- Manila Bay Watch
Manila's Best Option On the Spratlys Dispute
By "J", The NutBox
The agreement breached the Constitution, offered Philippine territories for exploration by foreigners and destroyed the political solidarity of the ASEAN, which was the key to the region’s successes against Chinese provocations during the last decade. But now that these damages have been exposed, what steps should Manila take to clean the mess?
If the Philippines would have the JMSU canceled, she would incur the wrath of China and Vietnam without gaining back the confidence of other ASEAN claimants who must have felt betrayed when Manila bypassed them during the forging of the agreement in 2004.
I can say there’s nothing wrong with scrapping the deal and upsetting Beijing, if only to promote Philippine interests in the region. But before Manila do that, she must first make sure that she would have the ASEAN to back her up once China explodes in anger. That’s because the Philippines alone could never handle China’s wrath. The Philippines needs to stick with the ASEAN and urge the bloc to face Chinese threat as a united group. This has consistently worked in the past.
Sadly, however, the damage with regards to the unity of these ASEAN claimants has been done and scrapping the deal at this point would not repair it.
What, then, should the Philippines do? Here are my suggestions:
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