is, in fact, bandwagoning with
China.
80

There is the view, however, that balancing and
bandwagoning “may not fully account for the range of
strategies state actors adopt to preserve and promote their
interests.”
81
To accurately explain ASEAN relations with
China and the US, scholars of Southeast Asian security affairs
adopted the concept of “hedging strategy.” It is defined as “a
purposeful act in which a state seeks to ensure its long term
interests by placing its policy bets on multiple counteracting
options designed to offset risks embedded in the international
system.”
82
In the context of China-ASEAN relations, hedging
has five components: economic-pragmatism, binding
engagement, limited-bandwagoning, dominance-denial and
indirect-balancing.
83

ASEAN strategy of hedging with China and the United
States also explains Philippine foreign and security policy
towards the two major powers. Instead of strictly balancing or
bandwagoning with the two powers, the Philippines is hedging.
Though the Philippines comprehensively engages China, it also
maintains its security alliance with the US. Like ASEAN, the
Philippines is relating with China and the US to get the best of
both worlds. More of China in the Philippines does not mean
less of the United States. As rightly underscored by then
Philippine foreign affairs Secretary Teofisto Guingona, “In our
relations with an old friend, China, and with a perennial ally,
the United States, we Filipinos should be guided by one sure
canon: national interests.”
84




º0
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´ovtbea.t ..ia, rot. 2¨, vo. 2, ;.vgv.t 200:), ¡¡. ²0:·²22.
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200²), ¡. 1.
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Re.¡ov.e. of Mata,.ia ava ´ivga¡ore 1orara a Re·evergivg Cbiva, 1··0·200:, o¡. cit.
º²
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í..ve. ava ícovovic ív¡ticatiov. ;íectvre aetirerea avrivg tbe 1
tb
í1R·RPDí1
íectvre ´erie. ov ² ]vt, 2002), ¡. 2.

Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
21


Summary and Conclusion

ASEAN adopted a strategy of constructively engaging
all major powers in the Asia Pacific. Among the great powers,
ASEAN relations with China and the US are considered to be
the most challenging.
During the cold war, ASEAN sided with US to contain
the spread of communism. ASEAN had animosity China at
that time because of its support to communist insurgency. After
the cold war, however, China’s relations with ASEAN
dramatically improved. The US, on the other hand,
strategically neglected Southeast Asia. After 9/11, China-
ASEAN relations improved further, despite American
declaration of Southeast Asia as its second front in the global
war on terrorism.
In the post-9/11 era, ASEAN adopted a hedging
strategy towards China and the US. Consistent with the
ASEAN strategy, the Philippines also pursued a foreign and
security policy towards China and the US on the basis of
hedging. ASEAN’s hedging strategy informs Philippine
foreign and security policy towards China.


















Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
22


CHAPTER THREE

Philippine Policy in the South China Sea: Implications for
Philippines-China Security Relations
85


Introduction

In March 2008, the Philippines and China faced a
serious controversy concerning the implementation of Joint
Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) in the South China Sea.
The JMSU, signed in Manila on 14 March 2005, is a tripartite
agreement among the petroleum companies of China, the
Philippines and Vietnam that requires the three countries to
conduct joint marine seismic explorations of the designated
area in the Spratly Island. Both houses of the Philippine
Congress urged for an investigation of the deal to examine the
culpability of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for possible
violation of the Constitution, which is, under the Philippine
law, a grave offense that can lead to impeachment.
The JMSU raised many collateral issues that have
bearings on Philippine position in the South China Sea and on
the status of Philippines-China security relations. The
controversy demonstrated that the South China Sea dispute
remains a lingering challenge in Philippines-China relations in
the post-9/11 world. This challenge not only affects
Philippines-China security relations but it also has impact on
regional security.
This chapter re-examines Philippine foreign and
security policy on the South China Sea in the light of the JMSU
scandal. It describes the strategic significance of the South
China Sea in Philippine foreign and security policy and
analyzes its implications for Philippines-China security
relations. It concludes with a discussion on how to manage the
dispute in the South China through what many analysts call
“cooperative management regime.”

85
Pa¡er ba.ea ov a tectvre aetirerea at tbe ^atiovat Defev.e |virer.it, of 1airav ov 1:
.¡rit 2010 ava at tbe ívtervatiovat Maritive ´ecvrit, íorvv at Keetvvg, 1airav ov 1ó
.¡rit 2010.
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
23

The South China Sea in Philippine Foreign and Security
Policy
86


There is an avalanche of literature on the South China
Sea, one of the largest bodies of waters in the world after the
five major oceans.
87
Located in the Pacific, it encompasses
areas from the Malacca Strait to the Taiwan Strait measuring
around 3,500,000 km.² The South China Sea is composed of
four major groups of islands, namely the Pratas Islands, the
Paracel Islands, Macclesfield Bank, and the Spratly Islands.
88

Ownership of these islands has been contested by several
claimants for various reasons including among others historic
rights, discovery, effective occupation and sovereign
jurisdiction provided for by the United Nations Convention on
the Law of the SEA (UNCLOS). Since the South China Sea is
a strategic waterways surrounded by rich marine resources as
well as oil and gas potential, the area is marred by international
diplomatic disputes that, if not effectively managed, can
escalate into military conflicts.
89
The South China Sea Dispute
has been creating a security anxiety for being one of the
flashpoints of conflict in the Asia Pacific.
90

Among these groups of islands, the most controversial
is the Spratlys having been claimed in whole by China and
Taiwan and in part by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and
Vietnam. Indonesia, though strictly not a claimant state, is an
important stakeholder in the on-going conflict in the Spratlys
because of its overlapping Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)
with other claimants, particularly its Gas Field in Natuna Island
being contested by China and Taiwan.

ºó
1bi. .ectiov i. cvttea target, frov Rovvet C. ßavtaoi, Pbiti¡¡ive Defev.e Potic,
Per.¡ectire. ov tbe ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea ava tbe Ri.e of Cbiva iv bi. ´ecvrit, ..¡ect. of
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva Retatiov.: ßitaterat í..ve. ava Covcerv. iv tbe .ge of Ctobat 1errori.v
;Qve¸ov: Re· ßoo/ ´tore ívtervatiovat, 200¨), Cba¡ter :.
º¨
í·av¡te. are Mar/ ]. 1atevcia, Cbiva ava tbe ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea Di.¡vte., .aet¡bi
Pa¡er ^o. 2·º ;^er Yor/: O·fora |virer.it, Pre.., 1··:); Daviet D¸vre/, 1be
´¡ratt, í.tava. Di.¡vte. ;Dvrbav: ívtervatiovat ßovvaarie. Re.earcb |vi, 1··ó).
ºº
´ee .v ívtroavctiov to tbe ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea at
btt¡:,,rv.vtbv.eav.tr,.ovtb.ea,evgti.b.ivae·1.btv.
º·
Rat¡b .. Co..a, ¨´ecvrit, ív¡ticatiov. of Covftict iv tbe ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea: í·¡torivg
Potevtiat 1rigger. of Covftict¨, . Pacific íorvv C´í´ ´¡eciat Re¡ort ¨, Pac^et
^er.tetter =1ó. ;.¡rit 1¨, 1··º).
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ív ^ivg, íta.b¡oivt ´¡ratt,. ;´ivga¡ore: Dot¡biv 1race Pre.. Pte íta, 1··:).
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
24

The Philippines is claiming parts of the Spratlys that belong
to what it calls the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG). The KIG lies
in the Western section of the Spratlys. It is composed of 53
islands, islets, reefs, shoals, cays, rocks, and atolls with an area
of 64,976 square miles. The biggest island in the KIG is Pag-
asa (Hope), more internationally known as Thi Tu Island. The
Philippines has also occupied the following islands:
• Patag -Flat Island (Feixin Dao)
• Lawak -Nanshan Island (Mahuan Dao)
• Likas -West York Island (Xiyue Dao)
• Panata -Lankiam Cay (Shuanghuang Shazhou)
• Kota -Loaita Island (Nanyue Dao)
• Rizal Reef -Commodore Reef (Siling Jiao)
The Philippine government laid its claim in the South
China Sea in 1947, a year after the Philippines gained its
independence from the United States. During that time, the
Philippine government described the Spratlys as the “New
Southern Islands.” Then Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary
Carlos P. Garcia requested the Allied Forces to put the “New
Southern Islands” under Philippine jurisdiction for security
reasons. The Philippines asserted its sovereignty to the KIG
before the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in the
1950s. Since 1968, the Philippine military has occupied and
administered at least eight of the islands in the KIG.
On 11 June 1978, then President Ferdinand E. Marcos
signed Presidential Decree No. 1596 declaring the KIG as a
municipality of Palawan. PD 1596 reflects the Philippine
policy position on this claim when it stated that the KIG “does
not belong to any state or nation, but, by reason of history,
indispensable need, and effective occupation and control
established in accordance with international law, such areas
must not be deemed to belong and subject to the sovereignty of
the Philippines.” It has also declared the area as vital to the
security and economic survival of the Philippines. Since then,
residents of KIG have been holding local elections there to
demonstrate Philippine sovereignty in the area.
91
The
Philippines recognizes the fact that there are other claimants on

·1
íor vore ai.cv..iov, .ee .iteev ´. ßariera ;ea), 1be ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea Di.¡vte.:
Pbiti¡¡ive Per.¡ectire. ;Mavita: Pbiti¡¡ive·Cbiva Dereto¡vevt Re.ovrce Cevter ava tbe
Pbiti¡¡ive ...ociatiov for Cbive.e ´tvaie., 1··2).
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
25

the KIG. PD 1596 articulates the Philippine perspective on this
matter when it said that “while other state have laid claims to
some of these areas, their claims have lapsed by abandonment
and cannot prevail over that of the Philippines on legal,
historical, and equitable grounds.”
Another basis of Philippine claim of the KIG is the
principle of terra nullius. This principle states that the islands
being claimed by the Philippines are owned by no one and
without a sovereign authority. The discovery and occupation
of Filipino navigator Tomas Cloma of around 33 islands, cays,
sandbars and coral reefs in the South China Sea on 15 May
1956 provided the Philippines a historical justification of the
claim. The Filipino navigator collectively called these islands
and islets as Free Territory of the Freedomland. In 1956,
Cloma wrote to Garcia to inform him of the occupation of the
islands, which were described, as outside of Philippine waters
but not within the jurisdiction of any country. When the
Philippine media publicized the Philippine claim, China,
France, South Vietnam, the Netherlands and Taiwan reportedly
laid their respective claims to this group of islands.
92

Eventually, France and the Netherlands dropped their claims.
The Philippines also laid its claim on the basis of the
principle of proximity and the principle of the 200-nautical
mile EEZ embodied in the UNCLOS. The Philippines argues
that the KIG falls within the EEZ of the Philippine archipelago.
The final basis of the Philippines is the principle of the
continental shelf. The KIG lies in the continental shelf abutting
the Western boundaries of Palawan Province.
93
Filipino
geologists argued that Palawan is a mini-continent. On the
basis of geological evidences, the KIG belongs to the
continental shelf of Palawan. PD 1596 asserts this basis of
claim when it states that the KIG “is part of the continental
margin of the Philippine archipelago.”


·2
Merti¸a M. Ma/ivao, |vaer.tavaivg tbe ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea Di.¡vte, O´´ ßriefivg
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Pbiti¡¡ive., 1·ºº), ¡. 12.
·²
´ee ía,aee ß. Yorac, 1be Pbiti¡¡ive Ctaiv to tbe ´¡ratt, í.tava Crov¡ iv 1bere.a
C. Carivo ;ea), Cbiva·.´í.^ Retatiov.: Regiovat ´ecvrit, ava Coo¡eratiov ;Mavita:
Pbiti¡¡ive·Cbiva Dereto¡vevt Re.ovrce Cevter, 1··1) ava Cit ´. íervavae¸, 1be
Pbiti¡¡ive`. ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea Ctaiv. iv ßariera, ¡¡. 1º·21.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
26

Strategic Significance of the South China Sea in Philippine
Foreign and Security Policy

The South China Sea is strategically significant for the
Philippines because of the following considerations: a) The
politics of oil; b) The geopolitics of navigation; and c) The
politics of marine resources.
The Politics of Oil. It has been projected that oil
consumption in Asia will going to increase dramatically in the
next few decades. Over the next 20 years, oil consumption
among developing Asian countries will rise by 4 percent
annually.
94
If the current oil demand persists, oil consumption
in Asia will double in 2020. Though the Philippines only
represents 1.2 percent of the total oil consumption in Asia, its
oil production is extremely limited making the country heavily
dependent on oil imports.
Due to the development of new offshore deepwater oil
deposits, the Philippines experienced a modest increase in oil
production in 2007 estimated at 23 thousand barrels per day
(bbl/d).
95
The Malampaya Project is the country’s largest
natural gas development project. Nonetheless, the Philippines
continue to rely on imported oil, particularly from the Middle
East, to meet the increasing domestic demand. This situation
encourages the country to consider the South China Sea as an
alternative source of its power supply.
There are conflicting claims on the oil potential of the
South China Sea. Based on the research conducted by Chinese
experts, the total gas resources of the South China Sea can
reach 900 Tcf with an annual production of 1.8 Tcf. Other
sources indicate that the potential oil resources of the South
China Sea are 213 billion barrels. In the 1995 study conducted
by Russia's Research Institute of Geology of Foreign
Countries, there were around 6 billion barrels of oil in the
Spratly Islands, of which 70 percent would be natural gas.
96
It
had also been estimated that the hydrocarbon resource potential
of the Spratlys area fall into the very broad range of between

·1
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Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.


one and 17.7 million tons of oil.
97
Despite these competing
estimates, the South China Sea is perceived to be “oil rich,”
Chinese media described the area as the “Second Persian
Gulf.”

Table 1. Oil and Natural Gas Potential in the South China
Sea
Countries Proven Oil
Reserves
(Billion
Barrels)
Proven Gas
Reserves
(Trillion
Cubic Feet)
Oil Production
(Barrels/Day)
Gas
Production
(Billion
Cubic Feet
Brunei 1.35 14.1 145,000 340
Cambodia 0.0 0.0 0 0
China* 1 3.5 290,000 141
Indonesia* 0.2 29.7 46,000 0
Malaysia 3.9 79.8 645,000 1,300
Philippines 0.2 2.7 <1,000 0
Singapore 0.0 0.0 0 0
Taiwan <0.01 2.7 <1,000 30
Thailand 0.3 7.0 59,000 482
Viet Nam 0.6 6.0 180,000 30
Total 7.5 145.5 1,367,000 2323
Source: GlobalSecurity.Org, “Oil and Gas in the South China Sea,” 2008.
Among the claimants in the Spratlys, the Philippines
has been to be the most active in licensing exploration
activities. As stated earlier, the Malampaya Natural Gas to
Power Project is its largest venture that started to sell gas in
January 2002. The Malampaya Gas Field has proven to be a
source of 3.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas with 118 million
barrels of condensate.
Geopolitics of Navigation. The South China is one the
world’s maritime superhighways. More than 50 percent of the
world’s supertanker traffic passes through the South China Sea.
Annually, almost half of the world’s merchant fleets sail
through the South China Sea.
According to US Energy Information Administration,
“tanker traffic through the Strait of Malacca at the
southwestern end of the South China Sea is more than three
times greater than Suez Canal traffic, and well over five times

·¨
Ctire ´cbofieta, ´ea of Ptevt,: 1be Oit íactor iv tbe ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea ava Pro.¡ect. for
]oivt Dereto¡vevt ;Pa¡er ¡re¡area for tbe Pavet ov tbe ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea iv bovovr of
Profe..or Micbaet íeifer at tbe 1bira ívtervatiovat Covferevce of tbe ívro¡eav ...ociatiov
of ´ovtbea.t ..iav ´tvaie., íovaov, ó·º ´e¡tevber 2001), ¡. ¨.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
28

more than the Panama Canal.”
98
Sea Lines of Communications
(SLOCs) in the South China Sea are therefore a matter of life
and death for the Asia Pacific countries considering that around
41,000 ships use its waterways.
99
The South China Sea is a
strategic waterway as it also provides the key maritime link
between the Indian Ocean and East Asia.
100


Figure 1. South China Sea














Source: Energy Information Administration, 2008.

As an archipelagic state, the Philippines heavily
depends on the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea
for its development and survival. With a total coastline of
17,500 km, of which 1,200 km face in the South China Sea, the
Philippines has enormous interest in the maritime security of
SLOCs in the area considering that around 400,00 fishing
vessels and 20,000 other commercial vessels navigate in
Philippine waters.
101
However, almost one third of the

·º
Ro.evberg, 1be ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea at btt¡:,,rrr..ovtbcbiva.ea.org,rb,.btvt.
··
]i Cov·ivg, Rovgb !ater. iv tbe ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea: ^arigatiov í..ve. ava Covfiaevce
ßvitaivg Mea.vre., ..ia Pacific í..ve., vo. :² ;íovotvtv: ía.t !e.t Cevter, .vgv.t
2001), ¡. 2.
100
íbia.
101
.iteev ´.P. ßariera, Maritive ´ecvrit, iv ´ovtbea.t ..ia ava tbe ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea:
. 1ier frov tbe Pbiti¡¡ive. ;Pa¡er ¡re.evtea at tbe ívtervatiovat Covferevce orgavi¸ea
b, tbe ív.titvte for ´trategic ava Dereto¡vevt ´tvaie. at tbe Mavita íotet ov 1¨·1º
October 1··¨).
8outh 6h|na 8ea |s a mar|t|me
superh|ghway
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
29

country’s sea lanes are found to be “unsafe” for navigation.
Moreover, shippers and mariners do not use the Philippine sea
lanes is extensively as the Strait of Malacca and the South
China because voyages in the Philippine waters take longer.
Thus, the Philippines has to pursue its claims in the busy
waterways of the Spratlys to promote its navigational rights.
Politics of Marine Resources. Marine scientists
contend that the South China Sea is rich in marine resources. It
is described as “the center of maritime generic richness and
diversity in the world” with a macro-ecosystem characterized
by “high bio-diversity and fisheries productivity” due to the
“intrinsic connectivity of coral reefs, sea-grass, and mangrove
forests.”
102
The United Nations Atlas of the Oceans declares
the South China Sea as Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) with
the world’s highest level of bio-diversity.
103

Since the South China Sea is the locus of complex
ecological connectivities, the area is considered a “savings
bank” of all claimant states.
104
Marine production in the area
represents 12 percent of the total marine global production.
105

Culture fisheries, in fact, contribute 54 percent of worldwide
culture production.
106
Due to its rich marine endowments,
claimants, including the Philippines, are competing for control
of the fishing area of the South China Sea. The situation is
aggravated by the overlapping EEZ not only among claimants
but also other littoral states of the South China Sea.
In the study of Pakjuta Khemakorn of the United
Nations – The Nippon Foundation, “The average per capita
consumption of fish in East and Southeast Asia during the

102
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Pbiti¡¡ive ´ea., |virer.it, of tbe Pbiti¡¡ive. Marive ´cievce ív.titvte ;|v¡vbti.bea,
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btt¡:,,rrr.vv.org,De¡t.,to.,vi¡¡ov,vvvff_¡rogravve_bove,fettor._¡age.,fettor._¡a
¡er.,/beva/orv_0ó0¨_tbaitava.¡af.
101
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Defev.e Cottege of tbe Pbiti¡¡ive., vv¡vbti.bea ¡a¡er, 2001).
10:
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btt¡:,,rrr.evec..or.;¡,2000tbai·.,v¡o,¡af,re·gove..¡af.
10ó
íbia.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
30

period 2000-2003 was 26.1 kg/year. This is much higher than
the world average of 16.3 kg/year.”
107
Khemakorn also writes:
Fisheries also contribute to the employment and
income of millions of people in the region. In 1994, the
estimated numbers of full and part-time fishers engaged
in marine and inland fisheries were 8.7 million and 1.7
million, respectively. According to FAO, around 85
percent of the world's fishers are concentrated in Asia,
particularly in the SCS region, compared to 77 percent
in 1970. China has the largest number of fishers
followed by Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. In
total, at least 31 million people are engaged in the
fisheries sector (including aquaculture) and related
industries in the region.
Fisheries, therefore, play a very vital role in the
food and economic security littoral states in the South
China Sea.

The South China Disputes After 9/11: A Continuing
Challenge in Philippines-China Relations

With the politics of oil, geopolitics of navigation and
politics of marine resources, there is no doubt that the South
China Sea is a continuing security challenge in Philippines-
China relations even after 9/11 with significant impact on the
security of Southeast Asia and its neighboring regions. Though
both countries are parties to the Declaration on the Conduct of
Parties in the South China Sea, which, according to a study, is
a product of de-escalation of dispute in the area,
108
competing
claims on the ownership of the islands continue to be a source
of security anxieties not only between the Philippines and
China but also other claimants and stakeholders in the conflict.
One of the main sources of controversies involving the
Philippines and China over the issue of the South China Sea
was the JMSU scandal. Though Vietnam was part of the
JMSU, the issue primarily involved the Philippines and China

10¨
Kbeva/orv, ´v.taivabte Mavagevevt of Petagic íi.berie. iv tbe ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea
Regiov, o¡. cit., ¡¡. 2º·2·.
10º
Ratf ívver., 1be De·í.catatiov of tbe ´¡ratt, Di.¡vte iv ´ivo·´ovtbea.t ..iav
Retatiov., R´í´ !or/ivg Pa¡er ´erie. ;ó ]vve 200¨).
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
31

because of domestic political dynamics in Manila. The three
petroleum companies of the three countries signed the JMSU
on 14 March 2005 in Manila in order to undertake joint marine
seismic exploration of designated areas in the Spratlys. The
three countries regarded the JMSU as a significant step in the
implementation of the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in
the South China Sea. It is a manifestation of pragmatic
cooperation in the South China Sea in order to promote peace,
stability and development of the contested area.
The original JMSU only signed between the Philippines
and China on 1 September 2004 as part of their efforts to
enhance their bilateral relations. Vietnam protested for being
excluded in the initiative. Being a strong claimant, the
Philippines and China accommodated Vietnam after less than a
year of negotiations that led to the signing of the tripartite
agreement.
China described the JMSU as “landmark agreement”
while the Philippines called it a “historic breakthrough.”
According to President Arroyo, "This is a historic event
because it is the first, it is the breakthrough in implementing
the provisions of the code of conduct in the South China Sea
among ASEAN and China to turn the South China Sea into an
area of cooperation rather than an area of conflict." Arroyo
added, "It is not only a diplomatic breakthrough for peace and
security in the region, but also for our energy independence
program because one of the elements of this program is to
work on strategic alliances with friends and allies so that we
can have more supply of energy for the region and our
country.” A $15 million budget was allotted for the
implementation of the JMSU for a period of three years
covering 2005 to 2008.
However, the JMSU was put in the cloud of
controversy in the Philippines because of the allegation that the
Philippine government sold out parts of its territory to China in
exchange of Official Development Assistance (ODA). The
short article written by Barry Wain triggered the scandal. Wain
criticized President Arroyo for her “bungle in the South China
Sea.”
109
He argued that President Arroyo entered into “unequal

10·
ßarr, !aiv, Mavita`. ßvvgte iv tbe ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea, íar ía.terv ícovovic
Rerier, ]avvar,,íebrvar, 200º.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
32

and surreptitious” agreement with China, which lawmakers in
Manila linked with a $329 million contract with the Chinese
company, the ZTE, for a national broadband network. What
made the JMSU highly suspicious was the lack of transparency
in the agreement. The JMSU was “shrouded in secrecy” and
broke ranks with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(ASEAN), which “was dealing with China as a bloc on the
South China Sea issue.” He contended that:
President Arroyo’s agreement with China for a
joint seismic study was controversial in several
respects. By not consulting other ASEAN members
beforehand, the Philippines abandoned the collective
stance that was key to the group’s success with China
over the South China Sea. Ironically, it was Manila that
first sought a united front and rallied ASEAN to
confront China over its intrusion into Mischief Reef a
decade earlier. Sold the idea by politicians with
business links who have other deals going with the
Chinese, Ms. Arroyo did not seek the views of her
foreign ministry.
110

With the allegation that the Philippines has soften its
claim in the South China Sea in favor of a multi-million dollar
loan package from China, Congressman Roilo Golez
sponsored an inquiry into the alleged anomalous agreement and
argued that if found guilty of treason, President Arroyo should
be held accountable and be subjected to impeachment
procedure.
111
Golez said that the JMSU was illegal and
unconstitutional because it did not pass the approval of the
Philippine Congress.
Government officials contended that the JMSU did not
violate the Philippine Constitution and it was intended to ease
the country’s dependence on imported oil.
112
Local officials in
Palawan even expressed support to the JMSU arguing that this

110
íbia.
111
íarva/er ravt. .rro,o beta tiabte for avtbori¸ivg ]M´|, ´vv ´tar ;11 Marcb
200º) at
btt¡:,,rrr..vv.tar.cov.¡b,.tatic,vet,200º,0²,11,tarva/er.ravt..arro,o.beta.tiabte.f
or.avtbori¸ivg.;v.v.;11.10.a.v.).btvt.
112
Pbiti¡¡ive ívforvatiov .gevc,, ]M´| vot a treat,; aoe. vot riotate RP´. Cov.titvtiov ·
· Pere¸, Mavatac , í..ve. Movitor ;· Marcb 200º) at
btt¡:,,rrr.gor.¡b,ver.,aefavtt.a.¡.i~20²0º.
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
33

“will open the gates for us to really know the resources we
have.”
113
Moreover, the Philippine government exclaimed that
the JMSU was a tripartite commercial agreement among three
oil companies of China, the Philippines and Vietnam. The
agreement was not “a sell-out” of Philippine territory as the
JMSU did not alter the territorial claims of three parties. The
Philippine government also explained that the JMSU was an
exemplary confidence building measure (CBM) to convert the
region of conflict in the South China into a region of peace and
cooperation.
The heat on the JSMU scandal slowed down when it
expired in June 2008. The Philippine government organized a
committee headed by the Department of Foreign Affairs to
look into the possibility of extending the JMSU for mutual
benefits of all parties concerned.
114
Despite the controversy, the
Philippine government remained steadfast in its position that
the JMSU was needed to manage the South China Sea Dispute
peacefully.

Managing the South China Sea Disputes: Towards A
Cooperative Management Regime?

After 9/11, Philippines-China relations improved
tremendously based on the various agreements the two
governments entered into in various fields. Their bilateral
relations also became comprehensive when they started their
defense and security dialogue in 2005 and enthusiastically
pursued thereafter a series of exchange visits of their military
and security officials.
The JMSU scandal also demonstrated that their bilateral
security relations remain fragile and the issues of territorial
integrity in the South China Sea continue to be a sensitive issue
in their bilateral relations.
There have been many proposals to peacefully manage
the South China Sea Dispute. One proposal is through a

11²
íocat Officiat. ßac/ivg tbe ]M´| .greevevt , ´vv ´tar ;11 Marcb 200º) at
btt¡:,,rrr..vv.tar.cov.¡b,.tatic,vet,200º,0²,11,tarva/er.ravt..arro,o.beta.tiabte.f
or.avtbori¸ivg.;v.v.;11.10.a.v.).btvt.
111
Covvittee forvea to .tva, ¡o..ibte e·tev.iov of ]M´|, CM. ^er. ;2 ]vt, 200º)
at btt¡:,,rrr.gvaver..tr,.tor,,101óº²,Covvittee·forvea·to·.tva,·¡o..ibte·e·tev.iov·
of·]M´|.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
34

functionalist approach where claimants will start cooperating in
non-political aspects of the issue to “put under the rag” all
sensitive issues that trigger conflict.
115
Another is through
“joint development”, which inspires the JMSU.
116
There is
also a concept of “sharing the resources” of the South China
Sea as a peaceful option.
117

The most recent is called “cooperative management
regime” (CMR) conceptualized in 2007 in an international
conference in Singapore organized by the S. Rajaratnam
School of International Studies of Nanyang Technological
University.
118
Apparently influenced by a “Regime Theory” in
international relations, the CMR is consistent with the
functionalist option in upholding the idea of functional
cooperation to manage conflict in the South China Sea. Though
the CMR remains embryonic in its conceptualization with little
clarity and coherence, it urged claimants to engage in
cooperation in non-traditional security as part of the over-all
CBM and trust building in the South China Sea. The CMR is
deemed to be alternative “conflict-avoidance” approach for the
establishment of a regime of peace and stability in the South
China Sea.
The Philippines and China can contribute in the
development of CMR in the South China Sea by pursuing a
bilateral fisheries agreement. China and Japan entered into this
kind of agreement in 1997 while China and South Korea
followed suit in 2000. In fact, the Philippines proposed in 2007

11:
´ee Rovvet C. ßavtaoi, . ívvctiovati.t .¡¡roacb to tbe Mavagevevt of Covftict. iv
tbe ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea: O¡tiov. for Cbiva, tbe Pbiti¡¡ive. ava otber Ctaivavt., iv
´ecvrit, ..¡ect. of Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva Retatiov., o¡. cit., Cba¡ter º. .t.o iv Rovvet
ßavtaoi, 1be .´í.^ Regiovat íorvv, tbe ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea Di.¡vte., ava tbe
ívvctiovati.t O¡tiov ;Qve¸ov Cit,: ^atiovat Defev.e Cottege of tbe Pbiti¡¡ive.), ¡¡. :1·
º0.
11ó
Ctire ´cbofieta, ´ea of Ptevt,: 1be Oit íactor iv tbe ´ovtb Cbiva ava Pro.¡ect. for
]oivt Dereto¡vevt ;Pa¡er ¡re¡area for tbe Pavet ov tbe ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea iv bovovr of
Profe..or Micbaet íeifer at tbe 1bira ívtervatiovat Covferevce of tbe ívro¡eav ...ociatiov
of ´ovtbea.t ..iav ´tvaie., íovaov, ó·º ´e¡tevber 2001).
11¨
Mar/ 1atevcia, Mar/ ]ov M. 1av D,/e ava ^oet .. ívarig, ´barivg tbe
Re.ovrce. of tbe ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea, Pa¡erbac/ eaitiov. ;íaraii: |virer.it, of íaraii
Pre.., 1··¨).
11º
1be ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea: 1orara. a Coo¡eratire Mavagevevt Regive ;Covferevce Re¡ort:
R´í´, ^1|, ´ivga¡ore, 1ó·1¨ Ma, 200¨). .t.o .ee ´av ßatevav ava Ratf ívver.
;ea.), ´ecvrit, ava ívtervatiovat Potitic. iv tbe ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea: 1orara. a Coo¡eratire
Mavagevevt Regive ;^er Yor/ ava íovaov: Rovtteage, 200º).
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
35

a ’fisheries corridor’ in the South China Sea to avoid potential
conflicts that could affect peace and stability in the region.
119

Though the Philippines and China held in 2005 the First
Meeting of the Philippines-China Joint Commission on
Fisheries to explore bilateral cooperation on fishery
investments, research and technology, and safety of property
and life at sea, the momentum to talk was disturbed by the
JMSU controversy. There is a need to sustain talks on this
issue to find a more pragmatic, peaceful and non-
confrontational solution to the South China Sea conflict.

