Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Spratly Islands issue: Claimant countries deserve respect for sovereignty from each other

The latest friction caused by Chinese navy's way of patrolling and showing of force in the Spratly Islands against other claimant nations the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan clearly show what is to be anticipated as the China expansionist program. It is a tactical move for the Chinese government to gain full control and ownership of these islands to further its interests both commercially and militarily. Almost all ships going out of the Strait of Malacca heading for Japan, Taiwan, or anywhere northwest or northeast will pass through this route especially for commercial purposes. Spratly will serve as a military base therefore making the mainland China safer and to deter any possible foreign attack coming eastward especially that one of the United States with any of its aircraft carrier positioned anywhere in the vast Pacific ocean.

Aside from that,  the Spratly is very rich in natural resources. Natural gas could be mined under its deep waters in abundance. No wonder why many a nation will have to claim and own these islands as part of their territories. But who really owned the Spratly islands?

The Philippines claimed and owned at least eight of the islands in the Spratly called the Kalayaan group of islands. Kalayaan is the Tagalog word for freedom. The largest island in the Kalayaan group of islands is called "Pag-asa" which in English means hope.

China cites history--to have owned the islands--dating back to the Tang dynasty by which it has also long ago abandoned. The Vietnamese, on the other hand, believed that the islands have been long ago conquered by their ancestors. Spratlys remain a source of tension among the claimants.

 The 1898 Treaty of Peace between Spain and the United States declared: “Spain cedes to the United States the archipelago known as the Philippine Islands, and comprehending the islands lying within the following line: A line running from west to east along or near the twentieth parallel of north latitude, and through the middle of the navigable channel of Bachi, from the one hundred and eighteenth (118th) to the one hundred and twenty-seventh (127th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, thence along the one hundred and twenty seventh (127th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich to the parallel of four degrees and forty five minutes (4 [degree symbol] 45']) north latitude, thence along the parallel of four degrees and forty five minutes (4 [degree symbol] 45') north latitude to its intersection with the meridian of longitude one hundred and nineteen degrees and thirty five minutes (119 [degree symbol] 35') east of Greenwich, thence along the meridian of longitude one hundred and nineteen degrees and thirty five minutes (119 [degree symbol] 35') east of Greenwich to the parallel of latitude seven degrees and forty minutes (7 [degree symbol] 40') north, thence along the parallel of latitude of seven degrees and forty minutes (7 [degree symbol] 40') north to its intersection with the one hundred and sixteenth (116th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, thence by a direct line to the intersection of the tenth (10th) degree parallel of north latitude with the one hundred and eighteenth (118th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, and thence along the one hundred and eighteenth (118th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich to the point of beginning.The United States will pay to Spain the sum of twenty million dollars ($20,000,000) within three months after the exchange of the ratifications of the present treaty.” Significantly, the Spratlys lie within those lines demarcated within the treaty limits.

The Philippines's claim over the waters and the maritime zones derive from the 1982 Convention on the Law of the Sea, which grants the country the sole exploitation rights over the natural resources within the Exclusive Economic Zone (which extends to 200 nautical miles around the coastal state) and, more relevant to fossil fuel extraction, to continental shelf (defined as the “natural prolongation of the land mass” up to the same 200 nautical mile limit).

The United States of America will be playing  a very important role to help settle out the Spratly issue for good. The Philippines is under a Mutual Defense Treaty with the United States which could mean that an attack against the Philippines is an attack against America and vice versa. But China is one of America's biggest trading partners.

China's showing of force and, to some occasions, harassment to any of these claimant nations' troop stationed in the Spratly simply indicates lack of respect to each of these nations' sovereignty. The Philippines will fight for its right in the Spratly as well as for freedom against any invader who will try to trample its sacred shores. China ambitions to become the world's next superpower but to disrespect other much smaller nations' sovereignty and national pride is a character unworthy of  a nation desiring to be great. Still, the Philippines is open to diplomatic talks with any of these claimant countries for the peaceful resolution of the said issue.

54 comments:

  1. This blog is very nice...........in my own opinion, the Philippines deserves it most, but I'm not holding the destiny of the Philippines neither the other countries......so may the best nation win the price

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *prize..... sorry.. i'm a grammar nazi...

