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  • 1. Philippines-China SecurityRelations: Current Issues and Emerging Concerns Rommel C. Banlaoi Yuchengco Center De La Salle University Manila
  • 2. © Copyright 2012by the Yuchengco CenterPrinted in the Philippines. All rights reserved.No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in aretrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means,electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording,or any information storage and retrieval system, without thepermission in writing from the Center.ISBN: 978-971-94089-5-6Please address all inquiries to:Yuchengco Center2nd Floor, Don Enrique T. Yuchengco HallDe La Salle University2401 Taft Avenue, Manila, 1004Philippinesemail: (632) 525-3457url:// photo source: Voice of America at
  • 3. Preface Since the publication of my book, Security Aspects ofPhilippines-China Relations: Bilateral Issues and Concerns inthe Age of Global Terrorism, in 2007, my scholarly activitieson Philippines-China security relations have not stopped.Within a period of more than five years (from 2007 to early2012), I felt the strong need to revise and update my book inorder to accommodate current developments in Philippines-China security relations. Because of some technical issues associated with therevision of my 2007 book published by Rex Book StoreInternational, I decided to just publish another book based onconference papers, academic essays, and opinion pieces I wrotefrom 2007 to the first half of 2012. This effort resulted in thepublication of Philippines-China Security Relations: CurrentIssues and Emerging Concerns. Like my 2007 piece, this present book criticallyexamines the security aspects of Philippines-China relations.My 2007 book discussed how the global campaign againstterrorism provided various opportunities for both countries tosustain their diplomatic friendship and enhance their defensecooperation. The publication of that book coincided with the32nd anniversary of the establishment of Philippines-Chinarelations. Two years before that, the Philippines and Chinacelebrated the “golden years” of their bilateral ties in 2005 onthe occasion of their 30th anniversary. But the renewed securitytensions in the South China Sea that started in 2007 createdvarious difficulties for Philippines-China security relations toreally move forward. This present book is published to describe currentissues and emerging concerns in Philippines-China securityrelations. The publication of this book coincides with thecommemoration of the 37th anniversary of the establishment ofPhilippines-China relations, an odd occasion in the light of thestandoff between the two countries in the Scarborough Shoal. Electronic version of this book has been published bythe Center for Intelligence and National Security Studies(CINSS) of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence andTerrorism Research (PIPVTR). This print version is updated to
  • 4. make the book more current. The author is very grateful to theYuchengco Center, through its President, Dr. Trinidad Osteria,for publishing this print version. Readers can consider the publication of this presentbook as a sequel to my 2007 book. It is my fervent hope to seethis book adding value to the existing literature on Philippines-China security relations.
  • 5. Table of Contents PagePreface iiiList of Tables viiList of Figures viiList of Abbreviations viii 1 International Relations Theory in 1 China: Evolution and Current State 2 A Philippine Perspective on China- 11 US-ASEAN Security Relations 3 Philippine Policy in the South China 22 Sea: Implications for Philippines- China Security Relations 4 The Taiwan Factor in Philippines- 36 China Security Relations 5 Philippine Foreign and Security 46 Policy Towards China in the Post- 9/11 World: Current Realities and Future Prospects 6 Renewed Tensions and Continuing 62 Maritime Security Dilemma in the South China Sea: Current and Emerging Concerns on Philippines- China Security Relations 7 Philippine Solution to the South 83 China Sea Problem: More Problems, Less Solutions in Philippines-China Security Relations? 8 Standoff in the Scarborough Shoal: A 100 Difficult Challenge in Philippines- China Security Relations 9 The Philippines and U.S. Pivot to 108 Asia: Implications for Philippines- China Security RelationsReferences 114 Annex 1 Brief Essays on Philippines-China 130 Security Relations and the South