Summary and Conclusion

The Philippines has a policy to pursue what it calls a
legitimate claim in the contested areas of the South China Sea.
Immediately after the end of the cold war, territorial issues in
the South China Sea became a source of tension in Southeast
Asia because of China’s passage of territorial waters law in
1992 and occupation of the Mischief Reef in 1995. However,
the tension deescalated after 9/11 due to China’s “charm
offensive” in Southeast Asia, which resulted in the signing of
the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China in
2002. The Declaration was hailed as a historic landmark in
managing disputes in the South China Sea. But the South
China Sea continues to be a security challenge between the
Philippines and China because of lingering concerns over the
sensitive issue of territorial integrity and national sovereignty.












11·
Pbiti¡¡ive. ravt. fi.bivg agreevevt iv ´. Cbiva ´ea, Revter. ;1 ´e¡tevber 200¨) at
btt¡:,,rrr.bitaterat..org,articte.¡b¡².ia_articte~·ó²².
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
36


CHAPTER FOUR

The Taiwan Factor in Philippines-China Security
Relations
120


Introduction

Though Philippines-China security relations have gone
a long way since the establishment of their diplomatic ties in
1975, both countries continue to confront the perennial
challenge of Taiwan. Every now and then, the issue of Taiwan
surfaces in Philippines’ relations with China causing some
irritants and occasional hiccups in their bilateral ties. In fact,
the Taiwan issue has been a major source of China’s security
dilemma when dealing with other nations.
121

While the Philippines upholds a “One-China Policy,” it
maintains its relations with Taiwan in the economic, social and
cultural realms. There was even an allegation that the
Philippines has discreet security ties with Taiwan making
China suspicious of Manila’s strategic intention in the Cross
Strait conflict.
122

This chapter examines the issue of Taiwan as a factor in
Philippines-China security relations. It describes Philippines-
Taiwan security relations after 9/11 and how these relations
affected the direction of Philippines-China security relations.

Background on Philippines-Taiwan Relation
123


Prior to the establishment of Philippines’ relations with
the People’s Republic of China (PROC), the Philippines first

120
Pa¡er ba.ea ov a tectvre aetirerea at tbe Cevter for 1airav ´tvaie., ív.titvte of Cvav·i
.caaev, of ´ociat ´cievce., ^avvivg Cit,, Cvavg·i, Cbiva ov 1² .¡rit 2011.
121
´bevg íi;vv, Cbiva`. Ditevva: 1be 1airav í..ve ;´ivga¡ore: ív.titvte of ´ovtbea.t
..iav ´tvaie., 2001).
122
Office of tbe De¡vt, Cbief of ´taff for ívtettigevce, .v Orerrier ov 1airav: ít. Retatiov.
ritb RP ava Ke, ^atiovat Dereto¡vevt. ;Qve¸ov Cit,: .rvea íorce. of tbe Pbiti¡¡ive.,
]avvar, 2001).
12²
1bi. .ectiov i. a reri.ea rer.iov of Rovvet C. ßavtaoi, Pbiti¡¡ive·1airav ´ecvrit,
Retatiov. iv tbe Covte·t of Pbiti¡¡ive Ove·Cbiva Potic,: Cvrrevt ´itvatiov ava ívtvre
1reva. iv bi. ´ecvrit, ..¡ect. of Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva Retatiov.: ßitaterat í..ve. ava
Covcerv. iv tbe .ge of Ctobat 1errori.v ;Qve¸ov Cit,: Re· ßoo/ ´tore ívtervatiovat,
200¨), Cba¡ter 11.
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.


had a diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (ROC).
When the Philippines became an independent republic in 1946,
the very first Treaty of Amity it entered into was with the ROC
then called as the Nationalist China. Establishing diplomatic
relations with the ROC was considered to be a foreign policy
priority of then President Manuel Roxas.
124
As reciprocation,
the ROC, on the other hand, was one of the first countries to
recognize the Philippines as an independent republic.
Common historical experiences during the war,
geographic proximity and cultural familiarity were crucial
factors for the close ties with Taiwan. During the 3 October
1946 presentation of credentials of Chen Chih-ping, the first
Chinese ambassador to the Philippines, President Roxas
stressed that the Philippines and China had common ties due to
geographic propinquity, a mutual wartime cause, and Chinese
contribution through industry and thrift over the centuries to
Philippine economic life.
125
The negotiations on Philippine-
Chinese treaty of friendship were not easy. They were stormy,
surrounded with controversies because of domestic
considerations. Both countries finally signed the treaty on 18
April 1947, which provided that “the nationals of each country
were at liberty to enter or leave, to travel or reside in, the
territory of the other upon the same terms as the nationals of
any third country in accordance with domestic laws and
regulations.”
126

With the signing of the Treaty of Amity between the
Republic of the Philippines (RP) and the ROC, Manila
established its Consulate General Offices in Amoy and
Shanghai in 1947. To strengthen RP-ROC diplomatic ties, the
Philippines opened a legation in Nanking in March 1948 with
Senator Proceso Sebastian as the first Philippine ambassador to
Nationalist China.
127
However, the Philippine Legation was
short-lived due to domestic political changes in China. When
Mao Tse Tung proclaimed the PROC in 1949, the Philippines

121
Mittov !atter Me,er, . Di¡tovatic íi.tor, of tbe Pbiti¡¡ive Re¡vbtic ;íovotvtv:
|virer.it, of íaraii Pre.., 1·ó:), ¡. ó0.
12:
íbia.
12ó
íbia.
12¨
]o.e ívgte., Pbiti¡¡ive íoreigv Potic, ;Mavita: í,cevv of tbe Pbiti¡¡ive. Pre.., 1·º2),
¡. 111.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
38

closed its legation in Nanking, established a liaison office in
Guangzhou, and in 1950 finally transferred to Taipei.
The establishment of a communist government in
Mainland China posed two major problems for the Philippine
government. The first was internal: increased control over
Chinese immigration. The second was external: recognition of
a communist regime.
On the first problem, the Philippine government, having
adopted a staunch anti-communism policy, decisively
prohibited Chinese immigration and banned travel to or from
Mainland China.
128
While being very strict with anything
related with PROC, the government pursued strong diplomatic
and economic relations with Taiwan. It signed a trade
agreement with Taiwan and even intensified exchange of
specialists and information leading to the development of a
close ideological and economic partnership with ROC. In 1956,
it raised the legation in Taipei to embassy level. The
establishment of a Philippine Embassy in Taiwan clearly
demonstrated the interest of the government to have strong
economic and political partnership with Nationalist China.
Being both security allies of the United States, the
Philippines and Taiwan established security relations. Military
officers from the Philippines and Taiwan had regular
exchanges. Taiwan’s War College inspired the establishment of
the National Defense College of the Philippines in 1963. Both
countries established regular exchanges of military officers and
even intelligence information.
On the second problem, the Philippine government
attempted not to get entangled with Beijing-Taipei conflict.
During the administration of former President Elpidio Quirino,
the Philippine government did not explicitly take an anti-
communism posture. The establishment of Philippine Embassy
in Taiwan was a lucid expression of Manila’s political leanings
with Taipei. Philippine support of democratic and nationalist
China represented by ROC was revealed as early as 1951 when
the Philippines signed a Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) with
the United States. The MDT was an anti-Communist treaty that

12º
ßevito íiv, 1be Potiticat ícovov, of tbe Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva Retatiov. ;Pa¡er
¡re¡area for tbe Covferevce ov Cbiva`. ícovovic Crortb ava ít. ív¡ticatiov. to tbe
.´í.^ beta at .teveo ae Mavita |virer.it,, 1ó ^orevber 1···), ¡. ó.
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
39

aimed to deter communist expansionism in Asia. When the
Philippines became a member of the Southeast Asia Treaty
Organization (SEATO), then President Ramon Magsaysay
declared support to the US commitment to the defense of
“Formosa” against communist China.
129
Succeeding Philippine
presidents (Carlos Garcia and Diosdado Macapagal) pursued a
more vigorous anti-Communist foreign policy.
It was only during the time of President Ferdinand
Marcos when the Philippine government considered
establishing diplomatic relations with communist countries for
economic, strategic and security reasons. On 9 June 1975, the
Philippines formally established diplomatic relations with
PROC and proclaimed a one-China policy treating Taiwan as a
province of China. In October 1975, the Philippines established
an embassy in Beijing. Since then, Philippine-China diplomatic
relation has become one of the most important bilateral
relations of the Philippines with foreign countries. Thereafter,
both countries have entered into various cooperation
agreements covering wide-ranging areas like trade and
investment; tourism and air services; cultural, scientific and
technical cooperation; agricultural cooperation; avoidance of
double taxation; postal parcel agreement; and even defense
cooperation.
130
As result, Philippine relations with Taiwan
were officially downgraded.
Though upholding a one-China policy, the Philippines
continues its substantial relations with Taiwan. Philippines’
one-China policy does not prohibit commercial, economic,
cultural and other unofficial or people-to-people contacts with
Taiwan. To continue relations in these areas, the Philippine
government converted its embassy in Taipei into Manila
Economic and Cultural Office (MECO). Taiwan, on the other
hand, converted its embassy in the Philippines into Taipei
Economic and Cultural Office (TECO).



12·
Citea iv .iteev ´av Pabto ßariera, Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva Retatiov. iv tbe 20
tb
Cevtvr,:
íi.tor, 1er.v. ´trateg,, ..iav ´tvaie., 1ot. ²ó, ^o. 2 ;2000), ¡. :¨.
1²0
Rovvet C. ßavtaoi, Pbiti¡¡ive·Cbiva Defev.e Retatiov.: ´v.taivivg írieva.bi¡,
ívbavcivg Coo¡eratiov. ;Pa¡er ¡re.evtea at tbe Cevtre of ..iav ´tvaie., |virer.it, of
íovg Kovg, 1· .¡rit 2001).
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
40

Philippine-Taiwan Security Relations After 9/11

From 1975 to 2001, the Philippines was bound to
implement a “One-China Policy.” During this entire period, the
Philippines retained its ties with Taiwan and the causing
occasional irritants in Philippines-China relations. This state of
affairs did not change after 9/11. Though the Philippines and
China cautiously enhanced bilateral ties after 9/11,
131
pro-
Taipei lobby in Manila (particularly those associated with
Taiwan Association, Inc. in the Philippines) made it
burdensome for the Philippine government to put Taiwan
aside.
Since 9/11, Philippine-Taiwan interactions in the area
of agriculture, commerce, culture, education, and sports have
been vibrant. Amidst the growing relations between the
Philippines and China, Philippine relations with Taiwan have
grown steadily after 9/11. Taiwanese tourists to the Philippines
numbered to 1 12,206 sharing 4.3 percent of the total foreign
visitors, making Taiwan the 6th largest tourist source country
in 2007.
132
Taiwan is also one of the major destinations
countries for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). In 2007
alone, Taiwan is the Philippines’ 5
th
top overseas labor market
with more than 100,000 Filipino workers and migrants in
Taiwan. It has also been recorded that the Filipino workers in
Taiwan was the second largest workforce in 2007 and that the
annual remittances from Filipino workers in Taiwan e
amounted to US$1 billion.
133
This prompted former Trade and
Industry Secretary Cesar V. Purisima to call for stronger
Philippines-Taiwan relations.
134




1²1
Cart ßa/er, Cbiva·Pbiti¡¡ive. Retatiov.: Cavtiov. Coo¡eratiov iv ´atv íiva,e
;ea), ..ia`. ßitaterat Retatiov. ;íovotvtv: ..ia Pacific Cevter for ´ecvrit, ´tvaie.,
2001), Cba¡ter 2.
1²2
1ai¡ei ícovovic ava Cvttvrat Office iv tbe Pbiti¡¡ive., ßitaterat Retatiov. ßetreev
1airav ava tbe Pbiti¡¡ive. at btt¡:,,rrr.tairavoffice.org.¡b,eretatiov.btv.
1²²
íbia.
1²1
De¡artvevt of 1raae ava ívav.tr,, Pvri.iva Catt. for ´trovger RP·1airav Retatiov.
at btt¡:,,rrr.iro.¡b,aorvtoaa.,¡re..retea.e,11·01·r¡·tairav.¡af.
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
41

Table 2. Filipinos workers in Taiwan and the
undocumented (runaways, overstayers, etc.), November
2006
Year Filipinos Undocumented
2001 72,779 -
2002 69,426 643
2003 81,355 873
2004 91,150 1,177
2005 95,703 1,543
2003 91,442 1,023
Source: Employment and Vocational Training Administration (EVTA),
CLA; Romeo Velos, “Situation of Filipino Migrant Workers in Taiwan”
(2007) at http://www.catholic.org.tw/catholic/inn-6.htm

Table 3. Breakdown of Filipino Workers in Taiwan by
Area of Destination, November 2006

Area Filipino
Workers
Area Filipino
Workers
Area Filipino
Workers
Northern
Taiwan
56,632 Central
Taiwan
23,268 Southern
Taiwan
16,412
Taipei
City
10,007 Miaoli
County
2,774 Chiayi City 463
Taipei
County
10,078 Taichung
City
3,293 Chiayi
County
833
Taoyuan
County
21,586 Taichung
County
6,823 Tainan
City
1,154
Hsinchu
City
5,641 Changhua
County
8,427 Tainan
County
3,404
Hsinchu
County
6,914 Nantao
County
630 Kaohsiung
City
6,232
Keeling
City
513 Yunlin
County
2,321 Kaohsiung
County
2,872
Ilan
County
1,152 Pingtung
County
1,132
Hualien
County
741 Taitung
County
215
Penghu
County
85
Kinmen
County
16
Lian Jiang
County
6
Source: Employment and Vocational Training Administration (EVTA),
CLA; Romeo Velos, “Situation of Filipino Migrant Workers in Taiwan”
(2007) at http://www.catholic.org.tw/catholic/inn-6.htm

Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
42

One initiative that aims to cement a stronger
Philippines-Taiwan relation is the Kaohsiung-Subic Bay-Clark
Economic Corridor Project. Designed in 2006, the Kaohsiung-
Subic Bay-Clark Economic Corridor Project is described as a
giant step towards the strengthening of Philippines-Taiwan
relations in the post-9/11 era. According to Armand Arreza,
Administrator and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Subic
Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), the Kaohsiung-Subic
Bay-Clark Economic Corridor Project will allow Taiwan and
the Philippines to build upon their already successful trade
relations and create a win-win situation.
135
There are more than
45 Taiwanese locators in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone
accounting for more than 80 percent of the zone's export value.
“The establishment of the corridor is expected to resolve some
issues that have concerned Taiwanese companies and make
Subic Bay attractive again.”
136

For the Philippines, continuously engaging Taiwan is
an economic necessity considering that Taipei is one of
Manila’s main trading partners in the world. In 2007, for
example, Taiwan was the No. 6 trading partner to the
Philippines. For Taiwan, Manila is its No. 14 trading partner.
137

The facts and figures below are clear indications of Taiwan’s
economic importance to the Philippines:
• Taiwan-Philippine bilateral trade volume reached
US$7.199 billion in 2007. Taiwan was the N0.6 trading
partner to the Philippines, while the Philippines was
ranked the 14th important trading partner to Taiwan.
• The aggregated investment value from Taiwan up to
2007 amounted to US$1.82 billion, and is the 7
th
largest
foreign investment in the Philippines, just after Japan,
USA, U.K., Netherlands, Singapore and South
Korea.
138

With these economic figures, it is, therefore, difficult
for the Philippines to isolate Taiwan in its economic and

1²:
Corriaor to ´trevgtbev Pbiti¡¡ive.·1airav ícovovic 1ie.: Officiat, Cbavvet ^er.
..ia ;: Ma, 200¨) at btt¡:,,faaa¸.btog.¡ot.cov,200¨,0:,corriaor·to·.trevgtbev·
tairav.btvt.
1²ó
íbia.
1²¨
1ai¡ei ícovovic ava Cvttvrat Office iv tbe Pbiti¡¡ive., ßitaterat Retatiov. ßetreev
1airav ava tbe Pbiti¡¡ive. at btt¡:,,rrr.tairavoffice.org.¡b,eretatiov.btv.
1²º
íbia.
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
43

foreign policy agenda, particularly in the context of Manila’s
pursuance of “development diplomacy.” There is even a talk of
free trade arrangements between the Philippines and Taiwan to
strengthen their economic relations. According to David Hong,
President of Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER), a
free trade agreement “would make both markets more
accessible to each other, increase investment flow and create
stronger incentives for Taiwan companies to do business in the
Philippines."
139
“As Taiwan and the Philippines are both
members of the World Trade Organization (WTO), no
diplomatic ties are needed for both countries to sign a free
trade agreement adding the establishment of free trade —
exchange of products without barriers such as tariffs and
quotas — between Taiwan and the Philippines would only lead
to a win-win situation for both.”
140

Aside from vibrant economic relations, the tie that
binds the Philippines and Taiwan in the post-9/11 world is
common adherence to democratic political system. Though the
countries have different experiences in their democratization
processes, they shared a number of similarities “including
constitutional amendments, bolstering political participation,
restructuring political dominance, and more guarantees for the
protection of individual rights.”
141
Adherence to common
democratic principles provides a strong political bridge
between the Philippines and Taiwan to sustain their bilateral
ties.
Strong security relations with the US also bring the
Philippines and Taiwan closer. Washington has Mutual
Defense Treaty (MDT) with the Manila and Taiwan Relations
Act (TRA) with Taipei. On the basis of the TRA, Pentagon
sells hi-tech military weapons to Taiwan. Based on MDT, on
the other hand, the US also sells weapons and even provides
the Philippines military assistance. With TRA and MDT, the
US provides a strong strategic link for Taiwan and the
Philippines to cooperate.

1²·
!ittiav C. Pao, 1airav ava Pbiti¡¡ive. to bevefit frov í1., 1ííR ¡re.iaevt
.a,., 1be Cbiva Po.t ;1 October 200:).
110
íbia.
111
´avvet C.Y. Kv, Potiticat Devocrati¸atiov ava Potiticat Cri.e. iv 1airav ava tbe
Pbiti¡¡ive.: . Cov¡aratire Per.¡ectire, ]ovrvat of Covtev¡orar, ía.terv ..ia, rot. ¨,
vo.1 ;Marcb 200º), ¡¡. :·1º.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
44

Lastly, geographic proximity inevitably puts Taiwan
and the Philippines in the same strategic space. There is an old
saying in the Philippines that “when a cock crows in Taiwan, it
is heard faintly in the picturesque Philippine province of
Batanes.” This saying underscores the proximity of Taiwan to
the Philippines.
142
Due to geographic proximity, Taiwan has
become one of the most favored destinations of OFWs.
Geographic proximity also causes some security concerns in
the Philippines.
143
There is the possibility of military conflict in
the controversial Taiwan Strait.
144
According to an intelligence
analysis, “Given the proximity to Taiwan to RP, any conflict
may spill over to Philippine territory as it may be a possible
destination of refugees.”
145

Vibrant Philippine-Taiwan relations also have security
aspects. Though both are not allowed to relate with each other
in security fields, their respective security officials also have
“unofficial” communications. The plan of the Philippine Air
Force to purchase F-5s from Taiwan was an indication of the
existing communication links between the two countries’
security officials.

Taiwan Challenge in Philippines-China Security
Relations
146


Despite the improvement of Philippines-China security
relations in the aftermath of 9/11, the Taiwan issue still poses a
formidable challenge in the stable security relations between
China and the Philippines. It is even called “The Taiwan

112
ßavtaoi, Pbiti¡¡ive·1airav ´ecvrit, Retatiov. iv tbe Covte·t of Pbiti¡¡ive Ove·Cbiva
Potic,: Cvrrevt ´itvatiov ava ívtvre 1reva. iv bi. ´ecvrit, ..¡ect. of Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva
Retatiov.: ßitaterat í..ve. ava Covcerv. iv tbe .ge of Ctobat 1errori.v, o¡. cit.
11²
íbia.
111
íbia.
11:
Office of tbe De¡vt, Cbief of ´taff for ívtettigevce of tbe .rvea íorce. of tbe Pbiti¡¡ive.,
.v.rer. to ívterrier Qve.tiovaire Cviae ov tbe ív¡ticatiov. of a Cbiva·1airav
Covftict ;. covfiaevtiat aocvvevt aatea ]vt, 2001), ¡. 1.
11ó
1bi. .ectiov i. ba.ea ov tbe ¡a¡er of Rovvet C. ßavtaoi ¡re.evtea to tbe ívtervatiovat
Covferevce ov tbe ²0 Year. of Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva Retatiov., Cbartivg ^er Directiov. iv a
Cbavgivg Ctobat ívrirovvevt ov 22 October 200: at Crorve Pta¸a Catteria Mavita,
Ortiga. Cevter.

Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
45

Problem” to emphasize the utmost security dilemma of both
countries in grappling with the issue.
The Taiwan problem, if not properly addressed, can
severely affect the direction of Philippines-China security
relations. It was even raised by an American security analyst,
“By reinvigorating its military alliance with the United States,
the Philippines may be in the undesirable position of having to
choose between security cooperation with the United States
and economic cooperation with China in the event of a
confrontation between the two over Taiwan. The Philippines
hopes to avoid having to make such a choice.”
147

The dilemma of the Philippine government on the
Taiwan problem is confounded by the fact that “there remains
an influential group within the Philippines’ political elite,
especially in the Senate, that is committed to establishing ties
with Taiwan for a combination of ideological or personal
economic reasons.”
148
Due to the problem in the Taiwan straits,
the Philippines is pursuing a very cautious relations with the
PROC.
149


Summary and Conclusion

The Philippines upholds the One-China Policy, which
recognizes PROC sovereignty over Taiwan. The Philippines
continues to have cultural, economic, and social ties with
Taiwan. Philippine relations with Taiwan are also
strengthened not only by cultural, economic and social
imperatives but also by geographic proximity, democratic
political systems and strategic ties with the US.
Due to these factors, Taiwan ties with the Philippines
have spill-over effects on security areas. This situation creates
irritants in Philippines-China security relations. If not handled
properly, the Taiwan issue can serve a great obstacle in the
enhancement of Philippines-China security relations – a great
challenge that both countries have to confront now and in the
future.


11¨
ßa/er, Cbiva·Pbiti¡¡ive. Retatiov.: Cavtiov. Coo¡eratiov, o¡. cit.
11º
íbia.
11·
íbia.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
46


CHAPTER FIVE

Philippine Foreign and Security Policy Towards China in
the Post-9/11 World: Current Realities and Future
Prospects
150


Introduction

Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the
United States (US), the Philippines has been undergoing a
serious reexamination of its foreign and security policy to
advance the country’s national interests amidst the
complexities of the global and regional security environment.
This entails a comprehensive assessment of its bilateral
relations with major powers whose influence in world politics
have profound impacts on the foreign and security policy of
other states. One of the major powers that matter most to the
Philippines is China, a rapidly growing Asian power and an
emerging global power.
This chapter describes Philippine foreign and security
policy towards China in the post-9/11 security environment. It
examines the role of China in Philippine foreign and security
policy and describes the current realities and future prospects
in Philippines-China security relations, particularly in the
context of the election of American President Barack Obama.

The Post-9/11 Philippine Foreign and Security Policy

The Philippine government officially adopted a post-
911 foreign and security policy anchored on three pillars.
151

First is the preservation and enhancement of Philippine
national security, which is the heart of the nation’s overall
political diplomacy.

1:0
Origivat rer.iov of tbi. ¡a¡er ra. ¡re.evtea at tbe ív.titvte of ´ovtbea.t ..iav ´tvaie.,
]ivav |virer.it,, Cvavg¸bov, Cbiva ov 21 Decevber 200·.
1:1
.tberto C. Rovvto, Pbiti¡¡ive íoreigv Potic, Reatitie., ;´¡eecb aetirerea at tbe
Mavita Orer.ea. Pre.. Ctvb Di¡tovatic ^igbt at Pbiti¡¡ive Pta¸a íotet ov 1¨ ´e¡tevber
2001).
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.


Second is the promotion and attainment of economic
security through the mobilization of external resources for
economic advancement and social development.
Third is the protection of the rights and the promotion
of the welfare and interests of Overseas Filipino Workers
(OFWs).
The Philippine government considers these three pillars
highly interrelated as they mutually reinforce each other and
give substantive content to Philippine foreign relations.
152
On
this basis, the Philippine government enunciated a foreign and
security policy based on “eight realities in the global and
regional environment.” These realities are the following:
1. China, Japan and the United States have a determining
influence on the security situation and economic
evolution of East Asia.
2. More Philippine foreign policy decisions have to be
made in the context of the ASEAN tenets.
3. The International Islamic Community will become
more important to the Philippines.
4. The coming years will see the redefinition of the role of
multilateral and inter-regional organizations in
promoting common interests.
5. The defense of the nation’s sovereignty, the protection
of its environment, and natural resources can be carried
out only to the extent that others respect the country’s
rights over its maritime territory.
6. The country’s economic growth will require direct
foreign investments and relations with the EU, the
largest source of portfolio investments —remain
important.
7. A country like the Philippines can benefit faster from
international tourism.
8. Filipinos’ overseas remittances will continue to play a
critical role in the country’s economic and social
stability.
153


1:2
íbia.
1:²
Pre.iaevt Ctoria Maca¡agat .rro,o, íigbt Reatitie. of Pbiti¡¡ive íoreigv Potic,
;´¡eecb aetirerea at tbe Mavita Orer.ea. Pre.. Ctvb ov ó .vgv.t 2001).
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
48

Apparent from these eight realities is the official
recognition of China as one of the major powers that strongly
shape the security landscape.
Though the Philippine government regards China as a
formidable power that can affect the behavior of other
countries, Philippine foreign and security policy has been
largely determined by its existing security alliance with the US.
Philippine security relations with the US largely
influence the conduct of its external affairs. Though there is a
serious attempt in the Philippines to diversify its relations with
other nations, particularly in the post-cold war era, American
security policy towards the country affects the foreign policy of
the government.
Since 1946, the cornerstone of Philippine foreign and
security policy has been its treaty alliance with the US
cemented by the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) signed in
1951. Thus, understanding Philippine foreign and security
policy is incomplete without taking into account this alliance,
the only linkage that the Philippines has with other sovereign
states.
It has been demonstrated in scholarly literature that the
security alliance between the US and the Philippines was
forged as a result of shared historical experience, security
convergence and common adherence to democratic
principles.
154
These continue to cement Philippine-American
security relations in the post-911 era. Former Foreign Affairs
Secretary Alberto Romulo emphasized that this enduring
strategic alliance is bound by common interests. “The common
interests of the Philippines and the US bind us to protect and
help preserve the peace and security of our region. We are both
strategic and treaty partners.”
155
He emphasized that “the
bonds of friendship between the Philippines and the United
States are enduring which have been forged in the battlefields
of freedom, in the foxholes of Bataan and Corregidor, and by

1:1
´ee ßovifacio ´. ´atavavca, 1be ßegivvivg of íiti¡ivo·.vericav Retatiov., 1·01·
1·21, .vericav íi.toricat Cottectiov ßvttetiv, 1ot. ííí, ^o. ² ;October 1·¨:); ívriqve
1ottaire Carcia ííí, |.´. Mititar, ßa.e. iv tbe Pbiti¡¡ive.: ív¡act ov Pbiti¡¡ive·
.vericav Retatiov. ;Cbicago: |virer.it, of Cbicago Pre.., 1·ó¨) ava íavarao Z.
Rovvatae¸, . Qve.tiov of ´orereigvt,: 1be Mititar, ßa.e. ava Pbiti¡¡ive·.vericav
Retatiov., 1·11·1·¨· ;Mavita, 1·º0).
1::
Rovvto, Pbiti¡¡ive íoreigv Potic, Reatitie., o¡. cit.
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
49

thousands of brave and courageous soldiers who fought and
died together for their beliefs and ideals.”
156

Though Philippine-American security relations
experienced a decade-long hiatus with the termination of
Military Bases Agreement (MBA) in 1991, which consequently
led to the withdrawal of American troops from the Philippines,
support to the American-led global war on terrorism in the
aftermath of 9/11 resulted in the reinvigoration of Philippine-
American security relations.
157
Romulo underscored that “our
strategic alliance with the United States in the war against
global terrorism remains vital to our national security.”
158

Thus, the war on terrorism after 9/11 revived the once-
ailing Philippine-security alliance.
Due to its staunch support to the global war on
terrorism, the US designated the Philippines as a Major Non-
NATO Ally (MNNA) in 2003.
159

While the MNNA status does not guarantee automatic
retaliation in case of external aggression, it allows both
countries “to work together on military research and
development, and give the Philippines greater access to
American defense equipment and supplies."
160
The MNNA
status also gave the country assurances of military assistance to
bolster the capability of the Philippine armed forces to combat
terrorism and other threats to internal security.
However, the Philippines suffered a foreign policy
crisis in 2004 when the government withdrew its peacekeeping
forces from Iraq in exchange of the freedom of Angelo de la
Cruz, an OFW held hostage by Iraqi militants. The earlier
withdrawal of Philippine troops created a serious dent in

1:ó
.tberto C. Rovvto, íet v. !or/ for Peace ;ívavgvrat ´¡eecb a. íoreigv .ffair.
´ecretar, aetirerea ov 2² .vgv.t 2001).
1:¨
Rovvet C. ßavtaoi, 1be Rote of Pbiti¡¡ive·.vericav Retatiov. iv tbe Ctobat
Cav¡aigv .gaiv.t 1errori.v: ív¡ticatiov. for Regiovat ´ecvrit,, Covtev¡orar,
´ovtbea.t ..ia, rot. 21, vo. 2 ;.vgv.t 2002), ¡¡. 2·1·²12.
1:º
Rovvto, íet v. !or/ for Peace, o¡. cit.
1:·
1be !bite íov.e, De.igvatiov of tbe Pbiti¡¡ive. a. Ma;or ^ov·^.1O .tt, at
btt¡:,,eaoc/et.acce...g¡o.gor,cfr_2001,;avqtr,¡af,²CíROctó.¡af.
1ó0
]iv Caravove, Pbiti¡¡ive. to ßecove Ma;or vov·^.1O .tt,, ßv.b ´a,.,
.vericav íorce. Pre.. ´errice ;1· Ma, 200²) at
btt¡:,,rrr.aefev.etiv/.vit,ver.,ver.articte.a.¡·.ia~2º·óº.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
50

Philippine-American security relations in the post-9/11
period.
161

For the American government, this was tantamount to a
betrayal of Philippine commitments in its security alliance with
the US and in the global campaign against terrorism.
International press opinions disseminated by the International
Information Programs of the US Department of State expressed
that the troop pullout was a “grave mistake, a “setback for
global politics” and a “pact with the devil.”
162
Thus, the
Philippines received a cold treatment from the US after the
withdrawal.
Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, in a
televised national address, cautiously explained, ''I made a
decision to bring our troops home a few days earlier to spare
the life of Angelo. I do not regret that decision.'' For President
Arroyo, dela Cruz represented the aspiration of around eight
million OFWs who are seeking hope and opportunities abroad.
Remittances from OFWs are a major source of the country’s
foreign currencies amounting to around US$10 billion
annually. The Philippine government regarded the troop
pullout as a wise decision to save the life of dela Cruz, which
the government considered as an integral part in advancing
Philippine national interests by protecting the welfare of
OFWs, the third pillar of Philippine foreign policy.
To assuage the concern of the US that the Philippines
reneged in its commitment to the security alliance and the war
on terror, the government held a series of dialogues with its
American counterparts to explain its decision to withdraw its
troops. The government convinced the US that this troop
pullout was a reaction to domestic political considerations that
have a bearing with the survival of the political regime in
power.