      Delete
  2. May peace prevail at the end of this conflict, and I hope bigger nations will not abuse the weakness of smaller countries.... :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. First of all, I'd like to thank you for your comments. The Philippines is a nation ruled by a government of free people. The destiny of a country such as ours lie within the hands of its citizens and public officials alike. The case with Spratlys put the Philippines's diplomatic ability to the test. But, sometimes, diplomacy could be most effective only when it has the teeth and the political will so as to make the subject of its concerns agree with its own. Filipinos are peace loving people, but fight courageously against tyrants of any form that may deprive them of their own rights, freedom, or when oppressed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I admire your nationalistic view and patriotism Mr. Nalcot , but reality speaks otherwise. We can easily fight among our selves to the extent of killing each other for stupid reason but vows our head in subjugation infront of other people. History shows that very few of us are willing to die for our motherland. I wish i am wrong and we are what you say we are! It is my hope to hear more from people like you.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for commenting. Patriotism, according to Charles de Gaulle, is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first. It doesn't matter if very few of the Filipino people are willing to die for their country, but as long as there is you, me, and them to defend it with what we've got is enough to show that, in this part of the world, faith in God and the love of freedom are valued more than anything else.

      Delete
  4. Why China, Philippines and other 4 claimants try to form an state ...like USA composed of different states... UEAS (United East Asian States) to navoid arguments but the assurance of federalism is there:-) Peace be with you all... My fellow Asians

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. China won't allow that.. china's real interest isn't about the territory but oil... unlike philippines that they fight for their territory..

      Delete
  5. ok, in my opinion, Philippines should have the spratly islands. First of all, china only cares because of the oil reserves in spratly's. 2nd opinion; NO ONE..just no one... I think the people live on spratly's should fight against those people who wants to be under one country's rule; or join another country that will fight for them(their choice). The people in spratly's should fight for their freedom...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. no legal settler in spratly.. in early 1900s.. Cloma a filipino official for maritime.. found that unsettled.

      Delete
  6. I really hope this issue of spratly islands would end peacefully.

    ReplyDelete
  7. The Philippines claimed only the islands in the Spratlys that are covered, and in accordance to the Law of the Seas, within the 200-nautical-mile EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) limit extending around the coastal state. This is our sea, the West Philippine Sea that China wants to claim as its own.

    ReplyDelete
  8. what's the significance of this in our country?

    ReplyDelete
  9. this issue will certainly put our president's leadership and good governance to test. may God be with him in making rightful decisions.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I wish this issue will soon end. I'm a 16 year old Filipina and this issue really affects me. (:

    ReplyDelete
  11. It will really affect us all as citizens of the Philippines but I'm positive this issue will be settled out peacefully in the end. We have a country to defend and to die for as what our national anthem would have to say: "Beautiful land of love, oh land of light, in thine embrace 'tis rapture to lie; But it is glory ever when thou art wronged for us thy sons to suffer and die."

    ReplyDelete
  12. China cites history--to have owned the islands--dating back to the Tang dynasty by which it has also long ago abandoned. The Vietnamese, on the other hand, believed that the islands have been long ago conquered by their ancestors. Spratlys remain a source of tension among the claimants. ---> why didnt they claim Singapore???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Correct.. History isn't enough evidence.. if we let the idea that chinese, vietnam etc.. is the one who should own it for the reason that they conquered it and discovered first.. then columbus discovered america then america should belong to Republic of Genoa or Italy nowadays.. like how phillipines discovered by magellan should belong to spain or portugal...

      Delete
  13. The Singaporeans, for sure, will not allow to unify with China. And although its first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew is of Chinese descent (a fourth-generation Chinese Singaporean) whose great-grandfather Lee Bok Boon emigrated from the Dapu county of Guangdong province to the Straits Settlements in 1862, he was British-educated and has led his country to independence and under his firm guidance Singapore became a financial and industrial powerhouse, despite a lack of abundant natural resources. Such, as well, is the case with Taiwan by which China called as the renegade province, for no matter how much China has improved, Taiwan is still ahead of China on various measures. However much China has improved, it’s still a long way to go to bring China to where Taiwan is. The most important point is that not many Taiwanese consider themselves Chinese nor would Taiwanese accept the human rights abuse in China and let go of the freedom and democracy they have fought hard for.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think Spratly should be with Phil. not China because if you look at a map it geographically is right beside the Phil.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I daresay, Spratlys belongs to us but the big question is can we keep it? If the US should be the one to decide over this it would be a very tough based on reasons you stated. However, we can always bring this up to the UN but will China agree to it? I don't think so. But still, with the typical Filipino spirit coupled with political will, I am pretty sure we can take care of Spratlys. Here's another interesting bit of thought:
    http://globalnation.inquirer.net/7319/why-china-will-not-bring-the-spratlys-issue-to-the-united-nations

