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CHAPTER 1: SYNOPSIS OF THE ISSUES IN THE WEST
The dispute has its roots in the early twentieth century when Chinese authorities began to assert Chinese sovereignty over the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. This triggered protest by the Vietnamese court at Hue, which had established its control over the islands well before the French conquests of Vietnam. In the 1930s, while China began to publish maps declaring its territorial claims in the South China Sea, French authorities in Indochina also began to set up weather stations on and send garrisons to the Paracel and Spratly Islands. The dispute gained prominence in 1978, when the Philippines set out its EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone), formally including the island Kalayaan in the Spratlys. An EEZ extends to a distance of 200 nautical miles (370 km) beyond a coastal state’s 12-mile territorial sea, and grants sovereign rights over the natural resources and exploitation in the zone, while preserving the freedom of navigation. Several coastal states had claimed EEZs since the 1940s, but it was not until 1982 that the third UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) codified the EEZ. The Philippines made their first claim in the area, which they refer to as the Kalayaan islands in 1975 and has been developing oil in the region between the Spratlys and the island of Palawan since 1976. The Philippines real history in the region began in May 1956 when a private Philippine expedition surveyed and occupied some of the islands. The Philippines were a trusteeship of the Allied powers at the time and the guarantee of Allied protection kept the Philippines from garrisoning troops on its islands. However, as that guarantee weakened the Philippines decided to beef up its defense. In 1976, it set up a garrison on Palawan and in 1978 it established more soldiers on seven of the islands. There are currently about 1,000 Marines stationed on the islands. In1979, the Philippines stated that it only wanted control of the seven islands under its control and administration and not the rest of the archipelago. Malaysia has been involved in the dispute since 1979. It currently has control over three of the islands but claims the whole chain. Malaysia’s case is based on the fact that the islands are part of its continental shelf. This gives it right to the islands under the Law of the Sea Convention. Brunei's claims to the island also rest on the Law of the Sea. It states that the southern part of the Spratly chain is actually a part of its continental shelf and therefore its territory and resources.
In March. Both Taiwan and the People's Republic of China say that the islands were discovered by Chinese navigators. annexed the Spratlys in 1933.Taiwan has maintained a garrison on the biggest of the islands since 1956. and under the administration of China since the 15th century. It has since stated that the Philippines are occupying part of its territory. which they call the Truong SA islands. The dispute has not been taken to any official forum as of this date. In September 1973. They have been the most belligerent in pursuing their claim. However. Occasional harassment of fishermen by all sides continues as well. 2 . Vietnam claims to the islands. China's claims to the island are based on the same history as Taiwan's claim. it believes the islands belong to it and not to the PRC. Vietnam's ancestor. have a monopoly on the South China Sea. Its main concern is that China alone or China and Vietnam will gain control and thus. While they have moved to more political means of dealing with the dispute. fighting broke out between Vietnam and China and China sunk two Vietnamese ships. the islands. The French. Each of the six countries maintains its claim to all the islands. who were Vietnamws colonial rulers. the Kuomintang sent a naval expedition to the islands and took formal possession in 1946. since Taiwan claims to be the true China. China and Vietnam are the main protagonists in the dispute. The protagonists have been discussing the possibility of shelving the sovereignty issue to undertake joint development of its resources and have sent a joint scientific team to run tests on resource potential. The dispute between China and Vietnam picked up in 1988. Vietnam currently holds three islands. Confrontation surfaced again when China contracted with a US firm to begin testing for oil sights. In 1815. therefore. used by Chinese fishermen for centuries. The PRC government maintains that it is the legitimate Chinese government and that. even though the territorial issue remains far from solved. It left a garrison on the largest island of Itu Aba. Chinese naval vessels sailed into the Spratlys in January 1988 and Chinese marines started building defenses on one of the largest Islands--the first time China has settled soldiers on the islands. in the l9th century. tensions remain high in the area. Its claims to the island are based on its assertion that Taiwan and its Kuomintang government are the true China. which they call the Nansha islands--are their territory. an expedition sent by king Gia Long to chart sea lanes occupied and settled the islands. Vietnam declared that the Spratlys were part of the Phuoc Tuy province. so Vietnam says the islands are theirs as the inheritors of the French possessions. Further. are part of the empire of Annam.