1ó1
Met, Cabattero .vtbov,, ße,ova tbe íraq ío.tage Cri.i.: Re·...e..ivg |´·
Pbiti¡¡ive. Retatiov., íD´´ Covvevtarie. ;2º ]vt, 2001). .t.o .ee 1bira !orta
´tvaie. Cevter, ío.tagea. Pbiti¡¡ive íoreigv Potic, .fter .vgeto aeta Crv¸,
Ka.arivtav: Pbiti¡¡ive ]ovrvat of 1bira !orta ´tvaie., rot. 1·, vo. 1 ;2001), ¡¡. 11²·
111.
1ó2
|´ De¡artvevt of ´tate, ívtervatiovat ívforvatiov Prograv., íraq: 1roo¡
!itbararat . Crare Mi.ta/e at
btt¡:,,rrr.gtobat.ecvrit,.org,rva,tibrar,,ver.,iraq,2001,0¨,rrrb10¨2º.btv
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
51

From the foregoing, Philippine foreign and security
policy in the post-9/11 era has been largely influenced by its
alliance with the US. Though the government is placing high
premium on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(ASEAN) as the cornerstone of its regional policy and pays
attention to international Islamic community as well as other
multilateral bodies as part of its international engagement
“strategy”, its bilateral security policy is largely shaped and
influenced by its relations with the US. There is a view that
Philippine foreign and security policy has a built-in bias
towards the US because of the countries’ existing treaty
alliance. The war against terrorism launched by President
George W. Bush provided the two countries opportunities to
revitalize their security alliance in the post-9/11 world.
163

President Barack Obama intends to continue its support
to the country within the framework of the treaty alliance. The
rejuvenation of this alliance after 9/11 opened channels for the
Philippines to receive American security assistance to promote
mutual interests in building the capacity of the Philippine
military in combating terrorism.
164
The US currently provides
support to Philippine Defense Reform (PDR) program to
provide a framework for a comprehensive, institutional,
structural and systemic reform package for the Philippine
defense and military establishment.
165

Increased American security assistance to the
Philippines resulted in increased American presence in the
archipelago, particularly in Mindanao. Though it was viewed in
the US in 1991 that American presence
166
in the Philippines

1ó²
íor vore avat,.i., .ee Revato Crv¸ ae Ca.tro, 1be Reritati¸ea Pbiti¡¡ive·|´ ´ecvrit,
Retatiov.: . Cbo.t frov tbe Cota !ar or av .ttiavce for tbe 21
.t
Cevtvr,, ..iav
´vrre,, rot. 1², vo. ó ;^orevber,Decevber 200²), ¡¡. ·¨1··ºº.
1ó1
´ee ^oet M. Moraaa, Pbiti¡¡ive·.vericav ´ecvrit, Retatiov. .fter 11 ´e¡tevber:
í·¡torivg tbe Mvtvatit, of ívtere.t. iv tbe íigbt .gaiv.t ívtervatiovat 1errori.v,
´ovtbea.t ..iav .ffair. ;]avvar, 200²), ¡¡. 22º·2²º.
1ó:
íor a brief bvt rer, v.efvt orerrier ava .va¡.bot of tbe Pbiti¡¡ive Defev.e Reforv
¡rograv, .ee De¡artvevt of ^atiovat Defev.e, Pbiti¡¡ive Defev.e Reforv Prograv
;PDR) at btt¡:,,rrr.ava.gor.¡b,D^D!íßP.Cí_fite.,btvt,¡ar¡age.btv.
1óó
íor a bi.toricat accovvt of .vericav ¡re.evce iv tbe ´ovtberv Pbiti¡¡ive., .ee Patricio
.bivate., .vericav Mititar, Pre.evce iv tbe ´ovtberv Pbiti¡¡ive.: . Cov¡aratire
íi.toricat Orerrier, ía.t !e.t Cevter !or/ivg Pa¡er., ^o. ¨ ;October 2001).
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
52

was expensive and unnecessary,
167
after 9/11, this is perceived
to be important in supporting US Naval presence in the Asia
Pacific.
168

Since January 2002, around 1,000 American soldiers
are being maintained in the Philippines in the annual military
exercises with their Filipino counterparts. The US organized
the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P)
in Zamboanga City to serve as its “forward operating base” for
crisis response and deployment.

Critics of American presence in the Philippines accuse
JSOTF-P of engaging in an offensive war in Mindanao to crush
the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and other foreign military
jihadists.
169

Others claim that the US establishes military presence
in the Philippines to check the growing influence of China in
Southeast Asia.
170


China in Philippine Foreign and Security Policy

There is no doubt that China is the fastest growing
major power in the Asia-Pacific region. Thus, the Philippine
government comprehensively engages China while maintaining
its alliance with the US.
171
Though the aftermath of 9/11 saw

1ó¨
1ea Car¡evter, 1be |.´. Mititar, Pre.evce iv tbe Pbiti¡¡ive.: í·¡ev.ire ava
|vvece..ar,, C.1O ív.titvte íoreigv Potic, ßriefivg, ^o. 12 ;1· ]vt, 1··1), ¡. 1.
1óº
1bova. ]. Carcia, 1be Potevtiat Rote of tbe Pbiti¡¡ive. iv |.´. ^arat íorrara
Pre.evce ;1be.i.: ^arat Po.tgraavate ´cboot, Decevber 2001).
1ó·
´ee íerbert Doceva, |vcovrevtiovat !arfare: .re |´ ´¡eciat íorce. ívgagea iv av
Offev.ire !ar iv tbe Pbiti¡¡ive. ;Qve¸ov Cit,: íocv. ov tbe Ctobat ´ovtb Pbiti¡¡ive.
Prograv, 200¨).
1¨0
´ee íti¸abetb ícovov,, Cbiva`. Ri.e iv ´ovtbea.t ..ia: ív¡ticatiov. for tbe |vitea
´tate., ]ovrvat of Covtev¡orar, Cbiva, rot. 11, vo. 11 ;200:), ¡¡. 10··12:; í,att
ßrec/ov ava í.]. Kevv,, Cbiva`. Crorivg Pre.evce iv ´ovtbea.t ..ia: ív¡ticatiov. for
tbe |vitea ´tate. ;.te·avaria, 1.: Pro;ect ..ia, Cevter for ^arat .vat,.e., .¡rit
2001); Rovvet C. ßavtaoi, ´ovtbea.t ..iav Per.¡ectire. ov tbe Ri.e of Cbiva: Regiovat
´ecvrit, .fter ·,11, Paraveter. ;´vvver 200²), ¡¡. ·º·10¨; ava, !a,ve ßert, 1be
|vitea ´tate., Cbiva ava ´ovtbea.t ..iav ´ecvrit,: . Cbavgivg of tbe Cvara. ;^er
Yor/: Patgrare MacMittav, 200²).
1¨1
íor av e·cettevt avat,.i. of Pbiti¡¡ive effort. to cov¡rebev.iret, evgage Cbiva before
·,11, .ee .iteev ´.P. ßariera, ´trategic í..ve. iv Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva Retatiov.:
Cov¡rebev.ire ívgagevevt ;Mavita: Pbiti¡¡ive·Cbiva Dereto¡vevt Re.ovrce Cevter,
2000).
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
53

the rejuvenation of Philippine-American security relations, it
provided opportunities for China and the Philippines to sustain
their friendship and enhance their cooperation. The Philippine
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) contends that “It is
strategically fundamental for the Philippines to develop a
healthy, far-reaching and comprehensive relationship with
China.”
172

The Policy Paper on China by the DFA in the
aftermath of 9/11 recommended to “engage China and enhance
relations in all aspects.”
173
Scholars of international relations
call this a “hedging” strategy.
174
The Philippines does not have
a coherent hedging strategy towards China. “The Philippine
policy elite’s views on China remain inconsistent, and its
policy response, ad hoc. There is no agreement on the
implications of China’s growing regional influence or,
apparently, serious thought on how the Philippines might
hedge instead of balance against Chinese economic and
military power in the future.”
175

In the Eight Foreign Policy Realities of the Philippine
government, China was identified as an influential power that
shapes the Asian security landscape. It looms large in the Asian
strategic debate. China, therefore, occupies a very significant
space in the post-9/11 foreign and security policy agenda of the
Philippine government.
There are four factors why China matters significantly
to Philippine foreign and security policy: 1) Historical legacy;
2) Geographic proximity; 3) Cultural familiarity; 4) Economic
activity; and 4) Political expediency.
Historical legacy. Prior to becoming a state known as
the Philippines, several islands of the archipelago had already
established relations with China. As early as 972 AD, the first

1¨2
De¡artvevt of íoreigv .ffair., Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva .greevevt., 1·¨:·200:: ßriage.
1orara. tbe Cotaev .ge of Partver.bi¡ ;ßei;ivg: Pbiti¡¡ive ívba..,, 200:).
1¨²
De¡artvevt of íoreigv .ffair., Potic, Pa¡er ov Cbiva ;Pa.a, Cit,: Dí. Office of
Potic, Ptavvivg ava Cooraivatiov, October 2001).
1¨1
´ee írav ´. Meaeiro., ´trategic íeagivg ava tbe ívtvre of ..ia Pacific ´tabitit,,
1be !a.bivgtov Qvartert,, rot. 2·, vo. 1 ;!ivter 200:·200ó), ¡¡. 11:·1ó¨ .vf ]obv ].
1/aci/, ]r., íeagivg .gaiv.t Cbiva, íeritage íovvaatiov ßac/grovvaer, vo. 1·2: ;1¨
.¡rit 200ó).
1¨:
ßrov.ov Percirat, 1be Dragov íoo/. ´ovtb: Cbiva ava ´ovtbea.t ..ia iv tbe ^er
Cevtvr, ;!e.t¡ort: Praeger Pvbti.ber., 200¨), ¡. ó·.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
54

emperor of the Sung Dynasty set-up a maritime trade office in
the Philippine island of Mindoro (rendered in Chinese as Ma-
i).
176
In 1001, the pre-colonial island of Butuan (rendered in
Chinese as P’u-tuan) had a commercial contact with the Sung
Dynasty.
177
In the 16
th
century, the Sultan of Sulu visited China
to pay tribute to Chinese monarch. During the Spanish period,
some Chinese businessmen migrated to the Philippines where
they married locals. As a result of mixed marriages, ethnic
Chinese played an integral part in the development of
Philippine nationalism. Filipino-Chinese leaders fought against
the Spaniards during the revolutionary period versus the
Japanese colonial forces during the Second World War.
178
This
shared historical experience made for China’s and the
Philippines’ mutual familiarity.
Geographic proximity. The distance between the
Philippines and China is only 1,850 miles or 2,978 kilometers
separated only by a strip of water called the South China Sea.
They are close neighbors, much closer geographically than
between the Philippines and the US, which are separated by a
vast Pacific Ocean. The proximity between the two countries
facilitated trade relations during the pre-colonial times.
Strategically, China regards the Philippines as strategically
significant because of its geographic proximity to southern
China, particularly Hong Kong-Macau and Taiwan, and vice
versa.
Cultural familiarity. Common historical legacy and
geographic proximity facilitated cultural familiarity between
the Philippines and China. With the presence of around 1.2
million Filipino-Chinese in the country forming the
community,
179
which is one of the largest ethnic Filipino

1¨ó
Mivaoro i. tocatea at .ovtbre.t of ív¸ov, ava vortbea.t of Patarav. ív ¡a.t tive., it ba.
beev cattea Ma·i or Mait b, avcievt Cbive.e traaer. ava, b, ´¡aviara., a. Miva ae Oro
;veavivg ¨gota vive¨) frov rbere tbe i.tava got it. cvrrevt vave.
1¨¨
ßvtvav i. tocatea tbe ^ortbea.terv ¡art of .gv.av 1atte, .¡rartivg acro.. tbe
.gv.av Rirer.
1¨º
´ee Rovvet C. ßavtaoi, Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva Defev.e Retatiov. iv tbe .ge of 1errori.v:
ív¡ticatiov. for Pbiti¡¡ive ^atiovat ´ecvrit, iv ´ecvrit, ..¡ect. of Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva
Retatiov.: ßitaterat í..ve. ava Covcerv. iv tbe .ge of Ctobat 1errori.v ;Qve¸ov Cit,:
Re· ßoo/ ´tore ívtervatiovat, 200¨), ¡.
1¨·
1bi. figvre borerer aoe. vot ivctvae tbe Cbive.e ve.ti¸o. rbo .ivce ´¡avi.b tive. bare
forvea tbe viaate cta.. iv Pbiti¡¡ive .ociet, vor aoe. it ivctvae Cbive.e ivvigravt. frov tbe
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
55

groups in the country, the Philippines becomes familiar with
Chinese culture and tradition. This alone provides the two
countries some levels of mutual comfort necessary for
diplomatic relations.
Economic activity. Economic considerations lure the
Philippines to constructively relate with China. Since its
economic opening in 1979, China has been enjoying an
average economic growth rate of 9 percent. This economic
boom prompted analysts to argue that by 2020, it will be the
second largest economy in the world, next to US, and may
even surpass the economic status of the US by 2050. Thus, the
Philippines pursues a foreign and security policy to
comprehensively engage China and take advantage of its
economic prosperity. There is a view in the Philippines that the
economic rise of China may spillover to the Philippines
through bilateral trade and investments. After 9/11, their two-
way trade expanded by tenfold from $3.14 billion in 2000.
According to Chinese Embassy in Manila, the 2007 trade
volume surpassed the $30 billion goal for 2010 that was set in
2005 when Chinese President Hu Jintao visited the
Philippines.
180
However, Philippines-China bilateral trade is
still small compared to the trade volume with other countries in
Southeast Asia.
181

Political expediency. Post-9/11 Philippine foreign and
security policy towards China is dictated by political
expediency. The Philippines exerts efforts to be in good
political terms with China not only because it is a rapidly
growing power but the consideration that is more risky and
costly to the Philippines not to be in good terms with China.
This can increase the prospects of better commercial ties and
more development assistance. It can also increase Philippine
efforts to leverage with the US and manage its maritime
territorial disputes with China.


Peo¡te´. Re¡vbtic of Cbiva .ivce 1·1·. ´ee Cbive.e íiti¡ivo at
btt¡:,,ev.ri/i¡eaia.org,ri/i,Cbive.e_íiti¡ivo.
1º0
1raae betreev Pbiti¡¡ive., Cbive.e vaivtava bit. recora bigb, Cbiva Dait, ;]avvar,
2º, 200º) at btt¡:,,cbivaaait,.cv,bi¸cbiva,200º·01,2:,covtevt_ó121º·0.btv.
1º1
.iteev ßariera, 1be Potiticat ícovov, of Cbiva`. Retatiov. ritb ´ovtbea.t ..ia iv
íttev Patavca, ea., Cbiva`. ícovovic Crortb ava tbe .´í.^ ;Qve¸ov Cit,:
Pbiti¡¡ive .PíC ´tva, Cevter ^etror/, 2001), ¡. 21·.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
56

Current Realities

Though China is an integral part of Philippine foreign
and security policy, there are realities of global politics that
prevent them to get closer.
The first reality is the American factor. The
Philippines continues to value it strategic alliance with the US,
which was established after the Second World War. This
requires that Philippine comprehensive engagement with China
shall not compromise its security relations with the US.
More of China in Philippine foreign affairs shall not
mean less of the US. In fact, Philippine alliance with
Washington limits the scope and level of Manila’s
comprehensive engagement with Beijing. As long there is a
treaty alliance between Washington and Manila, American
troops are bound to stay in the Philippines. President Obama
even promises to maintain American presence in the
Philippines, to support the Philippine Defense Reform program
and to assist the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in
building its capability to address its multifaceted security
challenges. According to US Ambassador to the Philippines,
Kristie Kenney, the US does not have the intention of
withdrawing its military forces in the Philippines under the
Obama presidency. It is the prerogative of the Philippine
government to request if it needs more or less American
presence in the Philippines. The Obama presidency also
pledges to continue its security assistance to the Philippines as
part of Washington’s commitment to support its allies in Asia.
China views the presence of American troops in the
Philippines as part of the strategy of Pentagon to its
containment. Officials in Beijing adopted this view as a result
of various studies in the US that the rise of China has profound
implications for American security. Thus the need to check its
growing power.
182
The Philippines continues to be an integral

1º2
íti¸abetb ícovov,, Cbiva`. Ri.e iv ´ovtbea.t ..ia: ív¡ticatiov. for tbe |vitea
´tate., ]ovrvat of Covtev¡orar, Cbiva, rot. 11, vo. 11 ;.vgv.t 200:), ¡¡. 10··12:.
.t.o .ee Robert C. ´vtter, Cbiva`. Ri.e iv ..ia: Provi.e., Pro.¡ect. ava ív¡ticatiov.
for tbe |vitea ´tate., ..ia Pacific Cevter for ´ecvrit, ´tvaie. Occa.iovat Pa¡er ;íebrvar,
200:); ava, Zatva, Kbatit¸aa, .brav ^. ´bvt./,, Daviet ß,vav, Roger Ctiff, D.
Ortet./,, Daria .. ´bta¡a/, ..bte, ]. 1etti., 1be |vitea ´tate. ava a Ri.ivg Cbiva
;´avta Movica, Catiforvia: R.^D, 1···).
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.


part of American web of bilateral security alliance in Asia,
which originally aimed to deter communist expansionism. This
reality creates a boundary in Philippines-China relations.
The second reality is the South China Sea factor. The
Philippines and China are languishing with unresolved
maritime territorial disputes in the Spratlys. Though both are
signatories to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the
South China Sea to uphold a peaceful management of disputes
in the area, they continue to mistrust each other on the issue.
The controversy surrounding the implementation of Joint
Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) is an indication that
Spratly dispute creates fragility in Philippines-China relations.
The third reality is the Taiwan factor. Though the
Philippines pursues a “One-China” policy, which regards
Taiwan as the province of the People’s Republic of China
(PRC), Manila still has active commercial and discreet political
and security relations with Taipei. In 2006, trade between
Taiwan and the Philippines increased by 1.97 percent to about
US$7.26 billion. The Taiwan’s Government Office (GIO)
reported that Taipei imported from the Philippines (including
re-imports) goods worth $2.78 billion and exported to the
Philippines (including re-exports) commodities worth $4.48
billion in 2006. Taiwan has become the Philippines’ 13th
largest trading partner in 2006, 11th largest destination of
Taiwanese exports with 2 percent of total outbound cargoes
valued at $224 billion, the 5th largest trade partner among
developing countries after Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand
and Indonesia, and the 16th largest source of Taiwan’s import.
183
Strategic relations with the US and common liberal
democratic systems facilitate Philippines-Taiwan relations.
Philippine relations with Taiwan are continuing sources of
irritants between Manila and Beijing. China is too sensitive
with the issue of Taiwan and this issue always generates
animosities with its neighbors.


1º²
´ee 1ai¡ei ícovovic ava Cvttvrat Office iv 1be Pbiti¡¡ive., 1be Pbiti¡¡ive.·1airav
1raae Crortb v¡
btt¡:,,rrraoc.traae.gor.tr,ßOí1,reb,re¡ort_aetait.;.¡.aata_ba.e_ia~Dß011ccateg
or,_ia~C.1²²0¨cre¡ort_ia~12¨º10.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
58

The fourth reality is their different political systems.
The Philippines and China have two different domestic
political realities that affect the conduct of their foreign
relations. Their divergent political systems create two different
foreign-policy making processes that affect the enhancement of
their bilateral relations. The ZTE scandal (the cancellation of a
national broadband network project in the Philippines with
China-based company) is an example of how differences in
their bureaucratic systems can affect their economic ties.
According to a ZTE official, the scandal “certainly brings
unforeseeable negative influence on bilateral economic co-
operations between China and Philippines."
184
The controversy
would harm trade relations between China and the
Philippines.
185
There is even the view that the ZTE scandal has
interrupted the “golden age” of Philippines-China relations
celebrated in 2005.
186


Future Prospects

While there are existing irritants in Philippines-China
relations, it is the policy of the Philippine government to
constructively and comprehensively engage China. Since 9/11,
the Philippine government has been articulating a more benign
view of China to cultivate warm relations with PRC. During
the commemoration of the 30
th
anniversary of Philippines-
China diplomatic relations in 2005, President Hu Jintao said
that both countries have reached the “golden-age” of their
bilateral ties. It was also during this year when they launched
the First Philippines-China Defense and Security Dialogue,
which elevated their bilateral relations to a higher plane.
187

Though there are security challenges in Philippines-
China relations, there are many rooms in the post-9/11 world

1º1
Metriv Cativag, Pbiti¡¡ive Z1í ´cavaat to .ffect íoreigv ívre.tvevt, ßv.ive..
!ee/ ;20 íebrvar, 200º).
1º:
íbia.
1ºó
.gatba Cviaabev Z1í covtrorer., ivterrv¡t. ´gotaev age´ of RP·Cbiva retatiov.,
CM. ^er. Re.earcb at btt¡:,,rrr.gvaver..tr,.tor,,º1ó²ó,Z1í·covtrorer.,·
ivterrv¡t.·gotaev·age·of·RP·Cbiva·retatiov..
1º¨
Rovvet C. ßavtaoi, Defev.e ava Mititar, Coo¡eratiov ßetreev tbe Pbiti¡¡ive. ava
Cbiva: ßroaaevivg ßitaterat 1ie. iv tbe Po.t··,11 íra, C.P´ Pa¡er., vo. 1² ;1ai¡ei:
Cbive.e Covvcit of .aravcea Potic, ´tvaie., ]vve 200¨).
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
59

that create opportunities for the two countries to sustain their
friendship and enhance cooperation.
First is China’s use of “soft power” to establish and
nurture constructive relations with its neighbors in Southeast
Asia.
188
This “soft power” diplomacy ameliorates the fear of a
“China threat” in the region and creates a more positive image
of the country in international affairs.
189
China first
demonstrated its “soft power” diplomacy in Southeast Asia at
the height of the 1997 Asian financial crisis when it decided
not to revalue its currency to help the affected countries in
Southeast Asia to cope with the financial turmoil. China
continues its “soft power” diplomacy in the aftermath of 9/11
as part of its “charm offensive” in Southeast Asia by increasing
trade, investment and aid to the region.
190
This current
international behavior provides opportunities for Manila to
enhance its cooperation with Beijing.
Second, trade has become an important driver of
bilateral relationship between the Philippines and China. In
2005 alone, their bilateral trade reached almost $18 billion, in
which the Philippines enjoyed a surplus. The 2007 trade
volume surpassed the $30 billion goal for 2010 set in 2005.
This makes China the 3
rd
largest trading partner of the
Philippines, next to US and Japan. Though the ZTE, North
Rail Project and JMSU controversies affected their bilateral
ties, improvement in their bilateral trade relations can integrate
their economies, increase people-to-people contacts and
eventually create a conducive environment for the
enhancement of their security relations.
Third, the Philippines and China have signed since
1975 more than 80 bilateral agreements that cover a wide array
of issues: agricultural, air services, combating transnational
crimes, cultural, consular, defense, investment, judicial
cooperation, education, energy, infrastructure, media exchange,

1ºº
´ee ]o.e¡b ^,e, 1be Ri.e of Cbiva`. ´oft Porer, !att ´treet ]ovrvat, Decevber 2·,
200:. .t.o .ee 1bova. ívv, !a,ve M. Morri.ov, ava ßrvce 1avgbv, Cbiva`. ´oft
Porer iv ´ovtbea.t ..ia, CR´ Re¡ort for Covgre.. ;1 ]avvar, 200º).
1º·
]obavve. Drag.bae/ ´cbviat, Cbiva`. ¨.oft ¡orer¨ re·evergevce iv ´ovtbea.t ..ia
;Pa¡er ¡re.evtea at tbe ivavgvrat ivtervatiovat ror/.bo¡ Cbiva !orta` at ..ia Re.earcb
Cevtre, Co¡evbagev ßv.ive.. ´cboot ov 10·11 Marcb 200ó).
1·0
]o.bva Kvrtavt¸ic/, Cbiva`. Cbarv Offev.ire iv ´ovtbea.t ..ia, Cvrrevt íi.tor,,
´e¡tevber 200ó.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
60

political cooperation, science, technology, tourism, trade and
others. These agreements show the depth and breadth of their
bilateral relations. These legal frameworks are positive drivers
of their current and future cooperation.
Finally, Philippines-China relations are products of
several centuries of interactions and socializations. Their ties
can be traced 3,000 years ago. This is the basis of their
enduring relations. It is, therefore, in their common interest to
deliberately engage for mutual benefits and prosperity. As
stated by Philippine Ambassador to the Philippines, Song Tao,
“Friendship and cooperation between China and the
Philippines serve the fundamental interests of our two peoples.
The Chinese government is determined to push forward the
China-Philippines strategic and cooperative relations, to work
hard for further deepening of pragmatic cooperation in the area
of trade, investment, tourism and culture.”

Summary and Conclusion

The Philippines has a standing policy to
comprehensively engage China. After 9/11, Philippines-China
relations reached its peak when it celebrated in 2005 their 30
th

anniversary dubbed as “golden age” of their bilateral ties.
Though relations between the two countries were affected by
domestic controversies in the Philippines involving projects
with China like the ZTE, JMSU and the North Rail Project, the
Philippines is committed to pursue a policy of comprehensive
engagement with China in the post-9/11 era.
Common historical legacy, geographic proximity,
cultural familiarity, economic activity and political expediency
are ties that bind the Philippines and China.
However, there are current realities in their bilateral ties
that they have to confront. Philippine security alliance with the
US, the Taiwan factor, the South China Sea disputes and
divergent political systems affect the dynamics of Philippines-
China relations.
Despite these, there are prospects for China and the
Philippines to sustain their friendship and enhance their
cooperation. China’s use of soft power diplomacy, growing
bilateral trade, existence of numerous bilateral agreements and
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
61

3,000 years of interactions provide both countries enormous
opportunities to cooperate. As stressed by then Ambassador
Tao of the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines, “China and
Philippines are close neighbors across the sea and the two
peoples enjoy long-standing traditional friendship. There are
many touching stories in the centuries of friendly exchanges
between the two countries. The national cultures of our
respective countries have been developed and enriched during
the course of mutual learning and help of the two peoples. It
has provided an important basis for developing China-
Philippines friendly relations and cooperation.”
191





























1·1
.vba..aaor ´ovg 1ao, ´¡eecb b, at tbe Cbiva·Pbiti¡¡ive 1raaitiovat Cvttvre íe.tirat, Mavita, Pbiti¡¡ive.,
]vve :, 200º.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
62


CHAPTER SIX

Renewed Tensions and Continuing Maritime Security
Dilemma in the South China Sea: Current and Emerging
Concerns on Philippines-China Security Relations
192


Introduction

On 10 March 2009, the Philippine government signed
Republic Act (RA) 9522 to comply with the requirements of
the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas
(UNCLOS), which stipulates that all claims to be made for sea
bed or continental shelf extensions to Exclusive Economic
Zones allowed under the treaty be filed by 13 May 2009.
Otherwise known as the New Philippine Baselines Law, RA
9522 reaffirms the Philippines’ claims to its territorial waters,
including its extended continental shelf, economic zones and
an area of the contested Spratlys archipelago known as the
Kalayaan Island Group (KIG).
193

China, Taiwan and Vietnam immediately protested the
passage of the New Philippine Baselines Law, which is part of
a regional pattern of development that led to an upsurge of
security tensions in the South China Sea. These developments
include the China-Vietnam controversy over Sansha island in
December 2007;
194
the China-Philippines hullaballoo on the
Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) in early 2008;
195
the
discovery of a major Chinese naval base on Hainan Island in
mid-2008;
196
and a naval skirmish involving the US

1·2
Origivat rer.iov of tbi. ¡a¡er ra. ¡vbti.bea iv 1rav 1rovvg 1bv,, ea., 1be ´ovtb
Cbiva ´ea: Coo¡eratiov for Regiovat ´ecvrit, ava Dereto¡vevt ;íavoi: Di¡tovatic
.caaev, of 1ietvav, 2010), ¡¡. 11²·1:·.
1·²
íor a cov¡tete etectrovic co¡, of tbe ^er Pbiti¡¡ive ßa.etive. íar or Re¡vbtic .ct
··22, .ee btt¡:,,rrr.tar¡bit.vet,.tatvte.,re¡act.,ra200·,ra_·:22_200·.btvt.
1·1
íor av avat,.i. of tbi. covtrorer.,, .ee íav ´tore,, 1rovbte ava ´trife iv tbe ´ovtb
Cbiva ´ea: 1ietvav ava Cbiva, Cbiva ßrief, rot. º, vo. º ;11 .¡rit 200º).
1·:
íor av articte tbat triggerea tbe bvttabattoo, .ee ßarr, !aiv, Mavita`. ßvvgte iv tbe
´ovtb Cbiva ´ea, íar ía.terv ícovovic Rerier ;]avvar,·íebrvar, 200º). íor fvrtber
avat,.i., .ee íav ´tore,, 1rovbte ava ´trife iv tbe ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea: 1be Pbiti¡¡ive. ava
Cbiva, Cbiva ßrief, rot. º, vo. º ;2º .¡rit 200º).
1·ó
´ee Daria íagve, Davgerov. !ater.: Pta,ivg Cat ava Mov.e iv tbe ´ovtb Cbiva
´ea, Ctobat ..ia, rot. 1, vo. 2 ;´vvver 200·), ¡¡. :ó·ó1.
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
63

surveillance ship Impeccable and five Chinese vessels off
Hainan Island in March 2009.
197

This chapter argues that security tensions over the
disputed Spratly Islands have increased despite the adoption of
the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China
Sea (DOC) in 2002. While tensions in the South China has no
doubt de-escalated during and after the signing of the DOC,
198

security irritants pervaded as claimants continued to improve
their civilian and military facilities in their occupied islands,
islets, reefs and shoals. Taiwan protested the signing of the
DOC as it only included Brunei, China, Malaysia, the
Philippines and Vietnam. It was believed that the exclusion of
Taiwan in the DOC made the declaration ineffective in
managing tensions in the South China Sea.
Though the DOC temporarily calmed the waters in the
South China Sea by upholding the principle of amicable
settlement of maritime boundary disputes, its “non-binding”
character made the DOC fragile and tenuous. Thus, disputes in
the South China Sea continue to be major sources of maritime
security dilemma in Asia. China’s growing naval power in
recent years exacerbated this regional maritime security
dilemma, leading other claimants to upgrade their naval assets
and modernize their maritime capabilities. The maritime
security dilemma in the South China Sea raises the possibility
of armed conflict in the Spratlys, something claimants and
stakeholders alike are keen to avoid. These renewed tensions
and continuing maritime security dilemma in the South China
Sea pose formidable challenges to the promotion of maritime
security in Asia.