  • 6. China Sea Disputes A West Philippines Sea: What’s in a 130 Name? B West Philippines Sea: An American 132 Lake? C PH Problematic Protest vs China 134 Over Spratlys D A Mischief Reef in the Making 137 E Anarchy in the South China Sea 140 F Emerging Cold War in the Spratlys 143 G Risks of War in the Spratlys 145 H Clash of Sovereignties in the Spratlys 147 I Word War in the South China Sea: A 152 Diplomatic Crisis in Philippines- China Relations J PHL, China Row on Spratlys: Time 154 for Good Manners and Right Conduct K What’s Needed: More Dialogues 157 Among Spratlys Claimants L Peace and Stability: Way Ahead in 160 SpratlysAnnex 2 List of Bilateral Agreements between 162 the Philippines and ChinaPostscript 175About the Author 178
  • 7. List of TablesTable 1 Oil and Natural Gas Potential in the South China SeaTable 2 Filipinos workers in Taiwan and the undocumented (runaways, overstayers, etc.), November 2006Table 3 Breakdown of Filipino Workers in Taiwan by Area of Destination, November 2006Table 4 Presently Occupied Areas in the Spratlys and Estimated Number of Troops List of FiguresFigure 1 South China SeaFigure 2 Overlapping Claims in the South China SeaFigure 3 Overlapping Baselines in the South China SeaFigure 4 Overlapping Fishing Activities in the South China SeaFigure 5 Navigational Activities in the South China SeaFigure 6 Lagos Island or Spratly Island (Vietnam)Figure 7 Pugad Island or Southwest Cay (Vietnam)Figure 8 Pentley Reef (Vietnam)Figure 9 Pag-Asa Island (Philippines)Figure 10 Structure in the Rizal Reef (Philippines)Figure 11 ST 57 Docked at the Ayungin Shoal (Philippines)Figure 12 Mischief Reef (China)Figure 13 Johnson Reef (China)Figure 14 Swallow Reef (Malaysia)Figure 15 Ardasier Reef (Malaysia)Figure 16 Itu-Aba (Taiwan)Figure 17 Oil and Natural Gas Fields in the South China SeaFigure 18 Joint Cooperation Area
  • 8. List of AbbreviationsADMM+ ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting PlusAFP Armed Forces of the PhilippinesAPEC Asia Pacific Economic CooperationARF ASEAN Regional ForumASEAN Association of Southeast Asian NationsASG Abu Sayyaf GroupBFAR Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic ResourcesCAFIU Chinese Association for International UnderstandingCARAT Cooperation Afloat Readiness TrainingCBM confidence building measureCCPIT China Council for the Promotion of International TradeCEO Chief Executive OfficerCFAU China Foreign Affairs UniversityCMR cooperative management regimeCNOOC China National Offshore Oil CompanyCOC Code of ConductCOMELEC The Commission on ElectionsCPRF Carlos P. Romulo FoundationDFA Department of Foreign AffairsDND Department of National DefenseDOC Declaration on the ConductDOST Department of Science and TechnologyDTI Department of Trade and IndustryEAS East Asia SummitEDA Excess Defense ArticlesEEZ Exclusive Economic ZoneEU European UnionFMF Foreign Military FinancingFSI Foreign Service InstituteGDOFA Guandong Ocean Fisheries AdministrationGWOT global war on terrorismICT Information and Communications TechnologyIMF International Monetary FundIR International Relations
  • 9. IRT International Relations TheoriesISEAS Institute of Southeast Asian StudiesJCA Joint Cooperation AreasJI Jemaah IslamiyahJMSU Joint Marine Seismic UndertakingJSOTF-P Joint Special Operations Task Force- PhilippinesKIG Kalayaan Island GroupLME Large Marine EcosystemMBA Military Bases AgreementMDT Mutual Defense TreatyMECO Manila Economic and Cultural OfficeMILF Moro Islamic Liberation FrontMLSA Mutual Logistic Support AgreementMNLF Moro National Liberation FrontMNNA Major Non-NATO AllyMOFCOM Ministry of CommerceMRA Mutual Recognition of Academic Degrees in Higher EducationNATO North Atlantic Treaty OrganizationNDCP National Defense College of the PhilippinesNFPC Navotas Fish Port ComplexNPA New People’s ArmyOEF-P Operation Enduring Freedom- PhilippinesOFWs Overseas Filipino WorkersOPVs Offshore Patrol VesselsOSTEX Operation Sea Training ExercisePAGASA Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services AdministrationPCCI Philippine Chamber of Commerce and IndustryPCYPL Philippine Council of Young Political LeadersPD Presidential DecreePDR Philippine Defense ReformPETROVIETNAM Vietnam Oil and Gas CorporationPLA People’s Liberation ArmyPLAN People’s Liberation Army NavyPN Philippine Navy
  • 10. PNOC Philippine National Oil CompanyPNP Philippine National PolicePROC/PRC Peoples Republic of ChinaRBN Royal Brunei NavyRMN The Royal Malaysian NavyROC Republic of ChinaRP Republic of the PhilippinesRSIM Rajah Solaiman Islamic MovementSBMA Subic Bay Metropolitan AuthoritySCS South China SeaSEATO Southeast Asian Treaty OrganizationSLOC Sea Lines of CommunicationsTAC Treaty of Amity and CooperationTcf Total cubic feetTECO Taipei Economic and Cultural OfficeWB World Bank