military forces from Vietnam. the Chinese navy has intensified its patrols throughout the area and has shown an increasing readiness and willingness to confront other nations for control within the contested island chains. other nations involved in the dispute contradict this claim. The Law of the Sea Convention. and the Philippines. According to the Law of the Sea. So far no measures have been instituted but the territorial dispute has proven to be the most effective ban because it has prevented Exploitation of the oil and natural resources completely. is involved in the claims of Malaysia. an international law/standard agreed to by the countries of the world. These laws gave China a greater basis for claiming control over the Spratlys as a "contiguous zones" for territory. On May 2009 that China issued an official note concerning the ninedash line. No decisions on sovereignty were reached at the meetings but the disputants did agree to send a scientific team to the islands to assess their resource potential and the environmental condition. In early 2010.Indonesia tried to start talks among the disputants. the closest recognized Chinese territory to the islands was a separate province that would be developed as a special economic zone and declared a new law on its territorial waters in 1992. Malaysia. In 1987 China claimed that the Hainan Island. China. it could be an impartial mediator. the countries have legal right over the area of their continental shelf. In recent years. basing their responses on historical or legal arguments. Beijing’s declaration of the international significance of this line was a response to Malaysia and Vietnam’s joint submission to the United Nations that manifests their own claims in the South China Sea. Taiwan. While Beijing has repeatedly stated that China owns sovereignty and jurisdiction over the island and adjacent waters. formally bringing the nine-dash line map to global attention. Brunei has claimed an Exclusive Economic Zone in the southeastern part of the region without maintaining a military presence. The dispute is inevitably linked to China’s rise and its military ambitions in the Asia-Pacific region. The essential problem is simple: the claimants disagree about the distribution of the Spratly Islands. These three countries claim that all or parts of the islands are a part of their continental shelf. and the Philippines occupy about 45 of the islands. Brunei. Chinese officials appeared to have considered the idea of elevating China’s claims in the South China Sea to a “core” national 3 . Jakarta believed that as a non-involved Asian country.1 Today.
” The idea of a cooperative approach to resolving the territorial dispute is not new and has been floating for some two decades. The Taiwanese government echoed this statement with similar remarks. government officials and scholarly observers alike hope that the agreement will nevertheless oblige the Southeast Asian claimants and China to avoid any activity that would damage or complicate their relations. however. According to the contested map. the declaration constructively contributes to the avoidance of armed clashes among the parties over their conflicting claims on the sovereignty of the Spratly Islands. The ASEAN DOC (Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea) of 1992. when in 2010 the US administration declared for the first time an interest in the dispute and took up the side of the ASEAN. Although the DOC is not binding and dependent upon the goodwill of signatory states. In April 2011. In April 2011. On paper. China allegedly exerted pressure to try to keep the South China Sea off the agenda. the dynamics of China-ASEAN interactions changed. Chinese President Hu Jintao called on other Asian nations to forge better cooperation regarding security matters involving territorial claims over the Spratly Islands to avoid disagreements. She declared the United States’ national interest in seeing a resolution of the rival claims and its support for a collaborative diplomatic process by all claimants for resolving the 4 . In July. Including all Southeast Asian states with the exception of Timor Leste. signed by China in 2002. the Philippines filed a formal protest in the United Nations over China’s ninedash line. ASEAN has been at the forefront of diplomatic initiatives to approach the dispute from a multilateral angle. including UNCLOS.interest. the Chinese-claimed waters include several oil. In an optimistic scenario. China has succeeded in prohibiting bilateral discussions with the other claimants. has it made a formal denial despite the apprehension aroused in the region. Neither. is often praised as a first step toward a peaceful settlement. Foreign Ministry spokesperson James Chang said all the countries involved should “first shelve their disputes and then seek to solve the issue peacefully. natural gas. the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi attended the ARF (ASEAN Regional Forum). which is a securityfocused dialogue mechanism of 27 member states. Indonesia (Natuna Islands) and Vietnam (several blocks off the Vietnamese coast). which would put it on par with Tibet and Taiwan. but Clinton addressed the matter at the urging of the host Vietnam and other ASEAN members. Malaysia (fields offshore Sarawak). Beijing has never publicly confirmed this. However. the DOC commits the signatories to resolve their territorial and jurisdictional disputes by peaceful means and in accordance with universally recognized principles of international law. and condensate fields of the Philippines (Malampaya and Camago).