Security Dilemma: A Framework for Analyzing Renewed
Maritime Security Tension in the South China Sea

Security dilemma is an excellent framework to analyze
the renewed tensions in the South China Sea. It exists when the

1·¨
íor av e·cettevt avat,.i., .ee íav ´tore,, ív¡eccabte .ffair ava Reverea Riratr, iv tbe
´ovtb Cbiva ´ea, Cbiva ßrief, rot. ·, vo. · ;²0.¡rit 200·).
1·º
íor a .tva, of tbe ae·e.catatiov of covftict. iv tbe ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea, .ee Ratf ívver.,
1be De·e.catatiov of tbe ´¡ratt, Di.¡vte iv ´ivo·´ovtbea.t ..iav Retatiov., ´.
Ra;aratvav ´cboot of ívtervatiovat ´tvaie. !or/ivg Pa¡er ´erie., ^o. 12· ;ó ]vve
200¨).
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
64

military preparations of one state create an un-resolvable
uncertainty in the mind of another state as to whether those
preparations are for “defensive” or “offensive” purposes.
199

With this concept, states are always in a “guessing game,”
speculating on each others’ strategic intention whether it is
benign or malignant. States’ perceptions of security dilemma
create a paradox in which they believe that their security
requires the insecurity of others.
200
This difficult situation
occurs because of the anarchic nature of the international
system where there is the absence of an overarching authority
that regulates the behavior of sovereign states.
In an anarchic international environment, states
constantly compete with each other to protect their sovereignty
and pursue their national interests.
201
Though the state of
anarchy can also encourage countries to cooperate by building
international regimes or constructing international norms,
mutual suspicions continue to reflect the reality of international
politics. Thus, security dilemma is a tragedy because war can
occur between and among states though none of them desire
it.
202
Since each state is mandated to pursue its own national
interests, security uncertainties pervade creating security
anxieties that exacerbate their security dilemma.
The principle of security dilemma describes the
renewed tensions in the South China Sea.
203
All claimants are
driven by their desire to protect their territorial integrity and
advance their national sovereignty in this contested water. Due
to of conflicting claims motivated by sovereignty issues,
claimants in the South China Sea make unilateral moves to

1··
^icbota. ]. !beeter ava Kev ßootb, 1be ´ecvrit, Ditevva iv ]obv ßa,ti. ava ^.].
Revvger ;ea.), Ditevva. of !orta Potitic.: ívtervatiovat í..ve. iv Cbavgivg !orta
;O·fora: Ctarevaov Pre.., 1··2), ¡¡. 2··ó0.
200
]ac/ ´v,aer, Perce¡tiov. of tbe ´ecvrit, Ditevva iv 1·11 iv Robert ]erri., Ricbara
^ea íebor ava ]avice Cro.. ;ea.), P.,cbotog, ava Deterrevce ;ßattivore: 1be ]obv
ío¡/iv. |virer.it, Pre.., 1·º:), ¡. 1::.
201
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ívavrivg Covce¡t. ava Covtev¡orar, í..ve., 1
tb
eaitiov ;^er Yor/: íar¡er·Cottiv.
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202
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íerbert ßvtterfieta, íi.tor, ava ívvav Retatiov. ;íovaov: Cottiv., 1·:1), ¡¡. ó·20.
20²
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´ecvrit, Ditevva. of ´ovtbea.t ..ia ;´ivga¡ore: ív.titvte of ´ovtbea.t ..iav ´tvaie.,
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Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
65

strengthen their occupation of islands, islets, reefs, cays and
shoals. Claimants also build and enhance their maritime
capability to protect their interests in the South China Sea.

Strengthening Effective Occupation in the Spratlys

The South China Sea is composed of two major island-
chains: the Paracels and the Spratlys. The Paracels are
contested between China, Taiwan and Vietnam while the
Spratlys are being claimed in whole or in part by Brunei,
China, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam. This section focuses
only on the disputed islands, islets, reefs, shoals and cays in the
Spratlys.
Banlaoi (2009) noted in his Spratly’s study
204
that all
claimants involved in the disputes, with the exemption of
Brunei, are strengthening their occupation of what they
consider their territories in the Spratlys. China, Malaysia, the
Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have been seriously
consolidating their physical presence in the South China Sea
since the adoption of the DOC.
Photographic evidences indicate that claimants have
been involved in various infrastructure projects to intensify
their military and civilian presence in their occupied islands,
islets, reefs and shoals with the intention to prove their
occupation of these areas and thereby strengthen their claims
for ownership. Proving that ownership has huge implications
in the definition of their baselines and exclusive control and
exploitation of rich maritime resources in the South China.
Figure 2 shows the well-known overlapping claims in
the South China Sea. Figure 3, on the other hand, shows the
overlapping baselines of claimants. Since baselines
controversies among claimants in the South China Sea have not
been settled, there have also been overlapping fishing activities
in the whole area as shown in Figure 4.
Fishing activities in the South China have been major
sources of irritants among claimants as they accuse each other
of illegal fishing and poaching in their internal waters. To

201
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of tbe .rvea íorce. of tbe Pbiti¡¡ive. ba.ea iv Pverto Privce.a Patarav rbere tbe avtbor
receirea a re.trictea .ecvrit, briefivg iv tbe ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
66

justify the construction of facilities in their occupied territories,
claimants even call these facilities “fishermen shelters.” Some
claimants erected some light posts and observation towers in
their controlled areas in aid of navigation. It is already known
that there is an enormous navigational traffic in the South
China Sea making it one of the maritime superhighways of the
world. Figure 5 shows the large number of ships and tankers
passing through the South China Sea, which account for more
than 50 percent of the world’s annual navigational activities.

Figure 2. Overlapping Claims in the South China Sea















Source: Energy Information Administration, 2009.














Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.


Contiguous
Zone
China EEZ
Baseline
Philippine EEZ
Vietnam EEZ
EEZ Overlap

Figure 3. Overlapping Baselines in the South China Sea















Source: The Philippine Navy, 2009.

Figure 4. Overlapping Fishing Activities in the South China
Sea















Source: The Philippine Navy, 2009.




Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
68


Figure 5. Navigational Activities in the South China Sea













Source: Global Ballast Water Management Program, 2005.

Due to the strategic and economic value of the South
China Sea, all claimants, except Brunei, have invested their
resources in their occupied territories to maintain and
consolidate their physical presence and prove their occupation.
Table 4 shows the number of territories occupied by claimants
and the estimated number of troops deployed by claimants.
Since 2002, claimants have been engaged in a number of
construction activities to improve and fortify their military and
civilian presence in their occupied areas.

Table 4. Presently Occupied Areas in the Spratlys and
Estimated Number of Troops

Claimants Islands Presently
Occupied
Estimated Troops
Deployed in All
Occupied Areas
Vietnam 21 900-1000
China 7 900-1000
Taiwan 1 500-600
Malaysia 5 230-330
Philippines 9 60-70
Brunei 0 0
Source: PIPVTR Center for Intelligence and National Security Studies,
Philippines, 2009.

Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
69

BAT TLE
TANKS
PARABOLI C
DI SC
ANTENNAS
PIER
GUN
EMPLACE-
MENTS
GUN
SHELTERS
GUN
EMPLACE-
MENTS
BATT LE
TANK
GUN
EMPLACE-
MENTS
BATTLE
TANK
BATT LE
TANK
MARKER
BEACON
BATT LE
TANK
AI R RAID
SHEL TER
GUN
EMPLACE-
MENTS
NAVAL
GUN
GUN
EMPLACE-
MENT
Vietnam

Vietnam presently occupies 21 islands, reefs and cay in
the Spratlys. It has impressive facilities these. Its largest
occupied island, Lagos (or Spratly Island), is the most heavily
fortified with a solid runway, a pier, at least 35 buildings,
around 20 storage tanks, at least 20 gun emplacements, at least
5 battle tanks and some parabolic disk antennas and a spoon
rest radar. In April 2009, Philippine aerial surveillance found a
two newly-constructed two-storey building in the Lagos Island
with 12 newly-installed light posts and 12 wind mills. Figure 6
shows the current status of Lagos Island, which looks like a
small community in the middle of the vast ocean.

Figure 6. Lagos Island or Spratly Island (Vietnam)
















Source: Philippine Air Force, 2009.

Aside from Lagos Island, Vietnam also maintains
facilities at Pugad Island (Southwest Cay), which is less than
two nautical miles away from the Philippine occupied island of
Parola (Northeast Cay). Pugad Island has several gun
emplacements, gun shelters, civilian buildings, military
barracks, parabolic disc antennas, concrete bunkers, a light
house, a football field, a helipad, and many light posts. In April
2009, the Philippine Air Force sighted a supply ship in the
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
¯0

vicinity of Pugad Island with newly installed light posts,
polarized dipole array antenna, and a broadband facility.
Pugad Island also has a well-maintained lagoon suitable for
tourists. The surrounding waters of Pugad Island are also good
for scuba diving and other water-based sports. Figure 7 shows
the present status of Pugad Island.

Figure 7. Pugad Island or Southwest Cay (Vietnam)
















Source: Philippine Air Force, 2009.

Other facilities of Vietnam in at least 14 occupied reefs
follow a standard pattern of construction. South Reef, Pentley
Reef, Discovery Great Reef, Collins Reef, Pearson Reef,
Lendao Reef, West Reef, Ladd Reef, Central London Reef,
East Reef, Cornwallis Reef, Pigeon Reef, Allison Reef, and
Barque Canada Reef have identical structures featuring a
golden-painted three-storey concrete building with built-in
light house on top, gun emplacements on both sides, T-type
pier, solar panels, parabolic disc antennas, and garden plots.
Figure 8 shows the Pentley Reef, which is identical with
Vietnamese structures in other reefs mentioned above.




Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
¯1


Figure 8. Pentley Reef (Vietnam)
















Source: 570
th
Composite Tactical Wing, Philippine Air Force, 2009.

The Philippines

The Philippines ranks second in the most number of
occupied areas in the Spratlys. It is presently in control of nine
facilities that are considered parts of the Municipality of
Kalayaan. Its largest occupied facility is the Pag-Asa Island
(Thitu Island), the closest island to the Chinese occupied Subi
Reef. Pag-Asa Island has an already deteriorating run-way
maintained by the 570
th
Composite Tactical Wing of the
Philippine Air Force. It also has a naval detachment maintained
by the Naval Forces West of the Philippine Navy. Pag-Asa
island has municipal hall called Kalayaan Hall, a village hall
called Barangay Pag-Asa, a police station maintained by the
Philippine National Police (PNP), sports facilities, observation
tower, a commercial mobile phone station, and several civilian
houses and military barracks.
Pag-Asa Island is the only occupied island of the
Philippines with civilian residents. At least five families reside
here. This island is the main seat of the Municipality of
Kalayaan established by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 1596
issued by then President Ferdinand Marcos on 11 June 1978.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
¯2

Registered voters of Kalayaan Municipality cast their votes in
Pag-Asa Island during local and national elections. The
Commission on Elections (COMELEC) maintains an office in
Pag-Asa Island. The Mayor of Kalayaan Municipality has
released the Kalayaan Medium Term Development Plan, 2006-
2010 to civilianize the management of KIG. Figure 9 shows the
current status of Pag-Asa Island.

Figure 9. Pag-Asa Island (Philippines)















Source: 570
th
Composite Tactical Wing , Philippine Air Force, 2009.

The Philippines maintains makeshift naval detachment
facilities in five other islands, one reef and one shoal. Its
facilities in the Rizal Reef (Commodore Reef) are just wooden
structures and two small single-storey hexagonal concrete
buildings (Figure 10) manned by four personnel of the
Philippine Navy. The Philippines also maintains a naval
detachment in Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal)
established out of a dilapidated Landing Ship Tank called LST
57 (Figure 11). Ayungin Shoal is the closest structure of the
Philippines to the controversial Mischief Reef occupied by
China.



Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
¯3


Figure 10. Structure in the Rizal Reef (Philippines)














Source: 570
th
Composite Tactical Wing, Philippine Air Force, 2009.

Figure 11. ST 57 Docked at the Ayungin Shoal
(Philippines)














Source: Naval Forces West, Philippine Navy, 2009.
China

Though China does not occupy any island in the
Spratlys, it has solid facilities in seven reefs and shoals with
concrete helipads and military structures. Its much publicized
structure is in the Mischief Reef which currently has a three-
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
¯4

storey concrete building and five octagonal concrete structures
in the vicinity. The three-storey building has a basketball
court, dipole and parabolic disc antenna, search lights, solar
panels and cross-slot type radar. In April 2009, the Philippine
Air Force sighted three naval vessels in the vicinity of Mischief
Reef: Fulin Class Survey Ship, Shijian Class Survey Ship and
Yannan Class Survey Ship. Three fishing vessels were also
sighted in the lagoon of Mischief Reef.

Figure 12. Mischief Reef (China)
















Source: Western Command, Armed Forces of the Philippines 2009.

China maintains a very impressive helipad facility in
the Johnson Reef. This reef has three-storey concrete building
armed with high powered machine guns and naval guns.
Johnson Reef has identical structures in Chigua Reef and
Gaven Reef. In April 2009, the Philippine Air Forces sighted in
Johnson Reef a Huainan Jiangwei Class Frigate with body
number 560 and it was believed to be armed by surface to
surface missile, surface to air missile, 100mm guns, 32mm
guns, anti-submarine mortars, and Harbin Z9A Dauphin
Helicopter. Figure 13 shows Chinese structure in Johnson
Reef.


Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
¯5

NAVAL
GUN
MACHINE
GUNS
PARABOLIC
DISC
ANTENNAS
PARAPET
THREE-
STOREY
CONCRETE
BUILDING
NAVAL
GUN
STAIR
N EW
CON CR ETE
H ELIPAD
NEW
SINGLE-
S TOREY
B UILD ING
PAR AB OL IC
DIS C
AN TEN NA
S OLA R P ANE L

Figure 13. Johnson Reef (China)














Source: Western Command, Armed Forces of the Philippines, 2009.

Malaysia

Malaysia, which presently occupies five areas in the
Spratlys, has well-maintained facilities in the Swallow Reef.
This has a diving center called “Layang-Layang.” Swallow
Reef has a resort-type hotel, swimming pool, windmills,
communication antennas, control communication tower,
civilian houses, military barracks and a helipad (Figure 14).
Malaysia also has a very good facility in the Ardasier
Reef with an excellent helipad, sepak takraw court, gun
emplacements and control tower (Figure 15). The facilities in
this Reef are almost identical with the Malaysian facilities in
Erica Reef, Mariveles Reef and Erica Shoal. Malaysia also
maintains a symbolic obelisk marker in the Louisa Reef.









Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
¯6

PARABOLI C
DI SC
ANTENNAS
HELI PAD WIND MI LL CONTROL COMMO
TOWER
“JERONG CLASS” FAST ATTACK CRAFT-GUN (PCF)
COMBAT
BOAT 90E
RAMP
RAMP
SWI MMI NG
POOL YACHTS
THREE-
STOREY
CONCRETE
BLDG
LAYANG-
LAYANG DIVE
CENTER
BUNKERS
NAVAL GUNS
kU88LkI 2LDSÞLLD
8CA1S
CCN1kCL] CCMMC
1CWLk
GUNLMÞLACLMLN1
ÞCWLk
nCUSL
SCLAk
ÞANLLS
1kCÞI CAL 1kLL
ÞAkA8CLIC DI SC
AN1LNNA
SLÞAk 1AkkAW
CCUk1
1kCUGn 1¥ÞLWk
kADAk
S1CkAGL
1ANkS

8CA1 8CU¥ 8CA1
1IDAL 8ASIN

Figure 14. Swallow Reef (Malaysia)















Source: Western Command, Armed Forces of the Philippines 2009

Figure 15. Ardasier Reef (Malaysia)















Source: Western Command, Armed Forces of the Philippines 2009.





Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
¯¯

Taiwan

Taiwan only occupies one island called Itu-Aba,
officially named Taiping Island. It is the largest and the most
heavily fortified among the occupied islands in the Spratlys. It
has more than 50 buildings used for military and civilian
purposes. Itu-Aba has excellent helipad and a very long run-
way inaugurated by then President Chen Shuibian in March
2008. The island is protected by at least 500 troops armed with
at least 20 coastal guns, 20 gun emplacements and
communication towers. Like other occupied islands in the
Spratlys, Itu-Aba has several parabolic disc antennas, radars,
solar panels and concrete bunkers. The island also has firing
range and sports facilities. Aerial surveillance of the Philippine
Air force in April 2009 indicated that Itu-Aba has newly-
constructed three-storey building, new access ramp, and a new
firing range. Figure 16 shows the current status of Taiwan’s
facilities in Itu-Aba.

Figure 16. Itu-Aba (Taiwan)















Source: Western Command, Armed Forces of the Philippines 2009.





Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
¯8

Brunei

Since Brunei does no occupy structure in the Spratlys, it
is the most passive and benign claimant in the South China
Sea. However, the South China Sea forms a significant part in
the strategic agenda of Brunei because of its claims in its
Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) that creates some occasional
irritants with Malaysia. As a party to the DOC, Brunei
promotes regional security cooperation and development in the
South China Sea.

Summary of Infrastructure Improvements and
Construction Activities

From the foregoing, China, Malaysia, Taiwan and
Vietnam have invested their resources to erect solid and more
stable structures in their occupied areas. Philippine structures
in its nine occupied territories remain modest and in adismal
stage of rapid deterioration. However, the Philippines occupy
the most number of Islands (Kota, Lawak, Likas, Pag-Asa,
Parola and Patag) that are vegetated and suitable for human
habitation, if properly developed. Though Philippine facilities
in the Spratlys are modest, they may be considered, however,
as the most environmentally friendly facilities in the South
China Sea.
China does not occupy any island in the Spratlys. Its
occupied reefs have solid and highly cemented structures.
Majority of the areas occupied by Vietnam are also reefs. Like
China, Vietnam’s occupied reefs have solid three-storey
buildings that are identical. Though Taiwan only occupies one
island, it is, however, the largest island in the Spratlys.
Malaysia does not occupy any island like China. All Malaysian
occupied reefs are located in an area of huge oil and natural gas
deposits (Figure 15). Moreover, its Swallow Reef called
Layang-Layang is the most developed reef in the Spratlys for
tourism purposes. Brunei does not occupy any island or islet in
the Spratlys. Its claims to EEZ overlap with other claimants
including conflict with Malaysia over the Louisa Reef.


Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
¯9


Figure 17. Oil and Natural Gas Fields in the South China
Sea

























Source: “Oil and Gas Resources in the South China Sea” at
http://community.middlebury.edu/~scs/maps/EEZ%20Claims,%20Oil%20a
nd%20Gas%20Resources.jpg

Renewed Tensions in the South China Sea: Challenges for
Philippines-China Security Relations and Maritime
Security in Asia

The South China Sea Disputes pose a major challenge
in maritime security Asia, particularly China’s security
relations with the Philippines and other claimants in ASEAN.
Though China and ASEAN countries have initiated various
steps to build confidence for the peaceful management of their
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
80

differences on many maritime security issues in Southeast Asia
and the wider Asia Pacific region, the complex maritime
boundary conflicts in the South China Sea make the
cooperation of China and Southeast Asia in the maritime
domain difficult to pursue because of the security dilemma.
Though the DOC expressed the intention of China and ASEAN
to peacefully manage territorial disputes in the South China
Sea, the exclusion of Taiwan from the DOC made it
incomplete and ineffective to reduce tensions.
When China signed the DOC in 2002 with other
claimants in the South China Sea (except Taiwan), there was
international jubilation that China has shifted its paradigm of
relationship in Southeast Asia from bilateralism to
multilateralism. Since 2008, however, when China declared
the Vietnamese-claimed Sansha City as an integral part of
Hainan Province, there seems to be a retrogression of China’s
attitude on the South China Sea. The view is that China is
becoming more and more unilateral in its behavior in the South
China Sea.
The USS Impeccable incident in March 2009
aggravated the fear of its Asian neighbors that China was
increasingly being more unilaterally assertive in advancing its
claims in the disputed water. Security anxieties of Southeast
Asian claimants and stakeholders were heightened when
China’s Ambassador to ASEAN, Xue Hanqin, opined that the
South China Sea Disputes would not be on ASEAN agenda.
205

ASEAN claimants have been wanting to put this, particularly
the Spratly Disputes, in the ASEAN agenda to increase its
bargaining position with China. Vietnam wanted the Paracels
to be included in the ASEAN agenda but other ASEAN
claimants wanted to focus on the issue of the Spratlys.
There is no doubt that China’s attitude on the South
China Sea is a major factor affecting the behavior of other
claimants. These are more often than not, reactions on China’s
move in the South China Sea. When the issue of Yulin (Sanya)
Submarine Base in Hainan Province became controversial in
mid-2008, it raised alarm in Southeast Asia that the Sanya
Submarine Base had a Jin Class type ballistic missile

20:
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Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
81

submarine that could enhance China’s sea-based deterrent
capability.
As a reaction, Southeast Asian claimants became more
serious in their programs to upgrade their naval capabilities.
Malaysia, for example, acquired in October 2009 a Scorpene
Class submarine to bolster its capability to guard its waters.
Vietnam, on the other hand, ordered in 2007 two Gepard Class
frigates from Russia. Vietnam explored the procurement of six
Kilo Class submarines from Russia to increase its maritime
capabilities. The Philippines, though financially challenged to
acquire modern naval ships, revised in March 2009 its Rules of
Engagement in the South China Sea. Taiwan, for its part,
upgraded its military facilities in Itu-Aba and in April 2009, a
new firing range was sighted to have been completed.
In other words, other claimants Sea were reacting on
China’s increasing assertiveness in the South China.
Thus, ameliorating maritime security dilemma in the
South China Sea and maritime security cooperation between
China and Southeast Asia will largely depend on how China
will behave on the issue. China’s behavior on the South China
Sea will be a litmus test of China’s peaceful development as a
rising regional and global power.

Conclusion

Based on photographic evidences from various official
and non-official open sources, all claimants, with the
exemption of Brunei, have been consolidating their civilian and
military presence in the Spratlys to assert their territorial
claims. Though there seems to be a de-escalation of conflict in
the South China Sea with the adoption of DOC in 2002,
renewed security tensions occurred in the late 2007 indicating
the limitations of DOC in managing territorial disputes and
perpetuating the maritime security dilemma in one of the
contested waters in the Asia Pacific. Renewed security
tensions in the South China Sea greatly affect the current
direction and emerging status of Philippines-China security
relations.
Beyond doubt, the territorial disputes in the South
China continue to play a destabilizing role in the security of the
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
82

Asia Pacific region.
206
There is therefore a great need to
increase transparency and to enhance confidence-building
among claimants and other stakeholders in the disputes to
effectively overcome the security dilemma in the South China
Sea and decisively create a cooperative management regime
necessary for regional peace and stability.
207


20ó
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Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
83


CHAPTER SEVEN

Philippine Solution to the South China Sea Problem: More
Problems, Less Solutions in Philippines-China Security
Relations?
208


Introduction

To provide an overarching solution to the territorial
problem in the South China Sea, the Philippine government
launched the Zone of Peace, Freedom, Friendship and
Cooperation (ZoPFFC). Planned to be discussed at the 19
th

Summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(ASEAN) and 6
th
East Asia Summit (EAS) in Bali, Indonesia
on 17-19 November 2011, it failed to get into the conference
table because of China’s vehement rejection.
Though Vietnam endorsed it, China argued that the
Summits were not the proper forums to discuss the South
China Sea issue.
209
Even Malaysia said that the Philippine
proposal would "only complicate the matter further".
210

Cambodia, the next ASEAN Summit Chair and known to be
close with China, stressed that while it was not against the idea,
"the problem is how to avoid duplication."
211
Though other
members of ASEAN and EAS chose to be silent on the issue
after China made its strong point, the United States supported
the Philippine initiative to promote regional stability and
freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.
212

This chapter describes the current security situation in
the South China Sea focusing on major incidents occurring in

20º
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´bift ava Re.¡ov.e orgavi¸ea b, tbe Oceav Potic, Re.earcb íovvaatiov ;OPRí), 1be
^i¡¡ov íovvaatiov ava tbe ´. Ra;aratvav ´cboot of ívtervatiovat ´tvaie. ;R´í´) at
Mariva Mavaariv íotet, ´ivga¡ore 2º·2· íebrvar, 2012.
20·
1.]. ßvrgovio, Pre.iaevt .qvivo`. ´¡ratt,. Ptav íota |vtit ^e·t Year, Pbiti¡¡ive
Dait, ívqvirer ;20 ^orevber 2011).
210
^v.a Dva, .´í.^ ßac/. .ra, frov Maritive ´tava .gaiv.t Cbiva, íverg,
Dait, ;1: ^orevber 2011).
211
íbia.
212
.vrea Catica, ´ea Di.¡vte: ^o, Cet. |´ ´v¡¡ort, Pbiti¡¡ive ´tar ;20 ^orevber
2011).
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
84

2011 to the present.
213
It also presents the “Philippine
solution” to the South China Sea problem, examines the merits
of this solution, and describes the limitations of Philippine
proposal. It concludes with a policy recommendation to
manage, if not to totally resolve, the current problem.

Current Security Situation in the South China Sea

The year 2011 saw the escalation of tensions in the
South China Sea prompting Robert D. Kaplan to describe the
South China Sea as “the future of conflict.”
214
Increasing
assertiveness of claimants manifested through resolute
diplomacy, naval capability development, and increased
unilateral patrols and surveillance ship activities in disputed
waters was the main source of increased security tensions. If
security tensions continue, the South China Sea will be “ripe
for rivalry.”
215

Resolute Diplomacy in the Spratlys. All claimants
have become more resolute in their foreign policy positions in
the South China Sea. They claim that the South China Sea is
part of their sovereignty guaranteed by international laws.
Claimants use all possible diplomatic means to assert these
claims. Clash of sovereignties makes the resolution of
conflicts very difficult.
216
It is even argued that these disputes

21²
íor e·cettevt avat,.e. of .itvatiov. iv tbe ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea ¡rior to 2011, .ee Cart
|vgerer, íav ´tore, ava ´av ßatevav, Ma/ivg Mi.cbief: 1be Retvrv of tbe ´ovtb
Cbiva ´ea Di.¡vte, .´Pí ´¡eciat Re¡ort, í..ve ²ó ;Decevber 2010) ava Ctire ´cbofieta
ava íav ´tore,, 1be ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea Di.¡vte.: ívcrea.ivg ´ta/e., Ri.ivg 1ev.iov.
;!a.bivgtov DC: ]ave.torv íovvaatiov, ^orevber 200·). .t.o .ee Rovvet C.
ßavtaoi, Maritive ´ecvrit, ívrirovvevt iv ía.t ava ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea. ;Pa¡er
¡re.evtea at tbe ívtervatiovat Covferevce ov Maritive ´ecvrit, ívrirovvevt iv ía.t ..iav
!ater. orgavi¸ea b, tbe Oceav Potic, Re.earcb íovvaatiov ;OPRí), 1o/,o, ]a¡av ov 1ó·
1¨ íebrvar, 2011).
211
Robert D. Ka¡tav, 1be ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea i. tbe ívtvre of Covftict, íoreigv Potic,
;´e¡tevber,October 2011).
21:
1be terv ri¡e for riratr, ra. origivatt, coivea b, .arov í. írieaberg iv bi. ¨Ri¡e for
Riratr,: Pro.¡ect. for Peace iv a Mvtti¡otar ..ia,¨ ívtervatiovat ´ecvrit,, 1ot. 1º, ^o. ²
;!ivter 1··²,·1), ¡¡. :·²².
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00.
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
85

will not be resolved in the foreseeable future if sovereignty
issues will be continuously raised.
217

Using various diplomatic channels, China strongly
reiterated its “indisputable sovereignty” of all the waters and
features. In its latest Defense White Paper released in March
2011, China renewed its commitment to defend its “vast
territories and territorial seas.”
218

Taiwan has identical sovereignty claim with China. In
August 2011, the Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
released an official statement asserting that their claim in the
South China Sea is non-negotiable. Taiwan re-affirmed that all
features in the South China Sea “without a doubt fall under the
sovereignty of the government of the Republic of China
(Taiwan).”
219

The Philippines asserted its sovereignty claim when the
Philippine Mission to the United Nations submitted a Note
Verbale on 5 April 2011 restating its claim to sovereignty over
the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG). President Benigno Simeon
Aquino III ordered in June 2011 the naming of “West
Philippine Sea” (WPS) to refer to its claimed waters in the
Spratlys, particularly around the KIG. The Philippines hosted
the Manila Conference on the South China Sea on 5-6 July
2011 in an attempt to internationalize the South China Sea
Disputes.
In Vietnam, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung re-
affirmed on 9 June 2011 its “incontestable sovereignty” over in
the South China Sea. He indicated, “We are ready to sacrifice
everything to protect our homeland, our sea, and our island
sovereignty.”
220
To raise Vietnam’s international profile on the
issue, the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam organized in Hanoi
on 26 April 2011 the Second National Conference on South

21¨
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21º
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2011).
21·
Maritive ívforvatiov Cevter, Mivi.tr, of íoreigv .ffair. of tbe Re¡vbtic of Cbiva
;1airav) reiterate. it. ¡o.itiov ov tbe ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea ;2² .vgv.t 2011) at
btt¡:,,varitiveivfo.voi.gor.tr,varivereb,ía,íroví0.a.¡·.ica.e~102c¡ia~000000
00ó:.
220
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.gevtvr ;· ]vve 2011).
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
86

