Former gov’t official puts forward a solution to WPS issue

Former gov’t official puts forward a solution to WPS issue

AS tensions continue to escalate between the Philippines and China over the disputed waters in the West Philippine Sea or South China Sea, former government official and Chairman of the Association for Philippines-China Understanding (APCU) Atty. Raul Lambino has suggested steps that could potentially resolve the issue.

Lambino pointed out that Filipino fishermen, particularly those from the province of Zambales, are the most affected by the tensions.

To recall, Filipino fishermen said they were able to fish freely at Bajo de Masinloc during the Duterte administration.

However, under Marcos Jr., they are now struggling due to China’s actions to drive them away.

‘’We can first discuss the issue of Bajo de Masinloc or the Scarborough Shoal, and then tackle the more complex area of Ayungin Shoal later. I mentioned this to Ambassador Huang Xilian in Manila. He agreed that it was a good idea,’’ said Atty. Raul Lambino – Chairman, APCU.

But the problem, according to Lambino, is that the Philippine government refuses to talk to its Chinese counterpart.

‘’But the problem, according to those we spoke to, is that your government doesn’t want to talk to us and insists on including the U.S. in the talks. China’s leadership will not agree to such a relationship or discussion,’’ he said.

Lambino explained that the presence of U.S. military bases in the country, which are believed to be used against China, further intensifies the tension between the Philippines and China.

Adding to this is the U.S.’s alleged interference in the One-China Policy.

Because of this, Lambino believes that the U.S. is not helping the situation in the WPS and that it has no plans to support the Philippines should war break out with China.

‘’The U.S. is not helping us. They’re just using us to advance their own interests. The U.S. will not side with us if war breaks out between the Philippines and China. Do you think the American soldiers will come here to fight in the [South] China Sea? No, they won’t,’’ Lambino added.

Furthermore, it’s not just China that’s concerned about the U.S. using the Philippines as a proxy for war, but also neighboring Asian countries.

Lambino mentioned that during his recent event in China, several individuals advised that the Philippines should not allow the U.S. to dictate its future.

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