which also claims parts of the South China Sea. home to some of the world’s most important shipping lanes and believed to hold vast deposits of fossil fuels.” The most pressing territorial dispute for the Philippines is with China over rival claims to parts of the South China Sea. In January 2011. Beijing was outraged by Clinton’s remarks as it is strategically opposed to a “collaborative” settlement with ASEAN members. while it was not taking sides on the claims to sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea. The Philippines refer to the area as the “West Philippine Sea.3 5 . Philippine President Benigo Aquino III made it clear in a speech that the Spratly Islands belong to the Philippines based on international law pertaining to rights given to archipelago nations and continental shelf extensions. especially in regards to the Spratly Islands. which included a Chinese naval ship reportedly firing warning shots at Filipino fishermen. The Philippines and Vietnam.various territorial disputes without coercion. Yang went so far as to call Clinton's remarks “an attack on China”. Campbell confirmed the United States’ “strategic interest” in the South China Sea and also reemphasised the key role of ASEAN in resolving the dispute. The Obama Administration also clarified that. US State Department Assistant Secretary for Asia and Pacific Affairs Kurt M. fuelled fears among some nations in the region about China as its military and political strength grows The Philippines announced plans on Friday to allow a greater US military presence on its territory. The alleged acts. 2 CHAPTER 2: ISSUES ON SOVEREIGNTY AND TERRITORIAL INTEGRITY In July 2011. complained repeatedly last year of what they said were increasingly aggressive acts by China in the decadeslong rift. it did have concerns about claims to “territorial waters” or any maritime zones that were not consistent with the Law of the Sea Convention. in a move analysts said was directly aimed at trying to contain a rising China.
S military presence in the Philippines The US has always regarded the Philippines as a strategic base in various respects and considers our islands as practically an unsinkable US naval fleet. He said that a greater US military presence in the Philippines would help bolster regional security and such cooperative efforts would as well result in achieving a balance of influence to ensure peace.” this is what Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said in a statement.S military presence in the Philippines “It is to our definite advantage to be exploring how to maximize our treaty alliance with the United States in ways that would be mutually acceptable and beneficial. particularly regarding the South China Sea. Disadvantages of U. The Philippines is playing the US card to get more leverage against China. we have the U.” this was the statement of our Commission on Audit (CoA). and economic development in the region. Philippines illustrate the latest strategy of US imperialism to create agile. flexible forces to maintain dominance. But backdoor deals have delivered the largest ever US military presence. Aside from regular military exercises. the most notable US presence in the Philippines in recent times has been a rotating force of about 600 troops that has been stationed in the southern Philippines for the past decade. is not capable of defending the country with its “almost nil or zero conventional capability. The Philippine Air Force (PAF). stability. The Philippines' decision 16 years ago to close down a US military base made history and marked a significant victory for anti-base campaigners. Advantages of U. Sixteen years ago. One Political analyst in Manila said the Philippines’ decision to allow a bigger US military presence was a direct reaction to China’s perceived increased aggressiveness. Del Rosario also added that the increased US military presence could include “planning more joint exercises to promote interoperability and a rotating and more frequent presence by them”.the US military bases in Subic 6 . 2.1. but are not allowed to have a fighting role. the youngest of the three major commands of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. the Philippine Senate made the historic vote to shut down what American analysts once described as probably the most important basing complex in the world -. If there could really be possibility of threats to our national interest. The US forces special train local troops in how to combat militants. as China’s military have been harassing our patrol men in our territorial land.S military aid in our side if they will attack us which is not impossible as we are not as big as China.
this will lead to heighten the tension between the two countries. Indeed. culturally and militarily. political and military domination of the region and is decided on using the Philippines for the purpose. and raise suspicions between the two countries. And if we do not think again and accept their aid in what we allege of China’s attack to the Philippines. It’s true that the United States wants to expand its presence in the region. The US wants to expand its military presence in the Southeast Asian region to counter the growing military strength of China – which it considers a big threat. however on the part of China. Lets just presume that the U. the Senate vote shook the Philippines relations with its most important ally. the US wants to maintain a “feudal” or more precisely a semi feudal mode of production in the Philippines in order to make it a political underling and an easy source of super profits for the US monopoly banks and firms. The expansion of US military presence in the Philippines is key to achieving these geopolitical goals. That one small and weak country could say no to what by then had become the worlds only remaining superpower reverberated across the world. Further. along with other smaller support and communications facilities in the country. The Philippines remains a semi colonial and semi feudal country because of the continuing infringement of our national sovereignty and prevention of economic development by the US. it involves exercises that will still be in accordance with our Visiting Forces Agreement. But in the Philippines. But the Philippines cannot be too sure about US support because the US has far greater economic and security interests in its relations with China. politically.S military forces in our country is an advantageous to our territorial integrity and sovereignty. which is why they will put up a base in Australia and station ships in Singapore.4 We can expect more US military intervention in the Philippines. the move sends a very dangerous signal that could cause China to misjudge the US intentions. for meddling in the negotiations between the Manila government and the MILF and for seeking to grab oil and other major natural resources from Moroland. they view this as an alliance to overthrow them or they see this as an alliance as a join forces to fight them in their 7 . which is of course their front reason to be able to enter again the Philippine territory. It has used for sometime the CIA-created Abu Sayyaf as the pretext for introducing military forces via Balikatan/VFA not only in Mindanao but also in the entire country.and Clark. It is also using the issue of the Spratlys in order to beef up its military forces in the Philippines. It is a sad fact that the US controls the Philippines economically.” The US wants to increase its economic. Taken after long and emotional debates. then we can’t deny the fact that history will repeat itself. Instead of maintaining diplomatic way of solving the issue.