  • 11. CHAPTER ONE International Relations Theory in China: Evolution and Current StateIntroduction In the context of China’s rise as a global power, it isimperative to study its current International Relations (IR).This will give a sense of how it views itself in the globalcommunity. Understanding how it grapples with internationalrelations at the theoretical level is essential at this juncturewhere it plays a pivotal role in shaping the current trends andfuture directions of international relations. This chapter examines the development and currentstate of IR in China in the context of its rapid rise as a globalpower. It intends to describe the implications of the wholegamut of issues for analyzing Philippines-China securityrelations.Development of IR Theory in China Though China is proud of its more than 3,000 years ofcivilization, IR as a field of study came much later than in theWest.1 It is interesting to note that as early as 1926, a book onChina’s international relations had been published by a foreignobserver in Shanghai. 2 In 1955, the People’s University ofChina established the Foreign Affairs College, which in 2005became the Foreign Affairs University. It is the only universityin China affiliated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.3 TheChina Foreign Affairs University (CFAU) offers not onlyforeign language courses but also those international relations,diplomacy, international economics and business, international !" # $ % & % () *(& + % ) % &( , - . / 0* 1 2()+ %3 4 # - 5# 6 7 # 18 % # % 8 % 8%
  • 12. law, and foreign policy. It offers bachelor’s, master’s anddoctoral degrees in International Relations, InternationalPolitics, Diplomacy, International Economy, English Languageand Literature, Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics,etc. 4 Since its establishment, the CFAU has publishednumerous textbooks such as History of ContemporaryInternational Relations, History of Modern Diplomacy ofChina, Diplomatic Documentation, Deng Xiaoping’s Art ofDiplomacy, An Introduction to Diplomacy, China and the USA,China’s Diplomacy: A New Presentation, US China Policy andthe Issue of Taiwan, Studies of Legal Issues on MultimodalTransportation of International Goods, Fourteen Lessons onCommunication, and Economic Diplomacy.5 The CFAU alsohas the Institute of International Relations, which focuses onthe IR theory “with Chinese characteristics.” The 1960s saw the establishment of the internationalrelations department in key universities in China aside from thePeople’s University. In 1963, for example, Peking Universityand Fudan University set up their own Department ofInternational Politics. During the same period, ten researchinstitutes on international relations were built under the controland supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the NewChina News Agency. 6 These research institutes publishedtextbooks and journals on international relations and some eventranslated the works of Western international relations theoristslike Nicholas Spykman, Henry Kissinger, George Kennan andHerman Kahn, among others. 7 The People’s Press and theWorld Affairs Press have a long-standing reputation ofpublishing IR-related books in China. However, no IR theorywas taught in China in the 1960s to the 1970s at the height ofthe Cold War. During the prime of ideological propaganda ofthe Cold War, IR studies in China were interpretations ofMarxism-Leninism-Maoism and Stalinism. University IRcourses were offered “just to explain Marxist theories of9 4%: 4%) ! % )(%; 4%
  • 13. imperialism colonialism, national liberation movements, andwar and peace.”8 It was in the 1980s when China started thinking aboutIR theoretically with the primordial objective of highlightingChinese characteristics. The landmark event was the holding in1985 of the conference of the China Society of the History ofInternational Relations, culminating to the publication of thebook entitled Essays on the History of International Relations.Thereafter, Chinese universities began to offer IR subjects,which consequently encouraged schools to publish IRtextbooks annotated by Gerald Chan. 9 Though the 1989Tiananmen Square Incident posed a challenge to IR theory-building in China because of the negative international image itprojected as a result of what the Chinese government called“Western propaganda,” theoretical studies on IR continued. The development