China Sea with the title “The Sovereignty Disputes in the
South China Sea: History, Geopolitics and International Law”.
Malaysia’s claim to sovereignty in the Spratly is based
on the continental reef principle outlined by UNCLOS. During
the ASEAN Bali Summit in November 2011, the Malaysian
Minister of Foreign Affairs reiterated the need to implement
the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China
Sea (DOC) and to eventually adopt the regional Code of
Conduct in the South China Sea (COC).
Brunei does not occupy any feature in the Spratlys.
However, in January 2011, the Sultanate of Brunei re-asserted
its position that the Louisa Reef being claimed by Malaysia is
part of Brunei’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Naval Capability Development. All claimants in the
South China Sea strongly uphold the peaceful resolution of
disputes in the South China Sea. They are also developing and
enhancing their naval capabilities to assert their respective
claims.
Among the claimants, China’s naval capability
development is the most controversial and much talked about.
In August 2011, its first aircraft carrier, Varyag, started its sea
trial and navigated the waters near the disputed South China
Sea. It also started in 2011 the construction of its indigenous
aircraft carrier to be finished in 2015.
221
The People’s
Liberation Army (PLA) Navy deployed in 2011 some of its 60
new HOUBEI-class (Type 022) wave-piercing catamaran hull
missile patrol boats in its coastal waters near the South China
Sea.
222
The PLA Navy also expanded in 2011 its force of
nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSN). Its two second-
generation SHANG-class (Type 093) SSNs started its
operations in 2011 and it has been reported that as many as five
third-generation Type 095 SSNs will be added in the coming
years.
223

In Vietnam, the Defense Ministry confirmed in August
2011 that the country would get its six Kilo Class submarines

221
Office of tbe ´ecretar, of Defev.e, Mititar, ava ´ecvrit, Dereto¡vevt. ívrotrivg tbe
Peo¡te`. Re¡vbtic of Cbiva 2011: . Re¡ort to Covgre.. Pvr.vavt to tbe ^atiovat Defev.e
.vtbori¸atiov .ct for íi.cat Year 2000 ;!a.bivgtov DC: De¡artvevt of ^atiovat
Defev.e, 2011).
222
íbia. ¡. 1.
22²
íbia.,
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.


from Russia “within six years.”
224
On 7 December 2011, the
Rosoboronexport and the Zelenodolsk Gorky Plant finished the
shipping of Vietnam’s first two Gepard Class corvettes and
have just signed a contract for additional two units.
225
Unlike
the first two corvettes, which are armed with surface attack
weapons, the additional two corvettes will concentrate on anti-
submarine warfare.
226
It also received on 5 March 2011 its First
Gepard class frigate from Russia, naming it the Dinh Tien
Hoang, in honor of the first Vietnamese emperor.
In June 2011, the Philippines and the U.S. navies held
their 11-day Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Train
(CARAT) in the Sulu Sea, a water less than 100 nautical miles
away from the South China Sea. On 17 August 2011, the
Philippine Navy (PN) received the second-hand Hamilton
Class Cutter (named BRP Gregorio del Pilar) from the United
States. The PN announced that it planned to acquire eight more
of this kind “within five years” to patrol its vast maritime
waters.
227
President Aquino III even announced on 23 August
2011 his dream of acquiring a submarine.
228
In October 2011,
the Philippine Marine Corps and the U.S. Marine Corps held
their Amphibious Landing Exercise (Phiblex) in the waters
West of Palawan, a maritime area close to the South China Sea.
The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) announced in
September 2011 the deployment of its Scorpene Class
submarines in Sabah, an island very close to the Spratlys.
229

The RMN also held its annual Operation Sea Training Exercise

221
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at
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btt¡:,,rrr.aefev.eivav.tr,aait,.cov,1ietvav·Re¡orteat,·´et·to·ßv,·Rv..iav·Kito·Cta..·
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Defev.e ;2 ]vve 2011) at btt¡:,,r¡aefev.e.orer·btog.cov,articte·¡biti¡¡ive.·rovta·be·
¡vrcba.ivg·eigbt·e··bavittov·cta..·orer·fire·,ear.·¨::²²111.btvt
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Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
88

(OSTEX) on 15 July 2011 in the East Malaysian portion of the
South China Sea, close to the disputed Spratly Islands.
230

Meanwhile, Taiwan announced in October 2011 its
willingness to deploy missiles in Itu Aba Island to assert its
sovereignty in the South China Sea. The Taiwan Navy has
four Kidd class destroyers, eight Oliver Hazard Perry class
frigates, eight Knox class frigates, six La Fayette class frigates,
two Zwaardvis class submarines and two older Tench class
submarines.
231

Finally, Brunei, though the most benign and low profile
among the claimants, also joined the region in naval
development. In January 2011, the Royal Brunei Navy (RBN)
received two new Darussalam class Offshore Patrol Vessels
(OPVs) from Germany.
232
In November 2011, the RBN
commissioned a new fast interceptor boat (FIB 25-012) called
KDB Mustaed.
233
The RBN also has in its Muara Naval Base
four Itjihad Class corvettes, two Serasa Class Amphibious
Warfare Craft (LCM), three Bendeharu Class patrol boats,
personnel launchers and patrol boats among others.
234

Increased Unilateral Patrols and Surveillance Ship
Activities in the South China Sea. In an attempt to protect
their territorial waters and assert their sovereignty in their
claimed features in the South China Sea, claimants increased
their maritime patrols and enhanced their surveillance ship
activities in the disputed area in 2011. These maritime patrols
and surveillance ship activities led to some serious events that
raised security tensions in the South China Sea.
One major event was the 26 May 2011 Cable Cutting
Incident involving three Chinese surveillance ships and
Vietnamese state-owned Binh Minh 02 seismic survey ship.

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2011).
2²1
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Ceo¡otiticat ava Covftict Re¡ort ;12 Ma, 2011) at
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89

Reports said that the China Maritime Surveillance Ship 84,
escorted by two other ships, cut a cable towing seismic
monitoring equipment belonging to Binh Minh 02, which at
that time was conducting drilling and seismic survey activities
in an oil-rich area called Block 48. The Chinese government
argued that the three Chinese ships were just conducting their
“maritime law enforcement activities” in their “jurisdictional
area” where Vietnam ship was “illegally operating.”
235
But the
Vietnamese government protested that the Binh Minh 02 was
operating in Vietnam’s continental shelf and was not a disputed
area.
Another Cable Cutting Incident occurred on 9 June
2011 involving Chinese fishing vessel Number 62226 and
PetroVietnam’s Viking 2 seismic survey ship. The Vietnam
Ministry of Foreign Affairs narrated:
At 6 a.m. on 9
th
June 2011, when the Viking 2
vessel, chartered by PetroVietnam (PVN), was
conducting seismic explosion survey at lot 136/03:
6
o
47,5’ North – 109
o
17,5’ East in the continental shelf
of Vietnam, the fishing boats from China No. 62226
supported by two Chinese fishing enforcement vessels
No. 311 and 303 traveled the Viking vessel at the front
and then turned direction and accelerated.
Despite the warning flare of the
Vietnamese side, the fishing boat No. 62226
intentionally ran into the exploration cable of
the Viking 2 vessel and the specialized cable-
cutting device of the fishing boat No. 62226 got
trapped into the cable net of the Viking 2 vessel,
making the Viking 2 vessel not operate
normally.
236

The Chinese government explained that the cable
cutting took place when Vietnamese ships chased Chinese
fishing boats in the waters near the Vanguard Bank (Wan An).
While moving away, the Chinese fishing boat No. 62226

2²:
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Ma, 2011) at btt¡:,,vavrietver..rora¡re...cov,2011,0:,²0,cbiva·re¡rivava.·
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Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
90

reached the cable of Viking 2. In order to escape Vietnam’s hot
pursuit, the Chinese fishermen cut the cable. According to
Chinese Foreign Ministry, “The Vietnamese ship put the lives
and safety of the Chinese fishermen in serious danger.”
237

Aside from Vietnam-China cable cutting incidents in
the South China Sea, the Philippines and China also got into
several incidents in 2011 that raised the security tensions in the
Spratlys. These were the following:
• 25 February 2011. The Armed Forces of the Philippines
(AFP) reported that the Chinese Jianhu V Class missile
frigate Number 560 fired three shots at three Filipino
fishing vessels (Jaime DLS, Mama Lydia DLS and
Maricris 12) operating the waters near the Quirino
(Jackson) Atoll. The Atoll is only 140 nautical miles
west of Palawan Island. But the Chinese Ambassador to
the Philippines denied the firing incidents.
238

• 2 March 2011: Two Chinese maritime patrol vessels
(Number 71 and Number 75) threatened to ram MV
Veritas Voyager, an energy research vessel of Forum
Energy commissioned by the Philippine government.
The research vessel was conducting a seismic survey in
the Reed Bank, just 85 nautical miles north of Palawan
Island. The MV Veritas Voyager called for help
prompting the AFP to send two units of OV10 jets to
the Reed Bank to look into the incident. But the
Chinese government said that Patrol Vessels 71 and 75
were just doing their jobs.
239

• 6 May 2011. The AFP reported a sighting of a Chinese
maritime research vessel in Abad Santos (Bombay)
Shoal. This shoal, which surrounds a lagoon, is still
unoccupied but is under the control of the Philippines.
Though the Chinese government denied the incident, it
stressed that there was nothing wrong for Chinese

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Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
91

vessels to navigate in Chinese territorial waters.
• 19 May 2011: Two unidentified fighter jets, alleged to
be Chinese, are sighted near Palawan Island. The AFP
reported that these two fighter jets, believed to be MIG-
29, harassed an Air Force OV-10 “Bronco” while
patrolling the Philippines territory in Palawan.
240
The
Chinese Embassy in Manila denied the incident.
• 21 May 2011. The AFP reported another sighting of
Chinese Maritime Patrol Vessel 75 navigating near
Southern Bank together with Salvage Research Ship
707.
• 24 May 2011: While Chinese Defense Minister Liang
Guanglie was conducting his “goodwill” visit to the
Philippines on May 21-25 to “improve” Philippines-
China relations, the Philippine military discovered in
the same period some Chinese ships unloading
construction materials near the unoccupied, but still
Philippine controlled, Amy Douglas Bank.
241
Based on
the report of the Philippine military, China has erected
an undetermined number of posts, and placed a buoy
near the breaker of the Amy Douglas Bank. The AFP
reported that Filipino fishermen saw a Chinese Marine
Surveillance Vessel aided by ships of the People’s
Liberation Army (PLA) Navy laying steel posts and a
buoy in the Iroquois Reef Amy Douglas Bank, 100
nautical miles off Palawan. The AFP considered the
presence of PLA Navy ships in the waters of Amy
Douglas Bank as an incursion. The Philippine
Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) brought this
incident to the attention of the Chinese Embassy in
Manila. The Chinese Embassy denied any incursion of
Chinese ships and argued that the ship sighted was just
a Chinese Marine Research Vessel “conducting normal
maritime research activities in the South China Sea.”
242


210
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]et., ßv.ive.. Mirror ;1· Ma, 2011).
211
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/vorteage.¡b,2011,0ó,02,a·vi.cbief·reef·iv·tbe·va/ivg,
212
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Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
92

• 6 June 2011. The Naval Forces West of the Philippine
Navy based in Palawan, reported that its naval troops
dismantled a foreign marker, suspected to be Chinese,
that was erected in the Boxall Reef, 105 nautical miles
from mainland Palawan and only 20 nautical miles
from Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal).
243
The
Chinese Embassy in Manila denied Chinese ownership
of the marker. China asserted that the Boxall Reef
belonged to China arguing that the reef was very close
to Mischief Reef.
• 18 October 2011. The Philippine Navy Patrol Ship 74
collided with a Chinese fishing vessel that was towing
25 smaller boats in the contested Spratlys waters near
the Reed Bank. The Philippine Navy said that the
collision was an “accident” and “not a hostile act.”
China justified Chinese fishing activities near the Reed
Bank and claimed that the actions of the Philippines
had harmed the “lawful right and interests of
fishermen.”
244

• 11-12 December 2011. The AFP reported the sightings
of two Chinese vessels and a navy ship intruding the
waters of Escoda (Sabina) Shoal, 70 nautical miles
off Palawan. The DFA conveyed its “serious concerns”
to the Chinese embassy in Manila. The Chinese
embassy replied that it saw nothing wrong with the
passage of three Chinese vessels and insisted that the
Escoda Shoal “is within China’s territorial waters.”
245


Philippine Solution to the Spratly Problem

Amidst rising security tensions in the South China Sea
(SCS) or WPS, the Philippine government proposed the
ZoPFFC. It recommended the adoption of a regional
mechanism to separate disputed and non-disputed areas in the
SCS pursuant to applicable international laws, particularly the

21²
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211
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October 2011).
21:
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Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
93

United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas
(UNCLOS).
The Philippine government further explained the idea
of ZoPFFC in its official paper entitled, “Philippine Paper on
ASEAN-CHINA Zone of Peace, Freedom, Friendship and
Cooperation (ZoPFF/C) in the WPS/SCS”. This paper
identified what the Philippine government calls as “10 ways to
ZoPFFC,” to wit:
1. Not the whole of the WPS (SCS) is disputed;
2. The area of dispute in the WPS (SCS) is specific,
determinable and measurable;
3. The area of dispute can be determined and measured by
clarifying the nature of, and distinction between “territorial
disputes” and “maritime claims” in the WPS (SCS);
4. The nature of and distinction between “territorial disputes”
and “maritime claims” in the WPS (SCS) can be clarified by:
first, recognizing the distinction between geological features
(i.e. islands, rocks, low-tide elevations) and waters (including
continental shelf); and second, by applying the rules governing
each of these elements in accordance with the United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)
5. The dispute in the WPS (SCS) is principally on the
relevant features (i.e., islands, rocks, and low-tide elevations).
If ever there is a dispute on the water, this is basically caused
by the dispute on the features. Under the principle of “la terre
domine la mer”, or “the land dominates the sea,” he who owns
the land also owns the sea around it. Therefore, if the owner of
the land is disputed, then the sea around it could also be
assumed disputed;
6. However, the extent of adjacent waters projected from the
island is limited, finite, determinable, definite, and measurable
under UNCLOS (1'.e., Article 121, Regime of Islands);
7. Once the extent of adjacent waters is determined and
measured in accordance with international law, specifically
UNCLOS, then the extent of dispute both on the relevant
features [“territorial dispute”] and maritime zones [“maritime
claims dispute”] generated from the said features, can already
be determined;
8. Once the extent or limit of the disputed area (relevant
features + adjacent waters) is determined; the same can be
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
94

segregated from the rest of the non-disputed waters of the WPS
(SCS);
9. The disputed area (relevant features + adjacent waters) can
be segregated from non-disputed waters (and continental shelf)
of WPS (SCS) by enclaving the said disputed area. Enclaving
will literally operationalize the “shelving of territorial disputes”
and pave the way for effective and meaningful cooperation
among the claimant countries in the WPS (SCS).
10. Therefore, joint cooperation in the Enclave (as Joint
Cooperation Area) could be conducted among the claimant
countries. Outside of the Enclave, the littoral states in the
semi—enclosed sea can also engage in appropriate cooperative
activities under Part IX of UNCLOS, while exercising their
sovereign rights over these bodies of waters under Articles 3,4,
55, 57, and 76 of UNCLOS.
246

11.
Figure 18. Joint Cooperation Area
















Since not the whole of the WPS/SCS is disputed, the

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95

Philippine government recommended the separation of
disputed and non-disputed areas to manage the conflict in the
SCS. Non-disputed areas are waters and continental shelves,
which are “beyond the disputed relevant features.”
247
In non-
disputed areas, claimants can develop them unilaterally based
on the principle of sovereign rights in accordance with the
application of EEZ, continental shelf, and other maritime zones
provided for by UNCLOS.
Disputed areas are the Spratlys and the Paracels. The
Philippine government explained that “disputed relevant
features (and their adjacent waters) could be segregated from
the rest of the waters of the SCS by enclaving the said features.
The adjacent waters of the relevant features could be
determined by applying Article 121 of UNCLOS.”
248
To
promote cooperation and avoid conflict in the disputed areas,
the Philippine government recommends the pursuance of joint
development by converting all disputed territorial features as
“enclaves” and declare these “enclaves” as “Joint Cooperation
Areas” (JCA) that could be demilitarized.
In the JCA, the Philippine government said that the
following joint cooperative activities can be pursued: 1) Joint
development. 2) Marine scientific research; 3) Protection of the
marine environment; 4) Safety of navigation and
communication at sea; 5) Search and rescue operation; 6)
Humane treatment of all persons in danger or distress at sea; 7)
Fight against transnational crimes.
249

President Benigno Simeon Aquino III summarized the
wisdom of ZoPFFC in the following words: “What is ours is
ours, and with what is disputed, we can work towards joint
cooperation.” DFA Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario expounded
the idea of ZoPFFC by saying, “There is a need to segregate
the disputed area and echoed President Aquino’s statement
from non-disputed area and echoed. What is ours and is ours,
and what is disputed can be shared.”
250




21¨
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íbia.
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íbia.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
96

More Problems in the South China Sea

It is unfortunate that the ZoPFFC as the Philippine
solution to the South China Sea Dispute is problematic for
other claimants. Though Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam
expressed its support to the Philippine proposal, some
claimants and ASEAN members rejected it.
China expressed strong opposition to ZoPFFC as it
challenged “China’s 9-dash line claim.” The Philippine paper
on ZoPFFC underscored that the 9-dash line claim of China “is
bereft of any legal basis under international law.”
251
Philippine
Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario described
China’s 9-dash line claim as “the core of the problem” that
must be “subjected to rules-based regime of UNCLOS.”
252

Though the Philippine government argued that the ZoPFFC
proposal was consistent with the rules based framework of
managing international disputes, China vehemently opposed
Manila’s proposal because Beijing is not ready to bring the
South China Sea Disputes before international adjudication.
253

In fact, China hijacked the agenda of the 2011
ASEAN/EAS Summits in Bali when it warned participants not
to discuss ZoPFFC and the South China Sea Dispute. Thus,
participants failed to discuss ZoPFFC at the 2011 Bali
Summits. Secretary del Rosario admitted, “ZoPFFC was not
brought up at all. We’re the only one who brought up the
ZoPFFC. All the interventions were on maritime security in the
West Philippine Sea.”
254
The Philippine government planned
to raise ZoPFFC again in the next ASEAN/EAS Summits.
Without the concurrence of China, it is utterly difficult for the
Philippines to move the ZoPFFC proposal forward.
Malaysia expressed its “fundamental concerns” on
ZoPFFC. Dato’ Sri Anifah Aman, Malaysia’s Minister of

2:1
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2:2
.tbert í. aet Ro.ario, Ov !e.t Pbiti¡¡ive ´ea ;Detirerea at tbe .´í.^ íoreigv
Mivi.ter.` Meetivg iv ßati, ívaove.ia ov ^orevber 1:, 2011) at
btt¡:,,rrr.gor.¡b,2011,11,1:,tbe·.ecretar,·of·foreigv·affair.·ov·tbe·re.t·¡biti¡¡ive·
.ea·vorevber·1:·2011,
2:²
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.´í.^ !a,. R´í´ Covvevtarie. ;: ]avvar, 2012).
2:1
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Dait, ívqvirer ;20 ^orevber 2011).
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.


Foreign Affairs, issued an official statement arguing that the
Philippine concept of disputed and non-disputed areas in the
South China Sea could be a source of disputes, particularly in
the context of the Sabah Problem.
255
Minister Aman raised the
following points against ZoPFFC:
1. Malaysia has fundamental concerns with the Philippine’s
proposal on the Zone of Peace, Freedom, Friendship and
Cooperation (ZOPFF/C);
2. The Philippines’ proposal is premised on the need to
segregate the disputed area from the non-disputed area. The
issue is, what may be considered as being disputed by one
party, is considered as an established fact by another. Therein
lies the source of the dispute to begin with. This is especially
true in the case of the Philippines’s claim over Sabah, whose
integrity and sovereignty is recognized by the international
community as being part of Malaysia. For this reason, this
proposal cannot be used as a basis to address the South China
Sea issue. To Malaysia, this is non-negotiable;
3. Malaysia emphasized that ASEAN’s attention should
instead be directed towards the effective implementation of
the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China
Sea (DOC) and the eventual realization of the Code of
Conduct in the South China Sea (COC). We should not be
distracted from this effort; and,
4. Malaysia strongly felt that it is not opportune for ASEAN
to embark on such an ambitious endeavor, which is a non-
starter and will be counter-productive to our genuine effort to
maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.
256

Cambodia joined China and Malaysia in rejecting the
ZoPFFC. When media asked the Cambodian Foreign Minister
on his take on the issue, he reportedly laughed and raised the

2::
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;ZOPíí,C) ;Pre.. ´tatevevt avrivg tbe .´í.^ Mivi.teriat Meetivg ;.MM) beta
iv ßati, ívaove.ia, 1: ^orevber 2011).
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Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
98

issue of duplication. Though the Cambodia Foreign Minister
explained that his government was not totally against ZoPFFC,
he, however, stressed to avoid the problem of duplication.
257

Cambodia is the next Chair of ASEAN. With the
reputation of Cambodia of being a “China’s ally in ASEAN,”
putting ZoPFFC into the official ASEAN agenda will be a
great challenge to the Philippine government. ASEAN
Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan lamented that ZOPFFC was
already put in the diplomatic back burner and that it "remains
to be discussed further.”
258
In diplomatic parlance, it means
that the ZoPFFC has already been "shelved."
259


Summary and Conclusion

The year 2011 saw the escalation of security tensions in
the South China Sea. Increasing assertiveness of claimants
through resolute diplomacy, naval capability development, and
increased unilateral patrols and surveillance ship activities in
disputed waters contributed immensely to the current security
situation.
The Philippine government proposed ZoPFFC as the
solution to the South China Sea problem. But the Philippine
proposal raised more problems than solutions to the conflict.
Though it had the backing of some ASEAN members in
pursuing ZoPFFC, major claimants, particularly China and
Malaysia, opposed the idea. The Philippine government even
failed to bring ZoPFFC in the official agenda of the 2011
ASEAN/EAS Summits in Bali.
Despite this set-back, there is a need to point out that
the ZoPFFC has its merits in managing territorial disputes in
the South China Sea, particularly the general idea of joint
development that China and other claimants support. Though
the Philippine government “failed to gain support at the last
ASEAN Summit in Bali,” the ZoPFFC could still “be an
effective way to address the core problems” in the South China

2:¨
Re, O. .rcitta, 1ro·1rac/ .¡¡roacb, Mata,a ;22 ^orevber 2011) at
btt¡:,,rrr.vata,a.cov.¡b,vor22,eare,.btvt
2:º
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2:·
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Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
99

Sea.
260
ZoPFFC failed to get enough support from ASEAN
and EAS participants because the devil was in the details.
There is no doubt that the problems in the South China
Sea are complex and complicated. But there is no shortage of
idea to solve these problems.
261
What is needed is a strong
political will for all parties to “compromise and abide by all
agreements” and to acknowledge regional interests as integral
part of national interests.
262




2ó0
íabte.a Mvvabari, . too/ ivto .´í.^·Cbiva`. DOC, 1be ]a/arta Po.t ;¨
íebrvar, 2012).
2ó1
^atiovat Defev.e Cottege of tbe Pbiti¡¡ive., íoreigv ´errice ív.titvte ava tbe Di¡tovatic
.caaev, of 1ietvav, 1be ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea Reaaer ;Pa¡er. ava ¡roceeaivg. of tbe Mavita
Covferevce ov tbe ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea: 1orara a Regiov of Peace, Coo¡eratiov ava Progre..,
Mavita, :·ó ]vt, 2011), ¡. ·.
2ó2
íbia.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
100


CHAPTER EIGHT

Standoff in the Scarborough Shoal:
A Difficult Challenge in Philippines-China Security
Relations
263


Excerpts of Banlaoi’s article in Newsweek, June 15, 2011

This chapter provides scholarly insights on the on-
going standoff with China in Panatag Shoal or Bajo de
Masinloc, which the international community calls
Scarborough Shoal.
The concept of West Philippine Sea and bills on
Philippine Maritime Zones and Archipelagic Sea Lanes are not
only domestic issues but they are international concerns with
profound national and regional security implications. Unless
there is a broad understanding of the international politics
surrounding these issues and concerns, using a new name and
passing domestic laws can just be moot and academic, if not an
exercise in futility.
The Philippine government has adopted the West
Philippine Sea (WPS) to refer to the body of waters that is
deemed part of Philippine territory, which is located West of
our Archipelago. Its main intention in using WPS is to assert
territorial claim in disputed maritime zones. The use of the
South China Sea (SCS), the government asserts, has subliminal
message that this body of waters belongs to China; thus there is
a need to change the name to convey the stand of the
Philippines. Vietnam calls it East Sea (ES).
264

The use of WPS, SCS or ES is just a geographic
description. While it has psychological and propaganda value
for states using these names, they are just labels devoid of any
legal meaning that can be used for any form of ownership.

2ó²
ßa.ea ov tbe origivat ¡a¡er aetirerea at tbe ¡vbtic bearivg of tbe Covvittee ov íoreigv
Retatiov., tbe Pbiti¡¡ive ´evate, ´e..iov íatt, 2
va
ítoor, ´evate of tbe Pbiti¡¡ive., C´í´
ßtag., íivavciat Cevter, Pa.a, Cit, ov 2¨ .¡rit 2012.
2ó1
íor v, aetaitea ta/e ov tbi. i..ve, .ee Rovvet C. ßavtaoi, !e.t Pbiti¡¡ive ´ea:
!bat`. iv a ^ave. ^er.brea/ ;1: ]vve 2011).
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
101

The use of the Indian Ocean does not mean that this water
belongs to India.

The passage of Philippine Archipelagic Baselines Law
in 2009 and the proposed Maritime Zones bills and the
Archipelagic Sea Lanes bills are part of the Philippine
government’s legal offensives to assert territorial claims in this
disputed body of waters in accordance with international law.
With limited military capability to assert this claim, the most
logical and pragmatic option for the country is to go legal.
Even if, for the sake argument, there is sufficient military
capability to defend this claim, going to war to settle this kind
of territorial disputes is counter-productive for national and
regional security.
Laws passed domestically only have domestic
applications for internal law enforcement purposes. They have
international applications only if they are consistent with
international laws and are recognized by the international
community.
If domestic laws of one sovereign state compete with
and even being challenged by domestic laws of other sovereign
states, particularly if it pertains to territorial ownership, then
there is an inter-state problem. In this case, the problem can be
solved either through bilateral negotiations (multilateral if it
involves more than two states), international arbitration, or, as
a last resort, war.
The last option is definitely out of Philippine agenda. If
the Philippines is attacked militarily because of territorial
disputes with our neighbors, then it can invoke the Mutual
Defense Treaty (MDT) with the United States. This is an ugly
scenario that everyone does not want to happen. Even if the
MDT is invoked, retaliation from the U.S. is not automatic, as
it needs to pass through the constitutional processes of the U.S.
Congress.
The first option apparently puts the Philippines in a
very disadvantaged position if the negotiation is done
bilaterally with China because of the asymmetry of their
relations. This is a pragmatic, albeit difficult, option. The
Philippines wants to multilateralize the problem through the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The grim
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
102

reality is that ASEAN does not have a common position on the
South China Sea problem, particularly in the context of
regional power dynamics and intra-ASEAN territorial disputes.
The Philippine government regards the second option
as the best - international arbitration. This can only occur if the
other party is willing to put the issue to this process. Since
international arbitration is a creature of a “contract” that
involves all parties concerned, doing it unilaterally is a
gargantuan mission.
As a sovereign state, the country is entitled to pass any
domestic laws pertaining to territorial waters, maritime zones
and archipelagic sea lanes that are deemed necessary to
promote national interests. China passed its own domestic law
in 1992 declaring almost 80 percent of the South China Sea as
part of its territorial waters and contiguous zones.
The Philippines already passed its Archipelagic
Baselines Law in 2009 and is not prevented to pass into law the
Maritime Zones and Archipelagic Sea Lanes bills. It is now its
call, however, if it has the means and wherewithal to enforce
its laws and make violators accountable to these.
What begs the question at than in the light of the
standoff in the Scarborough Shoal is why Chinese and other
nationalities continue to fish in what is called Philippine
waters?
Other nationalities are not fishing but poaching in its
waters. It has laws to make poachers accountable.
However, these waters have been traditional fishing
grounds of many people of various nationalities for centuries.
Thus, preventing them to fish on the bases of its domestic laws
is really a tall order – it requires adequate resources and a
strong political will.
The situation is complicated by the fact that other
nations claim that the waters that belong to the Philippines also
belong to them. That is why there are disputes in the WPS,
which we are to be settled through international laws.
To understand the complex territorial disputes in the
South China Sea, particularly in the context of the on-going
standoff between China and the Philippines in the Scarborough
Shoal (and how to deal with the situation and peacefully
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
103

resolve the standoff), there is a need to understand the
relevance of fishing in the maritime territorial disputes.
Fishermen of various national origins are attracted to
the South China Sea because of its very rich marine resources.
A recent study showed that fish stocks in the South China Sea
“are a multi-billion-dollar industry,” which accounted for “as
much as one-tenth of the global catch.”
265
Since fish protein
represents 22 percent of the average Asian dietary needs (much
higher to the global average of 16 percent), fish demands from
littoral states in the South China Sea grow.
266

China, particularly, has already demonstrated its
increased demands for fish.
267
The increased demand for fish is
directly proportional to the increased income of Chinese
citizens resulting from its phenomenal economic growth.
The World Bank (WB) declared China in 2011 as the
world’s second largest economy, next to the United States. If
its current growth of at least 8 percent annually continues, the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasted that it could be
the world’s largest economy by 2016.
268
Thus, its current
fishing behavior in the South China Sea is dictated by its
growing demand for these resources resulting from the
increased purchasing power of its consumers.
It is also increasing its naval and maritime law
enforcement capabilities to protect its “maritime defense”
(haifang) and “maritime rights and interests” (haiyang quanyi
or haiquan) in the South China Sea and other waters in Asia
(such as Senkaku/Diaoyu Island in the East China Sea in
conflict with Japan and the Yellow Sea in conflict with South
Korea). China regards these waters as part its territory.
The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has flirted
with the idea of a new type of naval campaign that encourages

2ó:
Patric/ M. Croviv, ea., Coo¡eratiov frov ´trevgtb: 1be |vitea ´tate., Cbiva ava tbe
´ovtb Cbiva ´ea ;!a.bivgtov, D.C.: Cevter for a ^er .vericav ´ecvrit,, ]avvar,
2012), ¡. ::.
2óó
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Patric/ M. Croviv, Cbiva`. Ctobat Qve.t for Re.ovrce. ava ív¡ticatiov. for tbe
|vitea ´tate. ;1e.tivov, before tbe |.´.·Cbiva ícovovic ava ´ecvrit, Rerier
Covvi..iov ov 2ó ]avvar, 2012).