and amity with all nations”. allow the US military forces to intervene in the Philippines and protect US interests against the interests of the Filipino people.S military presence in the Philippine because these instruments violate national sovereignty. he puts the Philippines in a dangerous situation. We should condemn the move of P-noy in allowing U. and prepare its people to war and this is the last thing that Philippines and other ASEAN countries want--To push the giant country to raise in its military power. weapon and others.Article 2. They are the power to call the armed forces. We must engage in all possible and necessary forms of struggle in order to achieve national liberation and democracy and establish a people’s democratic government that can act best to resist the impositions of imperialism. cooperation. Our Constitution grants the Executive the military Power to meet emergency situation. China.S military aid is besides us not because they’re with us but because of their goal for expansionism in the region. Philippines will be left for nothing and what will happen to our fight for territorial integrity will be turn to ashes. Obviously. on the other hand. the ASEAN countries are trying to do their best to 8 . the power to suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus. Philippine is just an insect compared to China in terms of everything. justice. The U. freedom. will strengthen his military forces to heir territorial claim. --. money. It mentions three extraordinary remedies or measures which the President is empowered to utilize in meeting emergency situations. equity. First and foremost.5 CHAPTER 3: Critiques in the military power of P-noy “ The Philippines renounces war as an instrument of national plicy. adopts the generally accepted principles of international law as part of the law of thae land and adheres to the policy of peace. When the President accepted the U. section 2 of the Constitution. With power.territorial claim. China can easily swallow us like a lost fish.S military presence here in the Philippines regarding the dispute in the West Philippines sea territory. We must condemn and change a government that acts as a puppet and servant of US imperialism. and to declare martial law. And this is what we’re trying to avoid having war because we will be all dead in the sense of government.
S arm forces for military assistance to the Philippines. The mere presence of the U. like strengthening military forces and weapons in this critical situation is the best move of the Philippines. 9 . what the President is doing in seeking the aid of the U.S forces here in the Philippines is challenging and pushing China to rise in war whether China is contemplating war or not because the U. So basically. we will be the loser at the end and whatever happens. is there an invasion by China? None. is there an attack from China? None. What the Philippine government only can do is to deal the problem through diplomacy and wait rather than to have the U. we will become their pawn. And here is the Philippine calling the aid of the U. either China or United States. However.S military presence in our country. to let military to intervene for allowing their military forces in our country is not a good solution to our lack of power to fight China in case China will rise against us.S military forces here in the Philippines for assistance in case a war broke out between Philippines and China is out of order within his military power. The President’s moved in seeking the U.S military in our country. which is the real bully between the two giant countries. To be prepared in any aspect.S military forces in the Philippines is an implied aggressive war against China. however. it is the Philippines contemplating a war by calling and letting the U. what happened to the allegedly attacks of Chinese military to our patrolmen in our territorial claim in the West Philippine See is not an attack because they didn’t harm or do anything violent to them.solve the territorial dispute in a diplomatic manner. He must give priority in strengthening military forces in the territory. We must admit that there’s nothing we can do except to deal with it through peaceful manner because if we resort to other way like considering the possibility of China to attack us. to protect also our territorial claim in the West Philippine Sea. What should the President do is to protect also his claim. Lets go back again to our present situation with China. As the military power is vested upon him. It is true that China is strengthening his weapon and military forces in its territory in the West Philippine Sea and this is natural move to a country to protect his own territory. Our Constitution renounces war as an instrument of national policy except if it is a defensive war.S military presence in the Philippines imposes threat to the territorial claim of China in the West Philippine Sea. he can call out the armed forces. it will be to our disadvantages.
josemariasison.american. 2012: Daily Times http://www.org (http://s.com http://www.1EFERENCES 1 www1.htm hir.tt/150Od) 4 5 1 2 3 4 5 . January 28.harvard.edu/ted/SPRATLY.washingtonpost.edu/the-spratly-islands-dispute-order-building-onchina 2 3 Saturday.
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