    ReplyDelete
  16. Thank you for you comments and for sharing us the link thereby adding more grip to our claim in the Spratlys. The question is not about if we can keep it or not but for how much a patriot in a Filipino is ready to defend his country against an oppressor. China is playing a psychological warfare with us and all of it(warfare), according to Sun Tzu, is based on deception.

    ReplyDelete
  17. My Journey!!! great blog! inspiring!

    all points considered, it is indeed a test of diplomatic strategies from our part in the same case that it is a power struggle among claimant countries. I guess what it boils down to is respect for all (claimant countries). The island boasts of abundance and prosperity and one cannot solely claim it as his own. There is more than enough resources, wealth, and islands for everyone. Why not share it and use it for mutual benefits? The most difficult, and i believe the most noble of all virtues is honesty. If one does with self-serving interests, i dont think it turn out well all together. We cant be alienated and estranged from each other. After all, we are one humanity, and we live in one world.

    ReplyDelete
  18. peachie52781, thank you for appreciating my blog and for sharing us your thoughts as well.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Of course Chinese People will defend China, Filipino-Philippines, Vietnamese-Vietnam, Malaysian-Malaysia, Taiwanese-Taiwan Bruneians-Brunei.
    But in my opinion,(i'm not Asian) it should belong to the Philippines.
    @Napoleon Nalcot: Very well said. Filipinos are peace-loving people. But they will fight for their own properties or any other things related to them. The Filipinos can handle the Spratlys and they can handle it by their own.
    @Anonymous #8: Yes, if you look at the map,(or globe)you will see that Spratlys is just right beside the Philippines.
    That's 2 facts already.
    And also, the Philippines have been ruling AND OWNING 8 islands in Spratlys. What about China?
    Even 1 island they don't own something.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Yes, you're right we Filipinos are peace-loving people and nobody in his right mind wants any trouble with anyone. But that doesn't mean that we'll allow ourselves to get dragged by bigger countries. We simply just can't allow ourselves, and as a nation, to be bullied by bigger countries. Respect begets respect and China must respect Philippine sovereignty for that matter.

    ReplyDelete
  21. for me.. i want your comments..

    coz' i need in my assignments..ahaha


    tnx :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. i thinked we absolutely owned the spratly's because we have a proved that we owned the island so what's in the world that china will start a moved claiming that the island is automatically owned by them.....

    ReplyDelete
  23. in my very own opinion,philippines can keep it as long as the corruption in the government would totally ruined because as we all know in the last administration the government does not have a capacity to develop the spratlys because they ONLY WANTED TO DEVELOP a CORRUPTION..../but for this present administration governed by pres.noynoy aquino im totally sure that the island will develop... .....

    ReplyDelete
  24. WOW CHINA!

    shame on you and your people...

    There are many agreements that you are supposed to follow yet you disobey.

    GO TO HELL...

    ReplyDelete
  25. I think if we claim the island their's a possibility that an offensive war will be declare from the Philippines I think of A world war 3 cause by an island i hope not so

    ReplyDelete
  26. i think the philippines has the rights over this disputed islets because it's the only nation that has the guts to raised it to UN for the formal decision. other claimants does not have any solid proof to support that they own this islets..

    ReplyDelete
  27. The Spratly islands were once owned by the Philippines under Marcos' rule; however, Marcos did not consider the rich mineral resources that the island has. For me, Philippines should own it.Not because I am a Filipina that wants my nation to flourish, its just that, if the Spratly islands is given to the neighboring nations, the people of that nation could dwell in the islands and may even establish homes and businesses. Its just that the islands are dangerously close to the Philippines and the islands has entered the official territory of the Philippines. I just don't want any territorial issues to happen if Spratly is given to someone else.

