Tag Archives: Philippines

Involvement of Any Third Party in The South China Sea is Counter Productive

I am writing this article as a follow on to Allen’s post “Who Is Really Overstepping the Bounds of International Law in the South China Sea?

International law is defined by consensus but ultimately decided by “reality on the ground”. Each claimant nation of South China Sea island should have absolute faith and belief in their position before submitting any claim. That is not wrong. However, each nation should be realistic. To have the notion that “my claim is more legitimate than your claim” is counter productive. And to have this illusion that somehow “world opinion” is backing your claim make it even more laughable. Continue reading Involvement of Any Third Party in The South China Sea is Counter Productive

Who Is Really Overstepping the Bounds of International Law in the South China Sea?

The Hague via peopleint.files.wordpress.com/2012/07
The Hague via peopleint.files.wordpress.com/2012/07

[Editor’s Note: This is a cross-post of an article I submitted to the Diplomat a few weeks ago.  I am wrapping up a more detailed legal analysis of the issues  and aim to make it a law review article.  I will cross-post here too that once that has been submitted and accepted.]

When the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague recently announced that it would take “jurisdiction” over Philippines’ arbitral claims against China, many reported the decision as a victory for the Philippines and as a triumph of the “rule of law.” I beg to differ. The Court, on the contrary, has muddled, not upheld, international law, and by trivializing the states’ duty to negotiate in good faith – as enshrined in the U.N. charter, stipulated in the UNCLOS, and specifically agreed to between the parties – has greatly damaged the prospect for peace, cooperation, and a final resolution of the disputes. Continue reading Who Is Really Overstepping the Bounds of International Law in the South China Sea?

Two (Minor) Chinese Fishermen Returned from Phillipines Deny Poaching Sea Turtles

When the story of the Philippines Police arresting Chinese fishermen for illegally fishing sea turtles in Half Moon Shoal broke a few days ago, I immediately read saw in the news that families of fishermen highly doubt the veracity of that story since the fishermen did not leave with equipment to poach turtles…

Well, here are a few more details from xinhua.

QIONGHAI, Hainan, May 15 (Xinhua) — Two Chinese fishermen released by Philippine authorities have said that sea turtles they were accused of poaching were actually traded from a Vietnamese fishing boat.

“When we got caught by the Philippine police, it’s true that there were dozens of sea turtles on our vessel, but we had exchanged them with Vietnamese fishermen for food,” said Li Xianghui, one of the two fishermen released by a Philippine court earlier this week because they were found to be minors. Continue reading Two (Minor) Chinese Fishermen Returned from Phillipines Deny Poaching Sea Turtles

On the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) Between the U.S. and Phillipines

 

Obama and Aquino Toasts
Obama and Aquino Toasts

The U.S. and Phillipines leadership would like to portray their new relationship as rosy, strategic and deep.  On the street though, talking to the average Joe, one might get a very different impression.

Billed as the cornerstone of growing US and the Philippines strategic partnership and of the U.S. pivot back to Asia, the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) between the U.S. and Philippines has been touted as the highlight of the meeting of President Obama and President Aquino in Manila this week. The official line is broadcast to the world even though many in Philippine vehemently oppose the agreement (see e.g. this response from BAYAN).  Many Filipinos still remember the 1.5 million or so who died during the brutal US conquest of the Philippines in the early part of the 20th century, and they do not want the U.S. to have any military presence on Philippines soil again. Continue reading On the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) Between the U.S. and Phillipines

Malaysia Airline MH370 – American Media Fanning the Flame Wars

MH370 SearchApril 15 is tax day for most Americans.  It is the deadline for Americans – rich or poor – to file and pay their taxes.  But this year, it appears, it is also smear China day.  You may think with so much things going on in the world, things to do, that perhaps for this one day, China might be spared unnecessary smearing.  But it is not to be so.

Last week, on April 15, both New York Times and Wall Street Journal ran two underhanded articles on China, assigning the blem for the unfruitful search for missing Malaysian airline MH370 squarely on China.  Both papers reported that China was in big on the search for MH370 not necessarily because a majority of the victims were Chinese citizens, but really because Chinese leaders wanted to show off their new technology wares – to grab the International spotlight to to show off.  Unfortunately, the Chinese bumbling not only made China look bad, but may have actually stymied the search. Continue reading Malaysia Airline MH370 – American Media Fanning the Flame Wars

Reactions to Hong Kong tourists killed in Philippine hijack

On Monday, August 23, 2010, ex-policeman Rolando Mendoza hijacked a bus full of tourists from Hong Kong in Manila. A botched Philippines SWAT team rescue after a prolonged standoff resulted in eight tourists killed, including the hijacker Mendoza. Media around the world are now focused on what went wrong. Here is China Daily’s recent report, “Philippine leader vows punishment in bus hijack,” quoting President Benigno Aquino III (who took office only two months ago):

“Someone failed. Someone will pay,” Aquino said during a speech before students and faculty at a suburban university. He called the carnage “ghastly” and admitted there were “many failures.”

Personally, I think more attention needs to be paid to the Philippines media. According to this UK Guardian report, “Philippines hostage deaths draws anger from China over gunman’s TV view:”
Continue reading Reactions to Hong Kong tourists killed in Philippine hijack