2óº
íMí Re¡ort: Cbiva !itt be tbe íarge.t ícovov, b, 201ó ;2: .¡rit 2011) at
btt¡:,,rrr.var/et¡tace.org,to¡ic.,bv.ive..,ivf·re¡ort·cbiva·ritt·be·targe.t·ecovov,·
201ó.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
104

“attacks against coral islands and reefs” (dui shanhu daojiao
jingong zhanyi). Naval experts say that this campaign scenario
“appears to be tailored to the South China Sea disputes where
China might consider attacking islands and reefs held by other
claimants.”
269
It is not year clear, however, whether this idea
has been adopted as an official military campaign strategy of
the PLA. The idea has crossed their minds.
Chinese fishermen in the South China and the
Scarborough Shoal do more than fishing. Observers say that
fishing activities “are civilian instruments of power that help
stake out legal claims and establish national maritime
rights.”
270
Thus, the Chinese government protects their
fishermen to promote its concept of maritime rights and stake
out its legal maritime claims. Its current behavior in the
Scarborough Shoal is part of this overall power projection.
According to a report:
Chinese officials are deliberately using
civilian maritime law-enforcement vessels,
rather than the People’s Liberation Army
Navy—to enforce China’s maritime rights and
fishing laws. Whereas China resorted to using
warships over Mischief Reef territorial disputes
in the 1990s, the recent assertiveness of China
in these waters has been prosecuted largely with
civilian instruments of power.
271

Aside from fish, China is also convinced to assert its
position in the South China Sea because of its increasing and
incessant demand for oil.
It is estimated that the potential oil resources of the
South China Sea is 213 Bbbl. There are conflicting claims,
however, about the size of natural gas and oil deposits in the
area. According to US Geological Survey, about 60 to 70

2ó·
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ea.., 1be Cbive.e ^ar,: í·¡avaivg Ca¡abititie., írotrivg Rote. ;!a.bivgtov DC:
Cevter for tbe ´tva, of Cbive.e Mititar, .ffair. at tbe ív.titvte for ^atiovat ´trategic
´tvaie. of tbe ^atiovat Defev.e |virer.it,, 2011), ¡. :0.
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2.
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Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
105

percent of the hydrocarbon resources in the South China Sea
are gas.
272

A research conducted by Chinese experts revealed that
that the total gas resources of the South China Sea can reach
900 Tcf (Total Cubic Feet) with an annual production of 1.8
Tcf.
273
Chinese geologists have recently detected 'super-thick'
oil and gas-rich strata in the South China Sea and also
identified 38 offshore oil and gas basins in the area.
274

Due to reported oil and gas resources, all claimants in
the South China Sea have existing gas and oil exploration
activities in the area.
275

China has an exploration project in Vanguard Bank,
which is proximate to Indonesia’s Natuna Gas Field. Vietnam
has projects Dai Hung and Blue Dragon Fields that are adjacent
to disputed territories in the South China Sea. The Philippines
has natural gas power project in Malampaya, which is close to
disputed Spratly group of islands. The Philippines also has oil
development plans in the Reed Bank that is being contested by
China.
Malaysia, which controls disputed reefs located in oil
rich portion of the South China Sea, has begun its natural gas
production from Angsi Field that is expected to produce 65,000
b/d of oil and 450 MMscfd of gas. Brunei has exploration
projects in Louisa Reef that is also being claimed by Malaysia.
To avoid conflicts and create a relationship of amity, Brunei
and Malaysia decided to enter into joint oil exploration projects
in Louisa Reef. Brunei also explored the possibility of joint oil
exploration with China considering that the latter buys an
average of 20,000 barrels of oil daily from Brunei.
276


2¨2
Ctobat ´ecvrit,, ´ovtb Cbiva ´ea Oit ava ^atvrat Ca. at
btt¡:,,rrr.gtobat.ecvrit,.org,vititar,,rorta,rar,.¡ratt,·oit.btv ·acce..ea ov 1 ]avvar,
2011>.
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ivtervatiovat·tbro/bcaigb.btvt ·acce..ea ov ¨ íebrvar, 2011>.
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2¨ó
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Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
106

China has, in fact, recently announced its plan to step
up oil and natural gas exploration in the South China Sea by
spending an average of 500 million Yuan ($75 million) a year
in the next two decades to meet the country’s growing
imported energy needs, which in 2010 already reached 55 per
cent of total domestic consumption.
277
It is forecasted that 60
percent of China’s oil consumption will be imported by 2020
making gas and oil exploration in the South China Sea
necessary to reduce dependence on oil imports.
Fishy and oily issues currently propel the assertive
behavior of China in the South China Sea. Now, how can other
countries respond to a more assertive China?
Passing bills on maritime zones and archipelagic sea
lanes will not alter China’s assertive behavior.
The belief that passing bills will strengthen territorial
claims will not solve the problems in the WPS because
overlapping claims remain. While laws can be executed by the
Philippines in its “non-disputed territories,” executing them in
“disputed territories” will be a huge challenge. Even if these
laws are consistent with existing international laws, no
international law is self-executing.
International law is not like domestic law. It “differs
dramatically in enforcement and adjudication. On enforcement,
there is no executive to make a state accept a court decision.
International politics is a self-help system. In the classic ways
of international law, enforcement was sometimes provided by
the great powers.”
278

In other words, international politics is still in the state
of anarchy where there is no supreme authority above the
sovereign state. Conflicts among states are settled either
through war or diplomacy. In the Philippine’s conflict with
China on the WSP and Scarborough Shoal, its only option is to
pursue the diplomatic track and settle this peacefully.
The pursuit of diplomacy with China can only work if
the Philippines refrains from using words that hurt feelings

2¨¨
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2011) at btt¡:,,tbevatiovovtivevg.vet,reb²,bv.ive..,everg,,2:¨12.btvt ·acce..ea ov ¨
íebrvar, 2011>.
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Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
10¯

such as “bully”, “aggressive”, “provocateur,” and the like. It
can stand firm in its claims by using more constructive words
because conflicts and cooperation in international politics are
also products of social constructions.
Friends and foes in international politics are what states
make of it. If China is called a bully, then it will be a bully. If
China is called a responsible power, it will be pressured to act
that way. This is not naiveté. This is handling the situation
constructively.
Dragging the U.S. into the Philippines’ bilateral
conflicts with China can only complicate matters. The
Philippines can enlarge its voice in ASEAN if ASEAN can
come out with a common position.
It can use the international community to get the
sympathy of other states. It can invoke international laws to
prove its case before the community of nations.
At the end of the day, the reality of international
politics still prevails. The reality dictates that in present
circumstances, the only pragmatic option is to patiently
convince China that peaceful cooperation in the South China
Sea is more beneficial than prolonging the standoff and
dragging the Philippines and other claimants into costly
conflict. For example, China can be encouraged to enter into
joint maritime patrols of the disputed waters in order to
promote sustainable fishing practices in the South China Sea.
China may have the military and economic powers to
assert its claims in the Spratlys. The Philippines can use the
power of ideas to tame China and find just and lasting solution
to the South China Sea problem.
The on-going dispute with China on WPS is just one
aspect of its relations with China. Beyond these disputes, its
relation with China is productive. China is the Philippines’
second largest source of official development assistance, third
largest trading partner and fourth largest source of foreign
tourists.
The years 2012 and 2013 have been declared as years
of friendly exchanges between the Philippines and China.
Disputes in the WPS and the standoff in the Scarborough Shoal
should not destroy this friendship.

Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
108


CHAPTER NINE

The Philippines and U.S. Pivot to Asia:
Implications for Philippines-China Security
Relations
279


As an American ally, the Philippines has always been
supportive of United States’ military presence in Asia. Thus, it
is no longer surprising to see it warmly welcoming the U.S.
pivot strategy to Asia.
The U.S.-Philippines security alliance has been the
cornerstone of Philippine defense and security policy.
280

Though this alliance was rendered dormant after the
termination of Military Bases Agreement (MBA) in 1991, the
aftermath of the September 11, 2001 (9/11) terrorist attacks
reinvigorated it. The strategy of U.S. pivot to Asia makes the
strengthening of this alliance even more significant.
To demonstrate the two countries’ firm commitment to
their alliance, the U.S. and the Philippines held their 2-plus-2
meeting in Washington DC on 30 April 2012. This meeting
allowed the two countries’ foreign affairs and defense officials
to exchange strategic perspectives on various security issues of
mutual interest.
The 2-plus-2 meeting is the first of its kind in the
history of special relations between the U.S. and the
Philippines. The meeting aims to intensify the habit of
consultation and cooperation on defense, security, political,
economic and foreign policies between the two allies.
Moreover, the meeting intends to solidify their existing alliance
to respond effectively to current and emerging security
challenges in the Asia Pacific.
In the 2-plus-2 meeting, both reaffirmed the importance
of security alliance and decided to level it up to meet the many

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109

security challenges facing both countries. The Philippines,
particularly, highlighted the need for the U.S. to continuously
assist the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in building its
capacity for territorial defense, counter-insurgency, counter-
terrorism, and nation building. It meant to ask the U.S. more
access to Excess Defense Articles (EDA), greater priority to
International Military Education and Training (IMET), and
more grants from Foreign Military Financing (FMF). The
Philippines cannot be a useful ally in U.S. pivot to Asia
strategy without adequate military capacity.
The Philippines’ support to U.S. Pivot to Asia strategy
was officially articulated on 16 November 2011 during the 60
th

Anniversary of the U.S-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty
(MDT). Signed in 1951, the MDT continues to serve as the
solid legal foundation of U.S.-Philippines security alliance.
During this momentous event, both countries issued the Manila
Declaration on U.S.-Philippines alliance where they stressed
the continuing relevance of their security relations “for peace,
security, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.”
281
Reading
between the lines, the Manila Declaration strongly endorses
U.S. pivot to Asia and the Pacific.
In the Manila Declaration of 2011, the U.S. and the
Philippines reaffirmed their shared obligations for mutual
defense and stressed the need “to maintain a robust, balanced,
and responsive security partnership including cooperating to
enhance the defense, interdiction, and apprehension
capabilities” of the Philippine military.
282
More importantly,
both countries declared the following important points:
Their determination to continue “their bilateral
cooperation in addressing broader regional and global
challenges, including maritime security and threats to
security such as climate change, nuclear proliferation,
terrorism, and transnational crime.” They also expressed
their commitment to continue their “close and effective
cooperation to counter al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups in the
Southern Philippines”;


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Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
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The sharing of common interest in “maintaining
freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful commerce, and
transit of people across the seas and subscribe to a rules-
based approach in resolving competing claims in maritime
areas through peaceful, collaborative, multilateral, and
diplomatic processes within the framework of international
law;” and,
Their commitment to advance their “nations’ mutual
security interests through continuing a high-level strategic
dialogue.” They also committed to support “increasing
regional cooperation in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF),
the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM+),
the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and the East
Asia Summit (EAS).”
In other words, the Manila Declaration of 2011 not only
renewed U.S.-Philippines security alliance. It also stressed the
need to raise the level of their alliance to a higher plane. The
Manila Declaration identified broader goals in order to make
this alliance more relevant and more mutually beneficial. To
implement the Manila Declaration, the two allies instituted the
Bilateral Strategic Dialogues to provide opportunities for both
countries “to consult and exchange views on a broad range of
bilateral, regional, and global issues” reflecting their “common
values and interests.”
283

The U.S. and the Philippines, therefore, commit to stick
together as important allies in 21
st
century. The recently
concluded 2-plus-2 meeting reiterated that point.
There is no doubt that this alliance plays an important role
in U.S. pivot to Asia. Through the MDT of 1951, the Visiting
Forces Agreement (VFA) of 1999 and the Mutual Logistic
Support Agreement (MLSA) of 2007, American military
presence in the Philippines is justified. Both countries even
agreed to enhance American military presence in the country to
address current threats and prevent emerging security
challenges to escalate into actual military problems.

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Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
111

To indicate continuing American military presence in the
Philippines, at least 600 American troops belonging to the Joint
Special Operations Task Force Philippines (JSOTFP) are
currently deployed in Mindanao on rotational basis.
Established in 2002 as part of the Operation Enduring
Freedom-Philippines (OEF-P), the JSOTFP has been providing
humanitarian, technical and logistical assistance and training to
the AFP in the fight against terrorism and other threats to the
country’s internal security. Since 2000, American and Filipino
troops have been conducting combined and joint military
exercises in Philippine territories.
On 27 April 2012, the U.S. and the Philippines finished
their 12-day Balikatan exercises. This was the 28
th
Balikatan
Exercise conducted by both countries. It is the largest military
exercise involving at least 6,000 American and Filipino troops.
Compared with past Balikatan exercises, this year’s event was
a milestone as it involved other American allies from Australia
Japan, and South Korea as well as partners from Indonesia and
Malaysia.
The U.S. is indeed pivoting to Asia. The Philippines plays
a significant part in it.
For the Philippines, it is not difficult to embrace
American pivot strategy having been a long-standing security
ally. Armed forces of both countries fought together during the
Second World War (1945), the Korean War (1950-1953),
Vietnam War (1964-973), the Persian Gulf War (1991), and the
Global War on Terror (2001-2011). They fought common wars
through the years to defend democracy, promote rule of law
and pursue free trade.
Their shared history and common values in liberal
democracy, rule of law and free market make the Philippines
an integral part of US pivot strategy towards Asia. The
bilateral security relationship between the U.S. and the
Philippines has, in fact, “gained prominence as a key link in the
evolving U.S. foreign policy ‘pivot’ or ‘rebalancing’ toward
Asia.”
284
U.S. Alliance with the Philippines – weaved together
with Australia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand –

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Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
112

makes the U.S. presence really felt in Asia and the Pacific.
President Barrack Obama’s strategy of U.S. pivot to Asia is,
therefore, just a reassertion of American presence and
leadership in this very dynamic region.
As an American ally, the Philippines finds U.S. pivot to
Asia strategy as essential to ameliorate its growing security
dilemma. The ongoing standoff between China and the
Philippines in the Scarborough Shoal makes the U.S. pivot to
Asia all the more significant for the Philippines. The
Philippines expects the U.S. to provide assistance in preventing
China to behave “aggressively” and in convincing China to
accept rules-based approach in managing maritime and
territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
U.S. Pivot to Asia strategy is also important to the
Philippines in focusing more attention to the domestic needs of
its allies The Philippines needs more U.S. assistance in
building national capacity to deal with internal security threats
emanating from remaining members of the Abu Sayyaf Group
(ASG), operatives of Jemaah Islamiya (JI) hiding in Mindanao,
lawless personalities associated with the Moro Islamic
Liberation Front (MILF), rouge members of the Moro National
Liberation Front (MNLF), Muslim-convert cohorts of the
Rajah Solaiman Islamic Movement (RSIM), and combatants of
the New People’s Army (NPA).
The Philippines expects the U.S. to provide assistance
in building national capacity to address non-traditional security
threats such as natural disasters, environmental degradation,
maritime piracy and smuggling of arms, drugs and humans.
But more importantly, the Philippines expects the U.S. to assist
the country on how to respond to a more assertive China,
particularly in the context of the renewed security tensions in
the South China Sea.
The Philippines expects the U.S. to help the country
build its national capacity to meet the objectives of Philippine
National Security Policy covering the presidential term 2011-
2016.
The U.S. is now rebalancing its global posture and
presence after fulfilling its commitment in Iraq and
Afghanistan. In its objective to strengthen its presence in the
Asia Pacific by increasing “the institutional weight,” “power
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
113

projection”, and “deterrence capacity” of U.S. armed forces in
the region, the country is willing to serve as a key strategic
hub, if not spoke, for this purpose. The 2-plus-2 meeting of
both countries’ defense and foreign affairs officials in
Washington DC this week further operationalized how the
Philippines can fit into the U.S. pivot strategy toward Asia.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stressed in an
article in Foreign Policy that “the future of politics will be
decided in Asia, not Afghanistan or Iraq, and the United States
will be right at the centre of the action.” The invigorated U.S.-
Philippine alliance can presently facilitate the U.S to pivot
effectively to Asia as it prepares to meet this future.
In conclusion, there is a need to highlight the results of
the 2-plus-2 meeting in Washington DC on 30 April 2012. In
the Joint Statement signed after the meeting, both countries
recognize that “The U.S.-Philippines alliance is stronger than
ever, reflecting the deep and abiding ties linking our two
nations and forged through a history of shared sacrifice and
common purpose.”
285
They also acknowledge that “Americans
and Filipinos are inextricably bound by common values and
shared aspirations, including a commitment to democracy and
the rule of law, building a robust economic partnership, and
deepening people-to-people ties.” Having said this, the U.S.
and the Philippines stress that their alliance “remains an anchor
for peace, stability, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.”















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Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
114


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ANNEX I

ESSAYS ON PHILIPPINES-CHINA SECURITY
RELATIONS
AND THE SOUTH CHINA SEA DISPUTES

A. West Philippine Sea: What’s in a Name?
∗ ∗∗ ∗


To assert its sovereignty over some body of waters in
the South China Sea, the Philippine government started to use
“West Philippine Sea” to describe a maritime area that is
deemed to be an integral part of Philippine maritime territory.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda announced,
“All the other nations call the South China Sea based on how
they perceive it. Vietnam calls it East Sea so it is but natural for
us to call it West Philippine Sea.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is the main
government agency championing the use of West Philippine
Sea in its official communication. The Department of National
Defense (DND) has, in fact, been practically using this term for
many years already through the Palawan-based Western
Command (Wescom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
(AFP) in charge of protecting the Kalayaan Group of Islands
(KIG).
In weather reporting, the Department of Science and
Technology (DOST) has instructed the Philippine
Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services
Administration (PAGASA) to officially use West Philippine
Sea in the monitoring, forecasting and warning of tropical
situation in the area.
What’s the coverage of West Philippine Sea? What’s in
it for the Philippines? What’s in a name?
The whole of South China Sea covers around 3.56
million square kilometers of waters consisting of more than
250 disputed land features in the form of islands, islets, reefs,
shoals, atolls and rock formations.
While China claims the whole South China Sea area


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(with Taiwan having identical claims), other claimants such as
Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippine and Vietnam only claim part
of it. The part being claimed by the Philippines is only the KIG
that belongs to what the Philippine government calls West
Philippine Sea

Unclear laws. Existing Philippine laws, however,
remain unclear on the maritime area covered by the so-called
West Philippine Sea.
The 1987 Philippine Constitution provides a general
statement on the extent of Philippine territories. But the
specific coverage of Philippine territories has not been clearly
defined by existing laws.
Republic Act 9522, otherwise known as the Philippine
Archipelagic Baselines Law, which was passed in March 2009,
specifies the extent of Philippine baselines to make it
compliant to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law
of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The enactment of RA 9522 is considered essential for
the Philippines to establish its maritime boundaries vis a vis
neighboring coastal states. From these baselines, the
Philippines can draw its maritime zones under UNCLOS such
as the archipelagic or internal water of 572,307 square
kilometers, 12 nautical miles (NM) of territorial sea locally
known as municipal waters, 24 NM of contiguous zones, 200
NM of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and 200 NM of
juridical continental shelf.
However, RA 9522 is controversial, highly contested
and viewed by others as unconstitutional for having
deliberately excluded the KIG in the archipelagic baseline.
RA 9522 regards the KIG as part of the “regime of
islands” of the Philippines, which requires a separate legal
cover. Moreover, RA 9522 has not yet fully defined Philippine
maritime zones including the coverage of West Philippine Sea,
which China regards as part of its “internal waters.”
So, which part of the Philippine maritime zone is the
West Philippine Sea then? Is it part Philippine territorial sea,
contiguous zone, or EEZ?
If the KIG is a “regime of islands” that is entitled to
have its maritime zones, will the West Philippine Sea cover the
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maritime zones of KIG? To define the extent of Philippine
maritime zone, there are pending bills in the Philippine Senate
and the House of Representatives called the “The Philippine
Maritime Zone” bills. There are two versions in the Senate: the
Senate Bill 2737 and the Senate Bill 2723. There is only one
version in the House called HB 4185.
All these bills aim to specify the extent of Philippine
internal waters, territorial sea, contiguous zone, EEZ and
continental shelf in accordance with UNCLOS.
All these versions, however, have no specific provision
on the extent of West Philippine Sea.
Moreover, all maritime zone bills in the Philippine
Congress are still being deliberated and have not been passed
into laws that can provide juridical meaning to West Philippine
Sea.
No basis. In short, the use of the term West Philippine
Sea still has no basis under Philippine laws.
It has yet to receive international recognition. Even
Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte candidly
admits that the Office of the President (OP) has not issued any
official directive, to date, on the use of West Philippine Sea.
While the use of West Philippine Sea expresses the
sovereign prerogative of the Philippines to describe its
maritime territory and symbolizes the strategic intention of the
Philippines to bolster its ownership of the KIG and its
surrounding waters, it is still utterly devoid of legal meaning.
Unless a Philippine maritime zone law is passed that
can describe the extent of West Philippine Sea pursuant to
UNCLOS and applicable international laws, the term West
Philippine Sea will remain an empty label that could not
withstand the harsh reality of international politics.

B. West Philippine Sea: An American Lake?
∗ ∗∗ ∗


To demonstrate the United States’ commitment to
Philippine defense pursuant to the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty
(MDT), the Philippines and the US have been conducting joint
and combined military exercises in Philippine territories.


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The 1999 Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) further
justified the holding of these exercises, particularly after the
termination in 1991 of the 1947 Military Bases Agreement
(MBA).
The joint naval exercises launched on 28 June 2011 by
the Philippines and US forces in Sulu and Palawan seas are
considered part of routine military exercises between the two
armed forces as security allies. The purposes of these
exercises are not only to increase the capabilities of the Armed
Force of the Philippines (AFP) for self-defense and to make
these capabilities interoperable with the American counterparts
but also to make the alliance “alive and kicking” for regional
security.
However, holding the current exercises near the
contested West Philippine Sea is being interpreted in Beijing as
“anti-China exercises.” It is viewed that the on-going PH-US
naval exercises near the West Philippine Sea is a systematic
effort “to check and balance” China’s increased visibility in the
disputed water that is internationally referred to as the South
China Sea.
For China, the South China Sea is part of its internal
lake.
For the US, however, the South China Sea is an
international water where all passing ships, commercial and
military, should have freedom of navigation.
In fact, since the US replaced Great Britain with the rise
of Pax Americana after the Second World War, American
naval power dominated the Pacific Ocean and all its connecting
waters from the South China Sea to the Straits of
Malacca. During the cold war, these waters became practically
an “American lake”. US presence in Subic Bay aimed to
protect this lake from rival powers.
The end of the cold war, however, which coincided
with the termination of the MBA, led to the withdrawal of
American troops and facilities from Subic. The South China
Sea, which was part of American lake in the Asia-Pacific, was
regrettably relegated into the backwater of American foreign
and security policy in the post-cold war era.
The power vacuum left by the US in Southeast Asia
encouraged China to fill-in by declaring the whole South China
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Sea as an “indisputable” part of its territorial integrity.
The increased strategic significance of the South China
Sea in the 21st century as a result of oil and natural gas
discoveries in the area, not to mention its rich marine
biodiversity and efficient maritime superhighway, prompted
the US to return to Southeast Asia by strengthening its
alliances in the region.
As an American ally, the Philippines provides US
forces access to its land and water territories to conduct joint
military exercises and to implement defense capacity-building
projects. American troops are now seen not only in Sulu and
Palawan but also in Zamboanga del Sur, Maguindanao, Tawi-
Tawi, North Cotabato and Lanao del Sur.
Some ordinary Filipino citizens are now asking for
explanations on the sudden increase of American troops in the
Philippines, particularly in Minsupala (Mindanao, Sulo and
Palawan) areas?
Are American troops here to counter-terrorism in
Mindanao or to counter-China in West Philippine Sea? Are
they in the Philippines to increase Philippine defense or to
intensity Philippine dependence on the US?
Answers to these questions are now subjects for public
debate.
But with the increasing access of American troops in
Philippine territories needing defense amidst the perceived
threats associated with the ascendant China, is the Philippines
opening the gate for the US to re-make West Philippine Sea an
“American lake?”
That begs the question.

C. PH’s Problematic Protest vs China Over Spratlys
∗ ∗∗ ∗

On April 5, 2011, amid renewed security tensions in the
South China Sea, the Permanent Mission of the Republic of the
Philippines to the United Nations lodged a formal protest to the
UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea to
challenge China’s position in this contested body of waters.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) responded on


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April 14, and accused the Philippines of invading Chinese
territories in Nansha Island or what Manila calls as the
Kalayaan Island Group (KIG).
China regards the whole South China Sea area as
integral part of its territory. This so-called territory is
contained in its “nine-dotted line” that covers practically all
waters that are considered part of the Exclusive Economic
Zone (EEZ) of other claimants. China has been very vocal in
asserting “undisputable” claim in the South China Sea and
regards claims of Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and
Vietnam as “invalid” and “illegal”. In fact, there were reports
of China declaring the South China Sea as part of its “core
interest” on par with Taiwan and Tibet, a new statement that
got the ire of the US, Japan, India and Australia.
Taiwan also lays claim on the Itu-Aba Island. Since
Southeast Asian countries uphold a One-China policy, Taiwan
claim is deemed part of the PRC claim
In the protest letter, the Philippines raised three major
points.
First, that it has sovereignty and jurisdiction of the KIG
including all its geological features. It regards KIG as
an “integral part of the Philippines.”
Second, the Philippines strengthens its claim using the
Roman principle of “dominium maris” and the international
law principle of “la terre domine la mer,” which means that
land dominates the sea.
Under this principle, the Philippines argues that it is
exercising sovereignty and jurisdiction over the waters around
the KIG or adjacent to each relevant geological features of the
Kalayaan Island, which is under the local government control
of the Municipality of Kalayaan. The Philippines contends that
this position is provided for under the United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in which China
is also a signatory.
Third, the Philippines regards all relevant waters,
seabed and subsoil in KIG as part of Philippine territory being
a coastal and archipelagic state. The Philippines states that the
Archipelagic Doctrine is recognized and protected by pertinent
provisions of UNCLOS.
Apparent from these points is a new diplomatic
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offensive of the Philippines in the South China Sea. With
practically no military muscle to assert its claim, the
Philippines has to resort to the convincing power of diplomacy
to redeem its honor in the international community of
sovereign nations.
Compared with China, which has deployed several
modern patrol ships in the South China Sea and established a
naval base in Hainan to house its nuclear-powered submarines
not to mention its construction of its first air craft carrier, the
Philippines has no naval power to brag about.
Most of its naval assets are World War II vintage while
its few newer assets are used not for territorial defense but for
counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations. Though
the Philippine Navy has recently acquired from the US and
Hamilton-Class Cutter to be deployed in the KIG, the ship is
vintage 1960s, which is no match to the newly acquired
Scorpene Class submarines of Malaysia and the Geppard-Class
frigate of Vietnam. In fact, Vietnam already ordered six Kilo-
Class submarines from Russia and developing Cam Ranh Bay
as its new naval base. Brunei, the smallest country among the
claimants, has acquired several modern Offshore Patrol Vessels
from Germany to protect its waters.
In order words, diplomacy is the only means left for the
Philippines to protect its claims in the KIF. But did the April 5
protest earn for the Philippines a diplomatic advantage?
The Philippines submitted the protest during the lowest
moment of Philippines-China diplomatic relations already
marred by several controversies: the August 2010 Manila
hostage crisis, the execution of suspected Filipino drug
traffickers, the ZTE scandal and North-South Rail issue, among
others. Submitting the protest during these rough times in
bilateral relations is not prudent. It gives a wrong signal to
China about Philippine interests in bilateral relations.
The protest was likewise submitted during the
launching day of Philippines-American Balikatan Exercises
2011. This opens a lot of speculations on the Americans’ role
in setting the directions of Philippines-China relations in the
South China Sea. The US already declared that it has national
security interests in the South China Sea.
Lastly, the world already knows the long-standing
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Philippine position on the KIG. This position is not only
articulated in domestic and international laws but is already
debated like a broken record in many academic journals and
policy studies.
While the April 5 protest strongly reaffirms our position
on the KIG, it aggravates our worsening ties with China, the
fastest growing major power in the world. It was filed a month
before the proposed visit of President Aquino to Beijing, a
planned visit that is now on uncertain ground.
There is a saying in international relations that
diplomacy is the first line of defense. In the case of the
Philippines in the South China Sea disputes, diplomacy is our
main line of defense.
While the Philippines needs to pursue diplomatic
offensives to assert its claim in the KIG, proper timing is
necessary to accomplish not only the country’s short-term
tactical goals but also its long-term strategic objectives.
The Philippines, though a security ally of the US, has a long-
term strategic interest in maintaining friendly and constructive
relations with China being a rapidly emerging super power.
The submission of the Philippine protest on April 5 to
the UN during the lowest moment of Philippines-China
relations makes the improvement of Philippine diplomatic
relations with China not only difficult but also problematic.

D. A Mischief Reef in the Making?
∗ ∗∗ ∗


While Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie was
enjoying his “goodwill” visit to the Philippines on May 21-25
to “improve” Philippines-China relations, the Philippine
military discovered in the same period some Chinese ships
unloading construction materials near the unoccupied, but still
Philippine controlled, Amy Douglas Bank.
Based on the report of the Philippine military, China
erected an undetermined number of posts, and placed a buoy
near the breaker of the Amy Douglas Bank.
To date, the Chinese government has not yet verified
the said incident. But it continues to claim sovereignty of all


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the islands, islets, reefs, shoals, banks and even rocks in the
South China Sea. The Philippine government asserts that Amy
Douglas Bank falls within its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin expressed
disappointment that the incident in the Amy Douglas Bank
occurred at the time of the official visit of his Chinese
counterpart. The visit aimed to repair Philippines-China
bilateral ties that has been recently damaged by renewed
security tension in the South China Sea.
In a press conference, Defense Secretary Gazmin
lamented, “Somehow I’m really affected because we have
shown them our hospitality and we were talking properly. We
agreed that all problems could be resolved. And yet while
we’re talking, something was afoot elsewhere.”
The Department of Foreign Affairs has already released
an official statement expressing “its serious concerns over
recent actions of the People’s Republic of China in the West
Philippine Sea (South China Sea) .” This is a landmark
statement for having described that part of the sea as West
Philippine Sea. The concept of West Philippine Sea, however,
has yet to receive international recognition.
The Amy Douglas Bank incident is just part of the
renewed security tension in the South China Sea. The tension
started in 2008 when China declared the Vietnamese-claimed
Sansha City as an integral part of the Hainan Province. It was
also during this year when the Yulin (Sanya) Submarine Base
of China was discovered in Hainan Province. Tensions
escalated in March 2009 when Chinese ships allegedly
harassed the USS Impeccable conducting surveillance activities
in the Spratly.
Since then, China has deployed several patrol ships in
the South China Sea to defend what it calls an integral part of
its “internal waters.” This claim is based on the Nine-Dash
Line Map that China submitted to the United Nations on May
7, 2009.
Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam have already
submitted to the UN their protest to the Chinese claim.
But with several Chinese ships patrolling the South
China Sea on rotation basis, China has already developed its
muscle to be more assertive in “reclaiming” its “lost
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territories.” With its growing blue water capability and
increasing military power supported by sustained economic
growth of at least 9 percent annually since 1989, China now
has all the means to assert its foreign and security policy in the
South China Sea.
For China, the South China Sea is part of its internal
lake and an integral aspect of is “ancestoral property.” But
China laments this property has been taken away from them at
the time of its weakness. Now that China has regained its
strength as the traditional “Middle Kingdom” in Asia, it now
has the wherewithal to be more decisive in its claim in the
South China Sea. Last year, the South China Sea was declared
as part of China’s “core interests” at par with Taiwan and
Tibet.
While there is no doubt that China is stronger now than
before, its current behavior in the South China Sea is a litmus
test of China’s self-proclaimed policy of “peaceful
development.”
As an ascendant power, China is trying to convince the
world that its rise to global power status will be peaceful and
benign. As a rising power, China is telling the whole world
that it is a “status quo power,” benign and peaceful and
satisfied with its current status.
But its growing assertive behavior in the South China
Sea is giving the world a message that China is becoming more
of a “revisionist power.” This concept states that major power
aspires for more power as it grows stronger.
If China continues to display its growing assertive
behavior, its neighbors will view it not as a strong sign of
assertiveness but as an utter expression of aggressiveness.
Thus, its claim for a benign status will put be in a very strong
doubt.
The reported incident in the May Douglas Bank, if
proven accurate, is not only an assault against the
Philippines. It is also an assault against the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). China and ASEAN signed
in 2002 a Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South
China Sea (DOC). The DOC urges claimants not only to
manage their existing disputes peacefully but also to prevent
future disputes by not occupying additional features in the
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contested water.
The delivery of construction materials near the May
Douglas Bank by Chinese ships at the same time when
Chinese Defense Minister was visiting the Philippines has
challenged the sincerity of China as a reliable partner for
“peace, freedom, friendship and cooperation” in the South
China Sea. The incident has created an impression that while
China is talking “sweet” in its neighbors’ house, it is acting
“bitter” at the backyard.
If China wants to correct this impression, it has to make
its own people accountable for the Douglas Bank Incident as it
was a clear violation of the DOC. Otherwise, the Douglas
Bank Incident can be a Mischief Reef in the making. This is a
scenario that can worsen the rising tension in the South China
Sea, which can attract other major powers to become inevitably
involved.

