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People's Daily Online>>Opinion

Manila returns to usual games of cat and mouse

By Xu Ming (Global Times)

10:32, February 29, 2012

It was reported that on Monday, Philippine Energy Secretary Jose Almendras promised investors that two areas in the northwest of Palawan province belonged to the Philippines and promised they could explore oil and gas resources there.

The two areas in discussion are in the South China Sea and are part of China's sovereign territory. But the Philippines bluntly ignores this fact and encourages foreign investment there in spite of Chinese protests.

What's worse, it rejects joint exploration with China, claiming the questioned area as being its own territory, in violation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.

This is not the first time that the Philippines has defiantly aggravated the situation in the South China Sea. Last year, there were frequent tensions between the two countries on the matter.

China has voiced strong protest while behaving strictly according to international law and regional agreements.

But obviously, this does not help to control the aggressiveness of the Philippines. Almendras reportedly claimed that he was not afraid of China's serious protest and promised that it would not affect the interests of the investors.

But Manila should be prepared to bear the consequences of its behavior once the disputes worsen and threaten the stability of the area.

As a country that has been developing slowly since the 1980s and with a growing population, the Philippines faces severe economic and social problems at home. In this context, it cannot put more emphasis on its economic relations with China.

Meanwhile, domestic energy pressure leads to its tough stance on the South China Sea issue, along with US influence.

As a result, last year China witnessed Philippine President Benigno Aquino's sudden volte-face after his visit to China. Aquino made many friendly gestures during his visit and even used the term "husband and wife" to describe the Sino-Philippine relationship.

But he resumed his tough stance immediately after his visit. But it should be clear that China's bottom line about its sovereign rights has never changed.

Many Chinese netizens are calling for action. It is probably time for China to take some substantial moves, such as economic sanctions, to counter aggression from the Philippines since protests and condemnation have not worked.

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  1. Name

PD User at 2012-03-1927.110.198.*
Criterias are:Islands must be able to (1)sustain human habitation on their own and (2)have an economic function.clearly, china could not meet these requirements, so they no basis whatsoever on claiming the EEZ of the islands under their "9-dash line"
PD User at 2012-03-05113.239.230.*
Sam Teng- What I am saying is are you prepared to go to war over these islands ? Nobody cared about these islands until oil was discovered in the area.The islands are much closer to Vietnam and the Philippines. China"s claim on these islands is based on them being ancient fishing grounds.There are people in this column advocating sending gun boats, or blockading the area. World War III will be very easy to start. Stopping such a war before it destroys all life on this planet may be a more difficult task
Sam Teng at 2012-03-05210.195.54.*
John. What i am saying is though diplomacy is the top priority for a peaceful solution, China must be prepared to take on these threats if there is a military confrontation as the last resort. China is now made of sterner stuff and must not waver under threats of military alliance. The Chinese people are very patriotic, the country is always first. They will always rise to the occasion to defend their country under threats, including military threats. It is not a matter of uninhabited islands, it is the principles of Chinese territorial sovereignty and integrity.
John at 2012-03-02113.239.225.*
Sam Teng- "eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth" policy can leave you both blind and toothless. Are you sure that you want to be one of the soldiers that dies for these uninhabited islands, or maybe you would rather send a young soldier in your place.
PD User at 2012-03-02220.255.1.*
China wants to nobody"s enemy. The whole world is not China"s enemy. China wants to be friends of the every country. But if some handful of countries want to be enemy of China, then it is their own choice. If they want choose to be enemy of China, then they will have to bear the severe consequences. China is no longer the weak country of yesterday. China is the rising dragon soon the superpower. If these few trouble-maker lapdogs of the hegemonist USA countries think they can hide behind their master, then they are dead wrong. Because even USA cannot protect you.
  

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