    The UN should really sort this out by establishing the Line of Control, or declare it as a neutral state for the mean time. China should also show respect to the other nations. I know how they want to be the most progressed nation but, show some respect. The US, in my opinion, is not afraid to use force if necessary.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Thank you for sharing us your thoughts about the Spratly islands issue, Allison.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Yeah we really have a right on the spratly group of islands, but the question is do we have the capacity to fight for that right? Are we determined to stand on our claim no matter what? China has developed its military force, they have their dong feng 21D that could instantly sink a US Carrier from 900 miles, and what do we have? " BOGA GUNS ", or " Goodbye Philippines Firecracker "... and we don't even have our own carrier to start with, we are just waiting for junks from the US to be donated to us. China also has J20 fighter jets which is a match for the US f22 raptors, and again what do we got? " Tora Tora's ". Sad to say but the reality is we don't the capacity to fight for it... Our government is crawling with (Buwaya's, Leeches etc)... We have the capacity to develop our military force but the problem is the budget goes straight to our govt officials pockets. And if by miracle we are able to get all those islands, again those govt officials will be the 1st to benefit from it because they will drain its natural resources and again get more money to hide on their foreign bank accounts. Now who's to blame? still the filipinos who voted for those sick politicians....

    ReplyDelete
  30. Machiavelli once said that, "there is nothing as likely to succeed as what the enemy believes you cannot attempt." War is not just all about figures, conventionalism, and superiority in arms. It is, above all, an art. But, in the case with Spratly islands, it is not war I am seeing but as a determining factor as to how much we value our dignity as a people. Are we really cowards by nature? Should we just surrender our national sovereignty that easy without a war or whimper just because we know we couldn't win, by all measures, against the Mighty Dragon China? Machiavelli, again, said that in the face of a serious threat, a friend who urges patience, negotiation or neutrality, is an enemy. A friend should just stand by one, as the United States has said again and again it will do by us. The Philippines is a great country, but is faced with many problems. Should we be or contribute for the solutions to the problems or add more of them?

    ReplyDelete
  31. LOL war an art? Fighting a war knowing you'll just loose isn't bravery, but stupidity... I mean how stupid can we get facing an opponent w/ a bolo while your enemy is sitting safely inside their military facilities pushing buttons to launch warheads directly at us... don't be carried away w/ the promises of the US, read the history of our sabah claim and how your precious american's helped us there. sorry but Machiavelli craps does not apply here, we should face reality and do something about it because in the end no one will help us but ourselves, and yes the Philippines is a great country, run by scoundrels, and that's a fact we don't need ideology books to know that.

    ReplyDelete
  32. So what can you do? Facing reality is to sometimes fantasize because you believe you can do something about it which, of course, you can argue. War, according to US Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman, is hell. But it is, as well, an art. Machiavelli said, as if to remind or warn all Military generals, to "never lead your soldiers to battle if you have not first confirmed their spirit and known them to be without fear and ordered; and never test them except when you see that they hope to win." If you're, in the first place, already thinking about losing, then you'll surely never have a chance of winning. What we need today is a strong leader, an iron man. If the US would fail us then fine. But at least we stand and fight for our own. As I've mentioned in my previous comment saying, "in the case with Spratly islands, it is not war I am seeing but..." This escalating controversy is a job for diplomats.

    ReplyDelete
  33. "If you're, in the first place, already thinking about losing, then you'll surely never have a chance of winning."... lol you are crazy if you think you have a chance in winning against China with our current military force. Haven't you been watching news lately? Korea is about to launch their rocket, Japan's govt and other country is preparing to shoot it down in case it passed by their territory, and what do our govt says? " we should pray that those rocket debris wont hit us." and yet you believe we have a chance to win a war against China... you make me laugh...

