PH-China joint development may solve West Ph Sea issue—Foreign Relations Scholar

PH-China joint development may solve West Ph Sea issue—Foreign Relations Scholar

A foreign relations scholar has proposed a win-win solution to prevent the escalation of tensions between the Philippines and China in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

“My advice there is, the Philippines and China need to accept the fact that both of them cannot just give up their claims,” according to Sass Rogando Sasot, Foreign Relations Scholar.

That’s the suggestion of foreign relations scholar Sass Rogando Sasot to achieve a win-win solution to the current dispute between the Philippines and China in the West Philippine Sea.

She explains that both countries need to acknowledge that neither will relinquish their claims to the disputed territories.

“I’m just talking about BRP Sierra Madre. You know, China has to accept the fact that it is not realistic that the Philippines will give up its claim. And the Philippines has to accept the fact that China will not give up its claim no matter how loudly you shout on Facebook,” Sasot stressed.

Instead of engaging in confrontation, it would be better for both countries to return to the negotiating table and find ways to benefit from the resources there mutually.

“We have to find a creative solution to the impasse. How? Let’s see on how we could jointly develop the area. Joint development has been the call of sensible people, from the 90’s onwards. It’s only now that warmongers and oligarchs have taken over. Because before, joint development was really the call,” she added.

Sasot believes that President Bongbong Marcos’s inclination towards American interests will not help the administration, especially as it sees war as the outcome of the standoff between the U.S.-backed Philippines and China.

In fact, the response of the Marcos Jr. administration to the West Philippine Sea issue has intensified due to the continued repelling of the Chinese Coast Guard using water cannons on Philippine Coast Guard supply boats bound for Ayungin Shoal.

China’s reason for this action is the Philippines’ alleged failure to abide by the agreement not to bring cargo for repair works to BRP Sierra Madre.

BRP Sierra Madre is an old Philippine vessel stationed at Ayungin Shoal since 1999.

It was deliberately grounded there as a symbol of Philippine territory and serves as an outpost for our soldiers.

“Let’s see how we can turn the area to have joint development because if this is just drama, we won’t achieve anything! You know? We’ll just keep getting angry! We need to be creative. Because it’s 2024! There are different ways on how actually to pursue joint development. Because if neither of you will give up the claim, then let’s shelve this issue and let’s pursue some form of joint development. We can discuss this. Right?” she stated.

 

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