E. Anarchy in the South China Sea
∗ ∗∗ ∗


To peacefully manage the complex territorial disputes
in the South China Sea (SCS), Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert
F. Del Rosario urgently calls for the promotion of a “rules-
based regime” that can transform SCS “from an area of dispute
to a Zone of Peace, Freedom, Friendship, and Cooperation
(ZoPFF/C).”
This concept of a “rules-based regime” aims to uphold
the strict implementation of international law, which in the
context of the SCS disputes, refers primarily to the United
Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
(UNCLOS). Creation of this type of regime also necessitates
the urgent adoption of a binding Code of Conduct (COC),
which is considered to be the next logical step after the
Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea
(DOC).
In other words, the proposal of Del Rosario all boils
down to the need to uphold the rule of law, rather than the use
of force, to peacefully settle the territorial disputes in the SCS.
While there is no doubt that the idea of a rule of law has
become a maxim in any civilized society where “no one is


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above the law,” its meaning varies among nations with
different political traditions. There is no precise definition of a
rule of law even in a mature democracy where conflicts are
managed without the use of force.
The application of a rule of law is all the more
problematic when applied in inter-state politics where there is
the utter absence of a government that can enforce laws and
peacefully manage disputes among sovereign states in a
manner found in domestic politics.
In short, there is anarchy in international relations—a
grim reality also found in the SCS.
Anarchy in the SCS does not mean total chaos or sheer
disorder marred by violence, although that can
happen. Anarchy is a mirror of a type of order in international
politics where there is no central or “sovereign” authority
above sovereign states.
Under international anarchy, the sovereign is the state,
which is independent and autonomous pursuing its own selfish
interests.
But how can we manage the SCS disputes in the condition of
international anarchy?
The proposal of Del Rosario represents a school of
thought in international relations that sovereign states can, in
fact, cooperate in the condition of anarchy. Through
cooperation, sovereign states can prevent war among them
despite their existing differences. Cooperation promises peace
dividends which sovereign states can benefit from.
Called a “Regime Theory in International Relations,” it
posits that sovereign states can establish the habit cooperation
by creating a regime, which Stephen Krasner (an international
relations theorist) describes as “a set of explicit or implicit
principles, norms, rules, and decision making procedures
around which actor expectations converge in a given issue-
area.” Regime creates a standard of behavior that facilitates
inter-state cooperation. Regime guarantees states to cooperate
and co-exist peacefully in the condition of anarchy.
Key to the application of a regime theory in peacefully
managing the SCS dispute is the issue on whether the
expectations of all relevant players in the conflict are in fact
converging. Disagreements of claimants on some important
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details of the proposed COC strongly indicate that there is still
a great divergence rather than convergence of expectations
among parties to the conflict.
While a regime theory provides a benign solution to
international conflicts, which is found in the condition of
anarchy, it is advanced more seriously by states with limited
military means to advance their national interests. States with
greater military wherewithal to advance their national interests
would hesitate to be bound by a “regime” if it would affect its
advantageous position in the relative distribution of power in
international politics.
Regime does not have independent power over
sovereign states, particularly those considered as major powers.
Powerful states are motivated to be part of the regime if it
would serve their economic, political, and security interests.
Major powers would opt out of the regime if it starts to limit
their powers and alter their status in international politics.
In case of the SCS dispute, a rules-based regime will
only be viable if it will not be used against a major power—
China, the only major power among the claimants in the SCS.
If a proposed “rules-based regime” in the SCS has the intention
of “containing” China and “bind” China by the “rules of the
weak,” China will enormously go against the creation of that
regime.
But if that rules-based regime recognizes China’s
peaceful rise as a major power and acknowledges China’s
important role in maintaining peace and stability in the SCS
without necessarily “constricting” its power ascendancy, China
will in fact the major champion of that regime.
If truth be known, the issue of war and peace in the
SCS largely depends on China’s current and future behavior.
The promotion of a rules-based regime in the SCS must be
presented in a way that it will not be misconstrued as “anti-
China” so that the problem anarchy in the SCS will provide the
prospects for peace, stability and prosperity for all.



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F. Emerging Cold War in the Spratlys
∗ ∗∗ ∗


In an official meeting with Philippine Foreign Affairs
Secretary Albert Del Rosario on 23 June 2011, US Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton assured that the US is committed to
defend the Philippines amidst rising security tensions in the
South China Sea, which the Philippine government now calls
as West Philippine Sea.
To operationalize this commitment, Secretary Clinton
stressed that the US would provide the Philippines affordable
and reliable military equipment in order to enhance the external
defense capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines
(AFP), particularly in defending its territories in West
Philippines Sea. The AFP is now preparing a “shopping list” of
military hardware it wants from the US.
So far, these words of Secretary Clinton are the most
reassuring statements ever expressed by a top US official on
the state of Philippines-American security relations.
Since 1951, the Philippines and the US have been
military allies through the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT). This
placed the Philippines on the side of the US in the cold war
against the former Soviet Union.
But their strong military relations became practically
moribund with the termination in 1991 of the 1947 Military
Bases Agreement (MBA). The termination of MBA coincided
with end of the cold war between the US and the former Soviet
Union. When the US withdrew its last remaining troops from
Clark and Subic in 1992, their military relations reached its
lowest moment leading to the rapid deterioration not only of
Philippines-American alliance but also of Philippine military
capabilities.
China took advantage of this moment when it passed a
law in 1992 declaring the whole of South China Sea as part of
its internal waters. US reaction was ambiguous and
underscored that it would remain neutral on the Spratly issue.
However, Chinese occupation of the Panganiban
(Mischief) Reef in 1995 prompted the US and the Philippines
to fashion a new type of military relationship in order to


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respond to a China challenge in the Spratlys. In 1999, the
Philippine Senate ratified the Philippines-American Visiting
Forces Agreement (VFA) to justify the presence of American
troops conducting joint and combined military exercises with
the AFP in Philippine territories. The VFA is said to have
provided operational substance to the MDT, which serves as
the cornerstone of Philippines-American security alliance.
Despite the signing of the VFA, the US maintained its
“strategic ambiguities” on the Spratly issue and declared its
“hands off” position on the maritime disputes in the South
China Sea.
While the VFA renewed Philippines-American security
relations, it failed to actually revive their military alliance. The
China challenge in the Panganiban Reef at that time was not
enough justification for US troops to become visibly involved
in Philippine security.
Things changed in 2001 when the US used the VFA to
justify American presence in the Philippines as part of the
global war on terrorism (GWOT).
The GWOT reinvigorated the once dormant
Philippines-American alliance. The GWOT even led to the
signing of the Mutual Logistic Support Agreement (MLSA) in
2002 and the establishment of US Joint Special Operations
Task Force Philippines (JSOTFP) Headquarters in Zamboanga
City thereafter. The threat of terrorism, therefore, encouraged
the Philippines and the US to work closely together.
China’s growing assertiveness in the South China Sea is
now being viewed in the Philippines and the US not only as a
security challenge, but more of a military threat. This is the
context on why Secretary Clinton strongly expressed US
commitment to defend the Philippines amidst tensions in the
Spratlys.
Secretary Clinton’s statement indicates the emerging
cold war between the US and China in the Spratlys.
A cold war is a situation where at least two major
powers are involved in a security tension and subdued military
hostility short of an actual military battle. Conflicts are
expressed through proxy wars, military coalitions, propaganda,
espionage, and even trade competitions. This situation is now
emerging between the US and China in the contested Spratly
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group of islands.
Indications of an emerging cold war in the Spratly
started to manifest in March 2009 when five Chinese ships
“harassed” USS Impeccable, a US Navy minesweeper. The
Chinese government claimed that the US ship was intruding in
China’s internal water, which was regarded by the US
government as an international water where all ships can enjoy
free or innocent passage.
The emerging cold war between the US and China on
the Spratly issue is also manifested in the exchange of words
between the two powers in various international forums like
the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Shangrila
Dialogue, and various meetings of the Association of Southeast
Asian Nations (ASEAN) involving the two powers.
The US exclaims that the US has a national security
interest in the South China Sea. China, on the other hand,
asserts that the South China Sea forms part of its core interests
at par with Taiwan and Tibet. China, which says that it remains
committed to the peaceful resolution of territorial conflicts,
wants the US out of the South China Sea Disputes. But the US
reiterates its willingness to get involved in the peaceful
management of disputes in the Spratly while assuring its allies
in the region of US military assistance.
The Philippines is now inevitably involved in an
emerging cold war between the US and China in the
Spratly. As an American ally, the Philippines is apparently on
the side of the US in this emerging situation.
But will the Philippine government allows itself to get
involved in a proxy war between the US and China when the
cold war in the Spratly reaches its peak?
This situation is something that all sovereign states
have to prevent to happen.

G. Risk of War in the Spratlys
∗ ∗∗ ∗


While the Philippines and the US were launching their
naval exercises on June 28, 2011 in the waters of Sulu and
Palawan, which are very close to the disputed Spratly Islands


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in the West Philippine Sea, an Australian-based think-tank, the
Lowy Institute, warned of a growing risk of war in the East
China and South China Seas.
In its report entitled Crisis and Confidence: Major
Powers and Maritime Security in Indo-Pacific Asia authored
by Rory Medcalf, Raoul Heinrichs and Justin Jones, the Lowy
Institute asserts that China’s growing military and rising
resource needs from the disputed waters of East China and
South China Seas have developed into a “risk-taking behavior”
of Beijing.
This behavior makes the country in friction not only
with the claimants in the Spratlys, namely Brunei, Malaysia,
the Philippines and Vietnam but also with other major powers,
particularly with the United States, Japan and India.
The report underscores, “China’s frictions with the
United States, Japan and India are likely to persist and
intensify. As the number and tempo of incidents increases, so
does the likelihood that an episode will escalate to armed
confrontation, diplomatic crisis or possibly even conflict.”
The report also exclaims, “The sea lanes of Indo-Pacific
Asia are becoming more crowded, contested and vulnerable to
armed strife. Naval and air forces are being strengthened amid
shifting balances of economic and strategic weight. The
changing deterrence and warfighting strategies of China, the
United States and Japan involve expanded maritime patrolling
and intrusive surveillance, bringing an uncertain mix of
stabilising and destabilising effects.”
Coinciding with the release of this report is the press
statement delivered a few days earlier by Chinese Foreign
Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei who says that China has
a foreign policy that “sticks to the path of peaceful
development, upholds the defense policy that is defensive in
nature and commits itself to actively developing friendship and
cooperation with countries around the world, especially
neighboring countries.”
However, China’s neighbors in Southeast Asia,
particularly the claimants in the Spratlys, strongly doubt the
sincerity of Beijing to implement its policy of peaceful
development considering the unprecedented rise of its military
power that is believed to have already acquired a blue water
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capability.
China has scheduled sea trials of its first Aircraft
Carrier on July 1. It is expected that this aircraft carrier will
cruise the waters near the Spratlys.
The growing visibility of Chinese ships patrolling the
contested waters of the Spratlys has, in fact, made its
neighbors terribly uneasy.
This has prompted the US to reaffirm its commitment
to defend its allies and partners in Asia amidst the risk of war
in the region.
Apparently, the prospects of war and peace in the
Spratlys largely depend now on the current and future behavior
of China.
As the traditional “Middle Kingdom” in Asia, China is
currently at the middle of various suspicions because of the
many uncertainties associated with its military rise.
These uncertainties create security anxieties of its
neighbors who will inevitably gang-up against China if China
fails to assuage the fear of its neighbors.
Major power competitors like the US, Japan and India
will take advantage of this situation to form a loose coalition of
democratic states to check China’s growing might.
The fear of China will also encourage the Philippines
and other members of the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN) to bandwagon with the US, Japan and India
in order to hedge against the ascendant China.
There is no doubt that China has to do a lot of
enormous explaining to effectively convince its neighbors that
its growing military power and increasing visibility in the
Spratlys will not pose risks of war.
Otherwise, China will create an international
environment not conducive for its peaceful development.

H. Clash of Sovereignties in the Spratlys
∗ ∗∗ ∗


When the United States assured its friends and allies in
Southeast Asia that it is committed to defend and assist them
on rising tensions in the Spratlys, China just warned the US to


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back off and stay out of the South China Sea disputes.
China’s Vice foreign minister, Cui Tiankai, even
stressed that “the United States is not a claimant state to the
dispute. So, it is better for the United States to leave the dispute
to be sorted out between the claimant states.”
With exemption of Taiwan, all claimants in the Spratlys
are all sovereign states with a defined territory in which they
should exercise full control. However, they have clash of
sovereignties over some territories in the South China Sea
called by Vietnam as East Sea and by the Philippines as West
Philippine Sea.
China’s Indisputable Sovereignty. China claims
“indisputable sovereignty” of all the waters and features in the
South China covered within its so-called “nine-dashed lines”
map submitted to the United Nations. However, China only
occupies seven features in the Spratlys – Chigua Reef,
Cuarteron Reef, Fiery Cross Reef, Gaven Reef, Johnson
Reef, Mischief Reef, and Subi Reef.
All these reefs occupied by China have highly
cemented structures. China maintains very impressive helipad
facilities in Chigua Reef, Gaven Reef, and Johnson Reef. It has
three-storey concrete building in Mischief Reef. All its
facilities in the nine occupied features have dipole and
parabolic disc antenna, search lights, solar panels, various
types of radars and gun emplacements.
Taiwan’s Identical Sovereignty Claims with China.
Taiwan has identical claims to sovereignty with
China. Countries adopting a one-China policy regards Taiwan
as a mere province of China. Thus, Taiwan’s sovereign claim
in the South China Sea disputes is complicated. But it occupies
the largest island in the Spratlys: the Itu Aba or Taiping Island
that has an excellent helipad and a very long and highly
cemented runway.
Vietnam’s Incontestable Sovereignty. Vietnam claims
“incontestable sovereignty” of two island-groups in the South
China Sea: the Paracels and the Spratlys. Clash of sovereignties
in the Paracels only involved China and Vietnam (and to a
certain extent Taiwan). In Spratlys, it involved Brunei, China,
Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
Vietnam presently occupies 21 islands, reefs and cay in
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the Spratlys with impressive facilities. Its largest occupied
island, Lagos (or Spratly Island), is the most heavily fortified
with a solid runway, a pier, at least 35 building structures,
around 20 storage tanks, at least 20 gun emplacements, at least
5 battle tanks and some parabolic disk antennas and a spoon
rest radar.
Aside from Lagos Island, Vietnam also maintains
facilities at Pugad Island (Southwest Cay), which is just less
than two nautical miles away from the Philippine occupied
island of Parola (Northeast Cay). Pugad Island has several gun
emplacements, gun shelters, civilian buildings, military
barracks, parabolic disc antennas, concrete bunkers, a light
house, a football field, a helipad, and many light posts.
Other facilities of Vietnam in at least 14 occupied reefs
seem to follow a standard pattern of construction. South Reef,
Pentley Reef, Discovery Great Reef, Collins Reef, Pearson
Reef, Lendao Reef, West Reef, Ladd Reef, Central London
Reef, East Reef, Cornwallis Reef, Pigeon Reef, Allison Reef,
and Barque Canada Reef have identical structures featuring a
golden-painted three-storey concrete building with built-in
light house on top, gun emplacements on both sides, T-type
pier, solar panels, parabolic disc antennas, and garden plots.
The Philippines’ Sovereignty Claim Based
on “dominium maris” and “la terre domine la mer.” The
Philippines claims sovereignty and jurisdiction in the Spratlys
within its Kalayaan Island Group (KIG). It regards KIG as
an “integral part of the Philippines.”
The Philippines strengthens its sovereignty claim using
the Roman principle of “dominium maris” and the international
law principle of “la terre domine la mer,” which means that
land dominates the sea.
Under this principle, the Philippines argues that it is
exercising sovereignty and jurisdiction over the waters around
the KIG or adjacent to each relevant geological features of the
Kalayaan Island, which is under the local government control
of the Municipality of Kalayaan. The Philippines contends that
this position is provided for under the United Nations
Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The Philippines ranks second in the most number of
occupied areas in the Spratlys. It is presently in control of nine
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facilities that are considered parts of the Municipality of
Kalayaan: Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal, Kota (Loaita)
Island, Lawak (Nanshan) Island, Likas (West York) Island,
Pag-Asa (Thitu) Island, Panata Island (Lankiam) Cay, Parola
Island (Northeast Cay) Patag (Flat) Reef, and Rizal
(Commodore) Reef.
Its largest occupied facility is the Pag-Asa Island, the
closest island to the Chinese occupied Subi Reef. Pag-Asa
Island has an already deteriorating run-way maintained by the
570
th
Composite Tactical Wing of the Philippine Air Force. It
also has a naval detachment maintained by the Naval Forces
West of the Philippine Navy. Pag-Asa island has municipal
hall called Kalayaan Hall, a village hall called Barangay Pag-
Asa, a police station maintained by the Philippine National
Police (PNP), sports facilities, observation tower, a commercial
mobile phone station, and several civilian houses and military
barracks.
The Philippines also maintains makeshift naval
detachment facilities in five other islands, one reef and one
shoal. Its facilities in the Rizal Reef are just wooden
structures and two small single-storey hexagonal concrete
buildings manned by four personnel of the Philippine Navy.
The Philippines also maintains a naval detachment in
Ayungin Shoal established out of a dilapidated Landing Ship
Tank called LST 57. Ayungin Shoal is the closest structure of
the Philippines to the controversial Mischief Reef occupied by
China.
Malaysia’s Sovereignty Claim Based on Continental
Reef Principle. Malaysia’s claim to sovereignty in the Spratly
is based on the continental reef principle outlined by
UNCLOS. As such, Malaysia claims 12 features in the
Spratlys. But it only presently occupies six features: Ardasier
Reef, Dallas Reef, Erica Reef, Investigator Shoal, Mariveles
Reef, and Swallow Reef.
Malaysia has well-maintained facilities in the Swallow
Reef. This reef has a diving center called “Layang-
Layang”. Swallow Reef has a resort-type hotel, swimming
pool, windmills, communication antennas, control
communication tower, civilian houses, military barracks and a
helipad.
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Malaysia also has a very good facility in the Ardasier
Reef with an excellent helipad, sepak takraw court, gun
emplacements and control tower. The facilities in the Ardasier
Reef are almost identical with the Malaysian facilities in Erica
Reef, Mariveles Reef and Investigator Shoal. Malaysia also
maintains a symbolic obelisk marker in the Louisa Reef being
claimed by Brunei.
Brunei Sovereignty Claim Based on EEZ. Brunei’s
claim to sovereignty in the Spratlys is based on the principle of
Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) provided for by UNCLOS. It
provides coastal states 200 nautical miles EEZ in which coastal
states have sovereign right to exploit resources of the area.
Brunei does not occupy any feature in the Spratlys. But
it asserts that the Louisa Reef being claimed by Malaysia is
part of Brunei’s EEZ.
Managing Contested Sovereignty Claims in the
Spratlys. The Spratly dispute is a complex case of contested
sovereignty claims. Because of the strategic value of the
Spratlys, which is proven to have enormous oil and natural gas
resources not to mention its very rich marine resources, it is
very unlikely for all claimants to surrender their sovereignty
claims.
All claimants rule out the use of force to resolve their
maritime disputes in the Spratlys. But they continue to upgrade
their military capabilities to assert their respective claims.
They also use UNCLOS as the basis of their claims.
But they seldom use UNCLOS to manage their
differences. China prefers to manage the Spratly disputes
bilaterally. But other claimants want to internationalize the
issue.
With the Spratly disputes now upped the ante,
tensions can further escalate if claimants remains intransigent
in their sovereignty claims.
To manage disputes in the Spratlys peacefully,
claimants may consider anew the shelving of sovereignty
issues and be more pragmatic in exploring the possibilities of
joint development. This is an option that can put claimants in a
win-win situation.

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I. Word War in South China Sea: A Diplomatic Crisis in
Philippines-China Relations
∗ ∗∗ ∗


While commemorating the 36
th
anniversary of the
establishment of Philippines-China Relations signed on 9 June
1975, China Ambassador to the Philippines, Liu Jianchao,
exclaimed that the Philippines’ protests against China on the
Reed Bank and Iroquois Reef-May Douglas Bank incidents
were all based on “bad rumors. ”
Referring particularly to the Iroquois Reef-May
Douglas Bank incident, the Chinese Ambassador stressed, “It’s
a bad rumor because we have no intention of occupying one of
the islands. We clarified the reaction which was aimed at
seismic survey that was done there so this is something that
should not be played up because after all it’s just a survey not
by military vessels but vessels for the survey.”
The ambassador has also reiterated the long-standing
position of China that the South China Sea belongs to China
and its “ownership” of the said water is “indisputable.” He
even tells other claimants to the disputes, particularly the
Philippines and Vietnam, “to stop searching the possibility of
exploiting resources in the area where China has claims.” The
ambassador also underscores that if the countries with claims
in the South China want to explore and exploit any resources in
the disputed water, “you can talk to China about the possibility
of having a joint cooperation development and exploitation of
natural resources.”
The Philippines, however, maintains its “firm stand”
that the Reed Bank and the Iroquois Reef-May Douglas Bank
belong to its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) where the
country has all the exclusive rights to explore and exploit the
natural resources of the area. Presidential spokesman Edwin
Lacierda said that the Philippines was only protesting
“incursions into Philippine territorial waters by Chinese
vessels.” Despite the strong statement of the Chinese
ambassador against the Philippines protests, Lacierda stated
that the Philippines will continue its activities in its EEZ,
especially the oil exploration activities in the Reed Bank.


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These exchanges of strong words between the
Philippines and China over the South China Sea Dispute
indicate the seemingly irreconcilable difference between the
two countries on the issue. Both countries are now engaged in a
word war, which poses a great diplomatic challenge in
Philippines-China Relations. If not carefully managed, this
word war can deteriorate into a diplomatic crisis that both
countries do not want to happen.
The word war between the Philippines and China on the
South China Sea Dispute is happening at the time when both
countries should be joyfully celebrating the 36
th
year of their
bilateral relation, which in 2005 was just declared to have
reached the “golden age of partnership”.
This year, however, sees the sudden deterioration of
Philippines-China relation as a result of conflicting claims in
the South China Sea. The word war between the Philippines
and China over the South China Sea Dispute has created
unnecessary ill-feelings on both sides that if not assuaged
properly can make both countries at odd with each other.
Since 1975, when the Philippines and China normalized
their diplomatic relations, their partnership has become
comprehensive spanning cultural, economic, political and even
military areas. This comprehensive partnership even led to the
signing of the Joint Action Plan for Strategic Cooperation in
2009 as a living testament of their deepening friendship and
growing partnership for mutual benefits. The Philippines even
celebrated the 35
th
anniversary of Philippines-China Relations
in Nanning, China in 2010 on the occasion of 7
th
China-
ASEAN Expo.
The year 2011, however, is one of the worst years in
Philippines-China Relations after the Mischief Reef
controversy in 1995 and the Scarborough Shoal incident in
1997.
It looks very impossible for China and the Philippines
to give up their respective claims in the South China Sea
because of the growing demand from both countries to access
and exploit the valuable resources, particularly oil/gas and fish,
in the disputed water. But if both governments will continue to
exchange harsh words against each other on the issue, it will
not only harm state-to-state relations, it will also affect people-
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to-people contacts.
If both countries are really serious in pursuing peaceful
means to settle their differences, they have to mutually exercise
self-restraint in publicly criticizing each other by exchanging
harsh words so that government-level “misunderstanding” will
not spill-over to the misunderstanding of their people.
Blog sites and networking sites are now filled with
comments from citizens of their countries lambasting one
another. If this trend continues, government-level differences
can trigger racial outrage that will further inflict harm on
Philippines-China relations.
The Philippines and China have already made
tremendous accomplishments in their bilateral relations over
the past 36 years. The South China Sea Dispute shall not be the
reason why both countries have to retrogress in their ties.
While there is no doubt that the Philippines and China
have conflicting stand on the South China Sea Dispute, their
commitment to settle their territorial disputes by peaceful
means shall be strongly emphasized in public discourse. Rather
than focus on their differences, both countries shall concentrate
in discussing issues of mutual interests and make sure that
issues of mutual interests will redound to their citizens. In this
case, the positive aspects of Philippines-China relations can
establish social ownership.
As an interim measure, the Philippines and China shall
seriously start talking about joint development in the South
China Sea. Rather than determining which countries have
ownership or rights to the disputed territories in the South
China Sea, the Philippines and China should open their
channels of communication to candidly consider the idea of
joint development so that when they celebrate the annual
anniversary of their ties in the future, they will share common
accomplishments rather

J. Philippine, China Row on Spratlys: Time for Good
Manners and Right Conduct
∗ ∗∗ ∗


Amidst rising tensions in the Spratlys, Philippine


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Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario went to the
People’s Republic of China (PRC) for a two-day official visit
(July 7-8) in order to “advance” Philippines-China relations
that have been recently damaged by the contested sovereignty
claims in the West Philippine Sea, internationally known as the
South China Sea.
The official visit aimed not only to tackle Philippines-
China differences on the Spratly disputes but also to set a
conducive environment for the forthcoming visit to China
within this year of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.
Secretary del Rosario visited China after two important
preceding events that happened in Manila: the celebration of
the 113
th
founding anniversary of the Department of Foreign
Affairs (DFA) on July 5 and the holding of the Manila
Conference on the South China Sea on July 5-6.
The celebration of the 113
th
anniversary of DFA should
have provided the Philippines the right opportunities to take
stock of its achievements and challenges in the conduct of its
foreign relations, particularly with two important global
powers: the United States and China, which at present are
involved in an emerging cold war in the South China Sea.
The DFA celebration of its 113
th
founding anniversary
also occurred at a time with US forces were conducting joint
naval exercises with the Philippines, which has been engaged
in a word war with China over the issue of the Spratlys. The
word war in the Spratlys between Manila and Beijing even
resulted in the banning of a Chinese diplomat from attending
meetings in the Philippines for “rude” behavior.
On the other hand, the Manila Conference on the South
China Sea organized by the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), the
National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP) and the
Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam brought together various
international experts on the issue to discuss the current
difficulties in the Spratlys. The conference highlighted the need
adopt a binding agreement in order to prevent disputes in the
South China Sea to escalate into an armed conflict.
Inputs from these two events should have given the
DFA Secretary adequate knowledge on how to deal with
Chinese counterparts wisely and prudently during his visits.
There is no doubt that the visit of Secretary Del Rosario
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
156

followed the right tract of diplomacy to address Manila’s
difficult relations with Beijing on the Spratlys. The visit also
re-opened important channels of communication for both
countries to air and settles their differences as well as
overcome their quarrels peacefully not only to advance their
respective national interests but also to promote their mutual
interests.
There is no illusion that Secretary Del Rosario’s two-
day visit to China will automatically resolve their quarrels over
the Spratlys. But the visit was very important to rebuild
confidence necessary for the repair of Philippines-China
relations, which have become so comprehensive encompassing
diplomatic, cultural, economic, political, social and even
military areas.
The visit was also necessary to uphold good manners of
all claimants involved in the disputes and to promote right
conduct of parties by seriously considering the adoption of a
binding Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.
Secretary Del Rosario would return home to Manila
hopefully with pragmatic options for the Philippine
government on how to handle its bilateral relations with China
on the Spratly disputes. In fact, this process pleases China as it
wants to resolve the Spratly disputes bilaterally with claimants.
However, no pragmatic solution will be achieved if
both countries, and for that matter all claimants, will continue
to raise ownership and sovereignty issues.
It is very unlikely for all claimants to surrender their
sovereignty claims. If the Philippines and China would remain
intransigent in their sovereignty positions and continue to
pursue a hard line stand on their claims, there is no way for the
Spratly disputes to be resolved peacefully.
But if the Philippines and China can demonstrate some
flexibilities in their claims and “sweep” the issue of
sovereignty “under the rug”, until such time that sovereignty
issue is no longer an issue because both countries have already
reached the level of mutual understanding necessary for
productive cooperation like “joint development”, both
countries will set the trend of promoting good manners and
right conduct in the Spratlys that other claimants can follow.
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
15¯

It is only when all claimants would be willing to
“eschew” sovereignty issues that the peaceful management of
the Spratly disputes will be achieved.

K. What’s Needed: More Dialogues among Spratlys
Claimants
∗ ∗∗ ∗


On Oct. 16-17, 2011, the Carlos P. Romulo Foundation
(CPRF), in collaboration with the Institute of Southeast Asian
Studies (ISEAS) in Singapore, organized the International
Forum on the South China Sea at the Manila Polo Club, Makati
City.
This Forum (attended by retired and active government
officials, academics, members of the diplomatic corps and
private sector leaders) brought together a number of well-
known international scholars and experts studying the South
China Sea dispute and how to effectively manage it.
The main objective of the Forum was “to give clarity to
national positions, surface the underlying issues that animate
these positions, and identify areas of common interest.”
Indeed, conflicting national positions on the South
China Sea dispute were articulated during the Forum.
But these positions were not totally clarified because
some speakers, who claimed to be scholars, spoke more like
propagandists of their respective governments. Thus, instead
of identifying areas of common interests, the Forum
highlighted more areas of differences in sovereignty claims,
which was necessary to clear the air.
Taiwan’s inclusion. Since this International Forum
was a track-two, non-official process, the event included
Taiwan scholars.
This was, in fact, one of the strengths of this Forum –
the inclusion of Taiwan in the dialogue process.
Taiwan is never part of official international
discussions on the South China Sea because claimant states
(Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam) have a One-
China Policy that recognizes Taiwan as a mere province of the
People’s Republic of China (PRC).