    ReplyDelete
  34. My idea might sound crazy to you but it's true: never ever go to war if you're thinking about losing. You're, I think, coward by nature. And that's bad, for even the tiny ants would bite you back if you trample on them so how much more we should fight for our rights and freedom as a people. Yes, the Philippines today is ill-equipped militarily but that should not be the reason or used as an excuse why China should abuse or take advantage of us. Why don't China instead confront another giant which is the USA? Is she only good for the much smaller, weaker neighboring countries? Or she's, just like you, a coward? Cowards, as Shakespeare said for all time to come, die many times before their deaths while the valiant never tastes of death but once. You made a lot of complaints but yet you offer no solutions. You must, therefore, take as a simple advice from me quoted from John F. Kennedy, ask not what your country can do for you but rather ask what you can do for your country. Perhaps it's about time for you to read history books on war and you'll be amazed that, in battle, victory don't always favor the one who have a superior army but to whom God is fighting with. Remember Gideon and his 300 men? It's 300 against 135,000 enemies. It only shows that, to quote from the Holy Bible in Romans 8:31, if God is for us then who can be against us? And one more thing, never ever underestimate the power of a prayer. Alfred Tennyson said that more things are wrought by prayers than this world dreams of. You can laugh but that's the only thing you can do. I believe that the Filipinos are a great and peace loving people and I'm proud of that. China may have the largest and strongest army but I always find comfort in the words of American general Douglas MacArthur when he once said: "give me ten thousand Filipino soldiers and I will conquer the world".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
  35. " give me 10,000 filipino soldiers and I will conquer the world " LOL, you believe in this crap?we can't even put an end to the abu sayaf...how stupid can you get?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's why we need a leader strong and wise enough to make that happen. MacArthur did not say that words just to flatter us Filipinos but, out of the fullness of his earth his mouth speaks, because he himself saw and believed what the Filipino soldiers are capable of. Abu Sayaff could have been wiped out totally long ago and other separatist groups if only our government sincerely would. It would take a strong and wise leader to do that. These Abu Sayaff group, including the separatist Moro National Liberation Front of Nur Misuari, and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front of Hashem Salamat are foreign-sponsored groups purposed to weaken the Philippine Republic. If you can remember how Ferdinand Marcos secretly formed a military force to invade and recapture Sabah before it was leaked to the media leading to what is called as the Jabidah masacre. The Malaysians were so scared knowing about that supposed plan of reclaiming Sabah by the Filipinos (the Philippines then was one of Asia's economic tiger and its military might is feared in the region) so they sponsored insurgents with a hope of weakening the Republic.

      Delete
  36. nuff said.. you put that man to silence.. we should never lost hope and eaten by fear to chinese military might. we should be ready to fight for our motherland even it will take us to death..

    ReplyDelete
  37. This issue deserves to focus on, Personally, I could say, This island belongs to the Philippines, since it is nearer to us than to china.
    i am looking forward for whatever outcome it may.
    good Luck, Filipinos and PHILIPPINES!!

    ReplyDelete
  38. if your looking for a mighty soldiers, you better choose the Igorots. dated back during the Japanese war, Igorots are the only ones who can do the things hapening in many action movies. even McArthur appreciated the Igorot's warring attitude.

    an example of it was putting a bomb in a battle tank.... i really am proud to be one of them.

    ReplyDelete
  39. if my mother land is in need of soldiers,i wont hesitate to volunteer...

    ReplyDelete
  40. I think, philippine should start its arm power to exercise protecting our motherland from other complainants. But as a filipino, we do not want anybody hurts. We are keeping on negotiating with silence.

    ReplyDelete
  41. hi pinoys...useless barkings...internally philippine was weak, many conspirators, corrupt officials, if not why so many pinoys went overseas just to find a decent living...that because and proof your government can even support their citizens...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This country, the Philippines, has a "will", but it is just faced with many problems. But the good thing is and, in fact, problems can be solved.

      Delete
  42. There would be no issue with the Spratly claims with China had the Philippines allowed the US to keep Clark and Subic open. The US was paying the Philippines to have military presence in the area. The Filipinos got too big for their britches, thought that they could push the US around, and ungratefully told the US Air Force and Navy to close up shop. What other country would pay the host country to protect them? Filipinos, you are on your own with this one. Good luck with China. You guys are going to need that luck with their billion strong populace. Ingrates.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a fine example of what will happen when we continue to elect corrupt, incompetent senators/lawmakers hiding under the cloak of a nationalistic cause and whatsoever else to rule over us and decide for us. It's the senators/lawmakers during that time who wanted the Americans to leave the Subic and Clark areas unmindful of the vacuum it will surely create in the country's defense capability against external threats. The Filipino people must wake up to the reality of the fact that some of our elected officials/leaders are not only corrupt but also poor visionaries.

      Delete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...