Pvbti.bea iv ^er.brea/ ;1· October 2011)
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
158

Inviting Taiwan to the Forum was essential to have a
holistic understanding of the South China Sea disputes.
Taiwan is an important stakeholder in this complex
territorial conflict. Its continued exclusion from official
discussions and dialogues will not complete the process of
conflict management in the South China Sea.
Unless a reunification takes place between China and
Taiwan, which have identical claims in the South China Sea,
managing the South China Sea disputes without Taiwan is
utterly difficult.
The situation becomes harder with the recent
announcement of the Taipei government of its readiness to
deploy missile in its occupied island, the Itu-Aba or Taiping
Island.
The Itu-Aba is the largest island in the Spratlys with the
longest and highly cemented runway. It is one of the highly
strategic islands in the Spratlys because of its location and
island features.
In fact, Itu-Aba is suitable for a submarine
base. During the Second World, Japan used Itu-Aba as a
submarine base to support its imperial ambition to establish the
so-called East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.
Thus, if Taiwan decides to re-build a submarine base in
Itu-Aba, it can strategically alter the existing balance of power
in the South China Sea.
In other words, Taiwan may be out of the official
discourse in the territorial claims but is deeply enmeshed in the
territorial dispute.
The Forum also included an Indonesian speaker (Ambassador
Hasjim Djalal) who talked about lessons learned in managing
the conflicts in the South China Sea.
Though Indonesia is not officially a claimant state in
the Spratlys dispute, its gas field in the Natuna Island belongs
to the nine-dash lines being claimed by China and Taiwan.
Being a de-facto leader of the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN), Indonesian role in conflict management in
the South China Sea dispute is essential.
Speakers from the Philippines and Vietnam have
articulated very well the official and non-official views of their
respective countries in the South China Sea
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
159

disputes. Surprisingly, however, the Forum did not include
Malaysian and Brunei speakers. A Brunei participant from the
private sector only served as a session chair.
Claims of Malaysia and Brunei have tremendous
bearing on Philippine claims because of geographic proximity,
particularly in maritime areas West of Palawan where the
Philippine government has existing oil exploration activities.
Thus, the absence of Malaysian and Brunei speakers during the
Forum made this track-two process wanting.
Vague plan. The main issue that surfaced repeatedly in
the Forum was the controversial issue of joint development.
China is the main champion of joint development to
promote cooperation rather than conflict in the South China
Sea.
But the idea of joint development at present remains
vague and general. The specific area where joint development
will be pursued has not been really identified by claimants, and
more so by China.
The Vietnam speaker has interpreted China’s concept
of joint development to mean “all claimants developing the
area together but the ownership belongs to China.”
But the Chinese government has repeatedly stressed
that joint development means “all claimants developing the
area together for mutual benefits and the issue of ownership
should be set-aside for the time being.”
However, other claimants regard the South China Sea
dispute as a sovereignty issue, an issue so vital that it could not
be set aside.
Thus, the issue of ownership is the crux of disputes in
the South China Sea.
There is no doubt that the South China Sea dispute is an
expression of clash of sovereignties. In international politics,
nations go to war because of sovereignty.
If the sovereignty issue will be always be raised in any
discussions on the South China Sea, there is no way that this
conflict will be solved in the foreseeable future.

But a forum like the one organized by CPRF and
ISEAS will help prevent this territorial conflict to escalate into
an actual shooting war.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
160

More dialogues and discussions among claimants can
open channels of communications that are necessary for
conflict management in the South China Sea.

L. Peace and Stability: Way Ahead in the Spratlys
∗ ∗∗ ∗


Despite the current security tensions that can increase
the risks of war due to clash of sovereignties in the Spratlys,
peace and stability is still the way ahead in this contested body
water.
There are four major reasons why.
First, all claimants, namely Brunei, China, Malaysia,
the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam have all agreed to
manage the disputes in the Spratlys peacefully. Though all
sovereign states have the right to use force when their vital
national interests are threatened, the use of force to settle
international disputes is no longer the norm in international
politics.
The principle of peaceful settlement of inter-state
conflicts is embodied in the Charter of the United Nations
(UN), in which all sovereign states are members of. The UN
has also provided various mechanisms for the peaceful
settlement of international disputes in order to ameliorate the
security dilemma of states in the condition of international
anarchy.
The 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the
South China Sea or DOC also articulates the maxim of pacific
settlement of disputes. Although the DOC is non-binding for
just being a declaration, all claimants refer to it when problems
arise in the South China Sea.
Second, we now live in the era of globalization where
all sovereign states have become so interconnected through
commerce, trade, and tourism. This interconnectedness is
evident in the South China Sea through international
navigation.
It is already well known that the South China Sea is one
of the busiest sea routes in the world. In fact, the South China
Sea is a maritime superhighway with at least 50,000 ships


Pvbti.bea iv Pbiti¡¡ive ´tar ;1² ]vt, 2011)
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
161

passing through its sea-lanes annually. Thus, waging a war in
the Spratlys is costly for claimants and counter-productive for
all states depending on the freedom of navigation in the area.
Third, though claimants are presently upgrading their
military capabilities, they are not designed to invade other
states or to occupy already occupied features in the
Spratlys. They are designed to increase their capabilities to
protect their occupied features and to patrol the waters
covering them. They are also designed to deter other
claimants to make new occupations as required by the DOC.
If claimants have overlapping waters to patrol, they can
sort our their differences through negotiations, either bilaterally
or multilaterally.
Acquisition of submarines, frigates, corvettes, and
offshore patrol vessels by claimants are not meant to support an
“invasion” force. They are being acquired to primarily confront
the growing non-traditional security threats in the maritime
domain such as piracy and armed robbery against ships, drug
trafficking, arms smuggling, human trafficking and
international terrorism. Without those naval assets, “internal
waters” and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) of claimants
will be prone to abuse by non-traditional sources of security
threats. The current tensions in the Spratlys gave claimants a
strong justification before their taxpayers to increase national
budget for naval acquisitions.
Finally, the current tensions in the Spratlys are in fact
blessings in disguise. Through the current tensions, claimants
are able to express their strategic intentions, something that
were not expressed before.
The current tensions gave all claimants a better
understanding of the disputes and their respective national
positions on the issue. With this understanding, claimants
will be more circumspect and nuanced in dealing with each
other in order to avoid a war in the Spratlys.
If there are claimants anticipating an inter-state war in
the Spratlys, they have not come to grips with the reality of
globalization and complex interdependence of nations. They
will become a pariah state whose behavior is not in sync with
international norms of peaceful behavior.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
162


ANNEX II
LIST OF PHILIPPINES-CHINA BILATERAL
AGREEMENTS
1975 – 1 September 2011
Political
• Joint Communiqué of the Government of the Philippines and
the Government of the People's Republic of China.
Signed in Beijing on 09 June 1975.
• Joint Statement between the Government of the Republic of
the Philippines and the Government of the People's
Republic of China on the Framework of Bilateral
Cooperation in the Twenty-First Century. Signed in
Beijing on 16 May 2000.
• Memorandum of Understanding between the Philippine
Council of Young Political Leaders (PCYPL)
Foundation, Inc. and Chinese Association for
International Understanding (CAFIU). Signed in
Beijing on 5 July 2005.
• Joint Action Plan for Strategic Cooperation between the
Republic of the Philippines and the People’s Republic
of China. Signed in Manila on 29 October 2009.
• Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of
Foreign Affairs of the Philippines and the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs of China on Strengthening Cooperation,
31 August 2011
• Joint Statement of the Republic of the Philippines and the
People’s Republic of China, 1 September 2011.

Defense
• Agreement Between the Department of National Defense of
the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of
National Defense of the People's Republic of China on
the Establishment of the Offices of the Defense and
Armed Forces Attachés. Signed in Beijing on 29 July
1996.
• Agreement between the Government of the Republic of the
Philippines and the Government of the People’s
Republic of China on the Utilization of the Military
Engineering Equipment Assistance Loan Provided by
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
163

China to the Philippines. Signed in Beijing on 29 July
1996.
• Memorandum of Understanding on Defense Cooperation
between the Department of National Defense of the
Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of
National Defense of the People's Republic of China.
Signed in Beijing on 8 November 2004.
• Agreement between the Department of National Defense of
the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of
National Defense of the People’s Republic of China on
China’s Provision of Military Aid Gratis to the
Philippines. Signed in Beijing on 8 November 2004.
• Agreement between the Department of National Defense of
the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of
National Defense of the People's Republic of China on
China's Provision of Military Aid Gratis to the
Philippines. Signed in Beijing on 10 October 2006.
• Agreement between the Department of National Defense
of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of
National Defense of the People's Republic of China on
China's Provision of Military Aid Gratis to the
Philippines. Signed in Beijing on 08 December 2009.

Transnational Crimes
• Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of
the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of
the People's Republic of China on Cooperation against
Illicit Traffic and Abuse of Narcotic Drugs,
Psychotropic Substances and Precursor Chemicals.
Signed in Beijing in October 2001.
• Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of
the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of
the People's Republic of China on Cooperation in
Combating Transnational Crime. Signed in Beijing in
October 2001.

Judicial
• Agreement on Cooperation Between the National
Prosecution Service of the Department of Justice of the
Republic of the Philippines and the Supreme People’s
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
164

Procuratorate of the People’s Republic of China. Signed
in Beijing in October 2000.
• Treaty on Extradition between the Republic of the
Philippines and the People's Republic of China. Signed
on 30 October 2001.

Energy Cooperation
• Letter of Intent between the Philippine National Oil CO.
Exploration Corp. and the China National Offshore Oil
Corp. (CNOOC). 10 November 2003.
• An Agreement for Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking on
Certain Areas in the South China Sea By and Between
Philippine National Oil Company and China National
Offshore Oil Corporation. Signed in Beijing on 1
September 2004.
• An Agreement for Joint Marine Seismic Survey in certain
areas in the South China Sea by the Philippine National
Oil Company (PNOC), the China National Offshore Oil
Company (CNOOC), and the Vietnam Oil and Gas
Corporation (PETROVIETNAM). Signed on 14 March
2005.

Trade/ Investments/ Finance
• Trade Agreement between the Government of the Republic
of the Philippines and the Government of the People's
Republic of China. Signed in Beijing on 09 June 1975.
• Agreement on Long-Term Trade between the Government of
the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of
the People’s Republic of China. Signed in Beijing on 08
July 1979.
• Agreement between the Republic of the Philippines and
People's Republic of China Concerning the
Encouragement and Reciprocal Protection of
Investments. Signed in Manila, 20 July 1992.
• Agreement Between the Government of the Republic of the
Philippines and the Government of the People's
Republic of China for the Avoidance of Double
Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with
Respect to Taxes on Income. Signed in Beijing on 18
November 1999.
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
165

• Memorandum of Understanding between Bangko Sentral ng
Pilipinas and the People’s Bank of China on the
establishment of Banking Institutions in each other’s
territories. Signed on 17 May 2000.
• Cooperation Agreement between the Philippine Chamber of
Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and China Council for
the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT). Signed
in October 2001.
• Bilateral Swap Agreement between the Bangko Sentral ng
Pilipinas and the People's Bank of China. Signed in
Manila on 30 August 2003.
• Memorandum of Understanding on Mining Cooperation
between the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
and China's Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM).
Signed in 18 January 2005.
• Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of
the Philippines and the Government of the People’s
Republic of China on the Promotion of Trade and
Investment Cooperation. Signed in Manila on 27 April
2005.
• Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation
between the Government of the Republic of the
Philippines and the Government of the People’s
Republic of China. Signed in Manila on 27 April 2005.
• Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of
the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of
the People’s Republic of China on the Early Harvest
Program under the Framework Agreement on
Comprehensive Economic Cooperation between the
Association of South East Asian Nations and the
People’s Republic of China. Signed in Manila on 27
April 2005.
• Framework Agreement between the Government of the
Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the
People’s Republic of China on Provision of
Concessional Loan by China to the Philippines. Signed
in Manila on 27 April 2005.
• Framework Agreement on Expanding and Deepening
Bilateral Economic and Trade Cooperation between the
Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
166

Government of the People's Republic of China. Signed
in Manila on 15 January 2007.
• Memorandum of Understanding between the National
Economic and Development Authority and the
Department of trade and Industry of the Republic of the
Philippines and the Ministry of Commerce of the
People's Republic of China on Establishing the
Economic Working Group. signed in Manila on 15
January 2007.
• Memorandum of Understanding between China Export and
Credit Insurance Corporation and Philippine
Government Agencies. Signed in Manila on 15 January
2007.
• Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation
between the Government of the Republic of the
Philippines and the Government of the People's
Republic of China. Signed in Manila on 15 January
2007.
• Framework Agreement between the Government of the
Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the
People's Republic of China on Provision of
Concessional Loan by China to the Philippines. Signed
in Manila on 15 January 2007.
• Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of
Trade and Industry of the Republic of the Philippines
and the General Administration of Quality Supervision,
Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of
China on Cooperation on Industrial Products Safety and
TBT Measures. Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.
• Memorandum of Understanding regarding the Utilization of
US$500 million Preferential Buyer's Credit Between
the Department of Finance of the Republic of the
Philippines and the Export and Import Bank of China.
Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.
• Five-Year Development Program for Trade and Economic
Cooperation between the Republic of the Philippines
and the People’s Republic of China, 31 August 2011
• Exchange of Letters on the Provision of Grant Assistance by
the Government of the People’s Republic of China to
the Government of the Republic of the Philippines
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
16¯

• Memorandum of Understanding between the Board of
Investments-Department of Trade and Industry of the
Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of
Commerce of the People’s Republic of China on the
Designation of a Chinese Investment Advisor

Agriculture
• Agreement on the Cooperation in the Field of Agriculture
and other Related Areas Between the Government of
the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of
the People's Republic of China. Signed in Beijing, 18
November 1978.
• Memorandum of Understanding on Scientific and Technical
Cooperation in Agriculture. Signed in Beijing on 24
April 1990.
• Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Hybrid
Rice Technology. Signed on 13 July 1999.
• Agreement on Cooperation in Agriculture and Related
Fields. Signed on 13 September 1999.
• Understanding on the Cooperation in the Fields of
Agriculture, Irrigation and Other Related Areas
between the Government of the Republic of the
Philippines and the Government of the People’s
Republic of China. Signed on 16 May 2000.
• Agreement between the Department of Finance and the
China National Construction and Agricultural
Machinery Import and Export Corporation on a
US$100-million credit facility to finance agricultural
development projects in the Philippines. Signed on 20
December 2000.
• Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of
Agriculture of the Republic of the Philippines and the
Ministry of Agriculture of the People's Republic of
China on Fisheries Cooperation. Signed in Beijing on 1
September 2004.
• Memorandum of Understanding on the Special Treatment for
Rice between the Governments of the People’s
Republic of China and the Republic of the Philippines.
Signed in Manila on 27 April 2005.
• Memorandum of Understanding on Expanding and
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
168

Deepening Agriculture and Fisheries Cooperation.
Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.
• Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of
Agriculture of the Republic of the Philippines and the
General Administration of Quality Supervision,
Inspection, and Quarantine of the People's Republic of
China in the field of Sanitary and Phytosanitary
Measures. Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.
• Agreement on the Development of 1 million Hectares of
Land for Hybrid Corn, Hybrid Rice and Hybrid
Sorghum Farming. Signed in Manila on 15 January
2007.
• Agreement on the Leasing of 40,000 Hectares of Agri-
Business Lands for Sugarcane and Cassava Plantation.
Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.
• Agreement on the Provision of a 5,000-Square Meter Space
for Philippine Tropical Fruits in the Jiangnan Fruit and
Vegetable Wholesale Market. Signed in Manila on 15
January 2007.
• Agreement for the Establishment of a 150,000 Liter Per Day-
Capacity Bio-Ethanol Plant in Palawan. Signed in
Manila on 15 January 2007.
• Joint Venture Agreement for the Manufacture of Bio-Ethanol
(B.M.S.B). Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.
• Joint Venture Agreement for the Manufacture of Bio-Ethanol
(Negros Southern). Signed in Manila on 15 January
2007.
• Joint Venture Agreement for the Establishment of a 150,000
Liter per Day-Capacity Bio-Ethanol Plant. Signed in
Manila on 15 January 2007.
• Memorandum of Agreement on the Provision of Small
Mobile Ice Plant and Transport Facilities to Municipal
Fishery Cooperatives and Associations. Signed in
Manila on 16 January 2007.
• Memorandum of Agreement on the Establishment of a 35-
Hectare Demonstration Farm for Sweet Corn. Signed in
Manila on 16 January 2007.
• Memorandum of Agreement on the Construction of Ship
Yard, Establishment of a Cold Storage Facility and
Upgrading/Rehabilitation of Certain Facilities at the
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
169

Navotas Fish Port Complex (NFPC). Signed in Manila
on 16 January 2007.
• Agreement on the Development of Candaba Swamp
Resource Project as a Source of Water for Irrigation.
Signed in Manila on 16 January 2007.
• Memorandum of Agreement on Cooperation By and
Between the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic
Resources (BFAR) and Guandong Ocean Fisheries
Adminsitration (GDOFA). Signed in Manila on 16
January 2007.
• Memorandum of Agreement on the Breeding and Culture of
Grouper and Other High Value Species. Signed in
Manila on 16 January 2007.
• Joint Venture Agreement on Fisheries. Signed in Manila on
16 January 2007.
• Agreement on Breeding and Culture of Abalone, Sea
Cucumbers, Sea Urchins and Scallops. Signed in
Manila on 16 January 2007.

Consular
• Visa Agreement allowing Filipino diplomatic and consular
personnel to receive multiple-entry entry visas from the
Chinese Government for a maximum validity period of
five years. Signed on 03 July 2002 and entered into
force on 19 December 2002.
• Agreement Between the Government of the Republic of the
Philippines and the Government of the People's
Republic of China on Mutual Visa Exemption for
Holders of Diplomatic and Official (Service) Passports.
Signed in Beijing on 1 September 2004.
• Consular Agreement between the Republic of the
Philippines and People’s Republic of China in Manila
on 29 October 2009.

Air Services
• Agreement between the Government of the Republic of the
Philippines and the Government of the People's
Republic of China Relating to Civil Air Transport.
Signed in Beijing on 08 July 1979 and took effect upon
its signing.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
1¯0

• Memorandum of Understanding on air services. Signed in
Beijing on 02 March 2004.
• Memorandum of Understanding supplementing the traffic
rights granted under the 2004 MOU, 24 November
2010.

Infrastructure
• Memorandum of Understanding Between the Philippine
National Railways and China National Technical
Import Export Corporation and China National
Machinery and Import & Export Corp. Signed in
Manila on 15 November 2002.
• Memorandum of Understanding Regarding the Utilization of
the US$400-million Preferential Buyers' Credit from
China to the Philippine s between the Export- Import
Bank of China and the Department of Finance of the
Philippines. Signed in Manila on 30 August 2003.
• Supplemental Memorandum of Understanding between
North Luzon Railways Corporation and China National
Machinery and Equipment Corporation (Group). Signed
in Beijing on 1 September 2004.
• Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of
Trade and Industry of the Republic of the Philippines
and the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic
of China on Infrastructure Cooperation. Signed in
Manila on 27 April 2005.
• Memorandum of Understanding Regarding the Utilization of
US$500 Million Preferential Buyer’s Credit from the
Government of the People’s Republic of China to the
Government of the Republic of the Philippines between
the Export-Import Bank of China and the Department
of Finance of the Republic of the Philippines. Signed in
Manila on 27 April 2005.
• Loan Agreement on the Provision of US$500 million
Preferential Buyer's Credit Loan for the Northrail
Project Phase 1, Section 2. Signed in Manila on 15
January 2007.
• Concessional Loan Agreement on Non-Intrusive Container
Inspection System Project Phase 2. Signed in Manila on
15 January 2007.
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
1¯1

• Contract Agreement between North Luzon Railways
Corporation and China National Machinery Industry
Corporation for the Northrail Project Phase 1, Section
2. Signed in Manila on 15 April 2007. (originally
signed in Beijing on 15 November 2006)
• Engineering, Procurement and Construction Contract for the
Rehabilitation and Upgrading of the Philippine
Mainline South Railway Project Phase 1, Section 1.
Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007. (originally
signed in Manila on 5 December 2006)

Tourism
• Memorandum of Understanding on Tourism Cooperation
between the Department of Tourism of the Republic of
the Philippines and the National Tourism
Administration of the People’s Republic of China.
Signed in Manila on 21 April 1989.
• Agreement on Tourism Cooperation between the Republic of
the Philippines and the People's Republic of China.
Signed in Beijing on 10 May 1990.
• Memorandum of Understanding concerning Tourism
Cooperation. Signed in Beijing on 11 September 2002.
• Implementation Program of the Memorandum on Tourism
Cooperation between the Department of Tourism and
the China National Tourism Administration. Signed in
Beijing on 1 September 2004.
• Implementation Program of the Memorandum of
Understanding on Tourism Cooperation between the
Department of Tourism of the Philippines and the
National Tourism Administration of the People’s
Republic of China,
31 August 2011

Scientific and Technical
• Agreement on Scientific and Technical Cooperation between
the Republic of the Philippines and the People's
Republic of China. Signed in Manila, 14 March 1978.

Maritime
• Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
1¯2

Transportation and Communications of the Republic of
the Philippines and the Ministry of Communications of
the People’s Republic of China on Maritime
Cooperation. Signed in Manila on 27 April 2005.

Education
• Memorandum of Agreement between the Commission on
Higher Education of the Republic of the Philippines and
the National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign
Language of the People’s Republic of China signed in
Manila on 12 March 2003.
• Memorandum of Understanding between the Commission on
Higher Education of the Republic of the Philippines and
the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of
China. Signed in Manila in March 2007.
• Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation Program for
Cultivating Local Pre-Service Chinese Language
Teachers of the Philippines between the Commission
on Higher Education of the Republic of the Philippines
and the Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters of the
People’s Republic of China. Signed in Beijing on 27
October 2009.
• Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Academic Degrees in
Higher Education (MRA) between the Commission on
Higher Education of the Republic of the Philippines and
the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of
China. Signed in Manila on 19 November 2009.

Cultural
• Cultural Agreement between the Government of the
Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the
People's Republic of China. Signed in Beijing on 08
July 1979 and took effect upon its signing.
• Agreement on the Protection of Cultural Heritage. Signed in
Manila on 15 January 2007.
• Agreement on the Prevention of Theft, Clandestine
Excavation, Illicit Import and Export of Cultural
Property between the Republic of the Philippines and
the Government of the People's Republic of China.
Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.
Cvrrevt í..ve. ava ívergivg Covcerv.
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Health
• Memorandum of Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of
Health between the Department of Health of the
Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Health
of the People’s Republic of China. Signed in Manila on
09 October 2008.

Sports
• Memorandum of Understanding on Sports Cooperation.
Signed in October 2001
Supplemental Memorandum of Understanding
between the Philippine Sports Commission and the
General Administration of Sports of the People's
Republic of China. Signed on 8 April 2005.
• Agreement on Mutual Sports Exchanges and Cooperation
between the Philippine Sports Commission and the
Tianjin Municipal Sports Bureau of China. Signed in
Manila on 10 September 2009.
• Memorandum of Understanding between the Philippine
Sports Commission and the General Administration of
Sport of China on Sports Cooperation, 31 August 2011

Youth
• Agreement between the National Youth Commission of the
Republic of the Philippines and the All-China Youth
Federation of the People’s Republic of China on Youth
Affairs Cooperation. Signed in Manila on 27 April
2005.
• Memorandum of Understanding on Further Development of
Sino-Filipino Youth Exchange between the All-China
Youth Federation and the National Youth Commission
of the Philippines. Signed in Beijing on 13 July 2005.

Communications
• Postal Parcels Agreement between the Bureau of Posts of the
Republic of the Philippines and the Directorate General
of Posts of the Ministry of Posts and
Telecommunications of the People’s Republic of China.
Signed in Beijing on 18 November 1978.
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
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Media and Information
• Letter of Intent on Friendly Exchanges and Cooperation
between the Office of the Press Secretary of the
Republic of the Philippines and the State Council
Information Office of the People's Republic of China.
Signed in Beijing on 3 September 2004.

• Memorandum of Understanding between the Presidential
Communications Operations Office of the Philippines
and the State Council Information Office of China on
Friendly Exchanges and Cooperation Agreement of
Cooperation by and between the People’s Television
Network, Inc. of the Philippines and the China Central
Television, 31 August 2011.

Source: Philippine Embassy in Beijing.

See http://philembassychina.org/start/index.php/en/2011-10-
26-03-01-07/list-of-bilateral-agreements.
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POSTSCRIPT

On 31 August 2011, President Benigno Simeon Aquino
III held his first official state visit to China since he assumed
office in June 2010. President Aquino III met his Chinese
counterpart, President Hu Jintao, amidst rising tensions in the
South China Sea. During his three-day official visit, President
Aquino III also met Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the Standing
Committee of the National People's Congress, and Wen Jiabao,
Premier of the State Council. On 1 September 2011, the
President Aquino III and President Hu issued a Joint Statement,
which states the following:
• The two leaders shared a positive assessment of the
development of Philippines-China relations in the
last 36 years since the establishment of diplomatic
relations on 9 June 1975;
• They reiterated their commitment to jointly pursue a
long-term and stable relationship of strategic
cooperation on the basis of mutual respect, equality
and mutual benefit;
• They also agreed that the Joint Action Plan for
Strategic Cooperation signed by the two sides on 29
October 2009 will continue to guide cooperation in
all fields; and,
• The Philippines reaffirmed its adherence to the one
China policy
In the Joint Statement, both countries “agreed to further
expand the volume of bilateral trade and accordingly set a
target of US$60 billion in total two-way trade by 2016.” They
made a commitment “to improve the trade structure, promote a
more vigorous exchange of investments and explore new areas
of economic cooperation in the fields of, among others, new
and renewable energy, shipping and ports.”
President Aquino III and President Hu also affirmed in
the Joint Statement “that the Philippines-China Five-Year
Development Program for Trade and Economic Cooperation
(2012-2016) serves as the blueprint for future efforts in the
following sectors: agriculture and fishery, infrastructure and
public works, mining, energy, information and
Pbiti¡¡ive.·Cbiva ´ecvrit, Retatiov.
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communications technology (ICT), processing and
manufacturing, tourism, engineering services and forestry.”
To further improve their bilateral ties through tourism
visits and people-to-people contacts, both countries declared
“2012-2013” as the "Philippines-China Years of Friendly
Exchanges." More importantly, the countries stressed in the
Joint Statement “not to let the maritime disputes affect the
broader picture of friendship and cooperation between the two
countries.” They reiterated their commitment to address their
existing maritime disputes “through peaceful dialogue” in
order to “maintain continued regional peace, security, stability
and an environment conducive to economic progress.” They
also reaffirmed “their commitments to respect and abide by the
Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea
signed by China and the ASEAN member countries in 2002.”
Though the state visit of President Aquino III to China
was cordial and full of enthusiasm, the President went back to
Manila with the continuing problem in the South China Sea. To
provide an overarching solution to the territorial problem in the
South China Sea, the Philippine government launched the idea
of the Zone of Peace, Freedom, Friendship and Cooperation
(ZoPFFC). Planned to be discussed at the 19th Summit of the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and 6
th
East
Asia Summit (EAS) in Bali, Indonesia on 17-19 November
2011, the idea failed to get into the conference table because of
China’s vehement rejection.
China has expressed strong opposition to ZoPFFC as it
challenges “China’s 9-dash line claim.” The Philippine paper
on ZoPFFC even underscores that the 9-dash line claim of
China “is bereft of any legal basis under international law.”
286

Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario
even described China’s 9-dash line claim as “the core of the
problem” that must be “subjected to rules-based regime of

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UNCLOS.”
287
Though the Philippine government argues that
the ZoPFFC proposal is consistent with the rules based
framework of managing international disputes, China
vehemently opposes Manila’s proposal because Beijing is not
ready to bring the South China Sea Disputes before
international adjudication.
288

In fact, China hijacked the agenda of the 2011
ASEAN/EAS Summits in Bali when it warned participants not
to discuss ZoPFFC and the South China Sea Dispute. Thus,
participants failed to discuss ZoPFFC at the 2011 Bali
Summits. Secretary del Rosario admitted, “ZoPFFC was not
brought up at all. We are the only one who brought up the
ZoPFFC. All the interventions were on maritime security in the
West Philippine Sea.”
289
The Philippine government planned
to raise ZoPFFC again in the 2012 ASEAN/EAS Summits.
But without the concurrence of China, it is utterly difficult for
the Philippines to move the ZoPFFC proposal forward.
At present, Philippines-China security relations still
face an uncertain direction because of the thorny issue of the
South China Sea. The standoff in the Scarborough Shoal that
started in April 2012 demonstrated the uncertainty in
Philippines-China security relations.
Despite some uncertainties, both countries have
recognized not to let the South China Sea Dispute affects other
aspects of their comprehensive bilateral ties, which are more
robust, constructive and productive. By focusing their
attention on other areas of their relations beyond the
sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea, there will be more
cooperation rather than competition in their bilateral ties.

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1¯8




ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rommel C. Banlaoi is a Senior Fellow of the Yuchengo
Center. He is also the Chairman of the Board and Executive
Director of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and
Terrorism Research (PIPVTR) and Head of its Center for
Intelligence and National Security Studies (CINSS). He is a
recipient of the Albani Philippine Peace Prize Award in 2011
for peace education.
He currently serves as Member of the Board of
Directors of the Philippine Association of Chinese Studies
(PACS) and a Senior Lecturer at the Department of
International Studies at Miriam College. He also served as a
professor of political science and international relations at the
National Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP), Assistant
Professor in International Studies at De La Salle University
(DLSU), Manila, Instructor in Political Science at the
University of the Philippines, Los Baos, and University
Research Associate at the University of the Philippines,
Diliman.
A frequent commentator on local and international
newspapers, television and radio talk shows, Banlaoi has
single-authored eight books and seven monographs, co-
authored four books, and single-authored at least 70 book
chapters and international journal articles on various issues of
regional security, foreign and defense policy, local governance,
civil-military relations, security sector reforms, peace process,
and international terrorism. He is married to Grace Quilitorio
Banlaoi. He has three children: Rome Melchizedek Q.
Banlaoi, Ronaih Gail Q. Banlaoi, and Rommel Gian Q.
Banlaoi, Jr.

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