of IR theory cannot be understoodwithout a deep understanding of the evolution of IR studies inthe country. The major milestone in the growth of IR studieswas in 1979 when Chairman Deng Xiaoping enunciated thepolicy of opening People’s Republic of China (PRC) to theworld. It is, therefore, not a surprise why IR theory-buildingbegan in the 1980s as a result of the open policy of ChairmanDeng. The end of the cold war in 1989 accelerated IR theory-building with the enthusiasm of students specializing ininternational studies. Professor Wang Jisi of the Institute ofAmerican Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciencescategorized the evolution of IR studies in China in the post-cold war era into three periods:10 First Period (1989-1991). This was characterized by thesecurity uncertainties unleashed by the end of the cold war andthe international ramifications of the Tiananmen Incident. Theperiod also saw the rapid economic growth of Japan and thephenomenal economic integration of Western Europe. Havingthese events as a backdrop, Chinese scholars found it difficultto engage in IR theorizing as most of them were preoccupied in< 4 % % )3%2= 15 5 4 * > ?17 4 22<+ %& @ " 15 7 ! *5 - - + 18 % 8 % 8 8 ?8 A 8 ? 8 ? % %
  • 14. observing current and emerging international events. Theirenthusiasm on IR theories never waned as seen through thetranslations of the works of well-known IR theorists likeKenneth Waltz, Stanley Hoffman, Robert Gilpin and JosephNye, Jr.11 Second Period (1992-1998). Wang Jisi (1995)described this period as the start of “fascinating growth of IRscholarship in China,” which coincided with the promotion bythe Chinese government of cordial and friendly relations withkey countries in the Asia Pacific and Africa. 12 Though Asiawas disturbed by the harsh impact of the 1997 Asian financialcrisis aggravated by Taiwan’s growing pro-independencesentiments, IR studies “became increasingly consolidated,diversified and pluralized.” 13 This led to intense scholarlydiscussions on various IR topics like peace and development,multipolarization, economic globalization, strategicpartnership, international cooperation, international politicaleconomy, security outlook, human rights and internationalintervention, the clash of civilizations, democratic peace, andcomprehensive national strength.14 Third Period (1999 – present). The third perioddescribes the current state of IR studies in China wherescholars discovered new unfamiliar areas in IR. According toWang Jisi, the Kosovo War in 1999 and the US spy plane-Chinese jet air collision in 2001 further increased theenthusiasm of Chinese scholars on IR issues not seriouslydiscussed before. These issues are ethnic relations and tensions,the impact of religion on world politics, comparative partypolitics, crisis management, domestic sources of foreign policy,human rights diplomacy, the role of the media in IR, mutualimages and perceptions between nations, and other topics likegood governance, non-governmental organizations, newpeoples’ organizations and civil society.15 Though Wang claimed that Chinese scholars have atradition of attaching great importance to IR theories, he 4 % :%( 4%3 4 % % )%9 4 % % ;%: 4 % % < 2%
  • 15. underscored that IR theorizing in China is different from IRtheorizing in the West in terms of content, discourse andapproach. Thus, Chinese scholars attempted to develop IRtheories with “Chinese characteristics.” Professor LiangShoude of Peking University was the leading IR scholar whoargued for the development of IR theory with Chinesecharacteristics to challenge other IR theories that wereconstructed and developed to “serve the Western countries.”As mentioned previously, Professor Song Xinning, a Professorof International Relations at the Renmin University of China(also known as the People’s University of China), alsoadvanced the idea of building an IR theory with Chinesecharacteristics. Professor Yiwei Wang of Fudan Universitystressed the end of IR theories of the West and the rise of theChinese school. 16 Yiwei Wang summarized his arguments inthe following words: International Relations (IR) is both a science and an art: The unity of object and subject. Traditional International Relations Theories (IRT) have probed the laws of IR, in an attempt to become the universal science. IRT developed into a class doctrine that defends the legitimacy of Western International System as a result of proceeding from the reality of IR while neglecting its evolving process, and overlooking the meaning of art and the presence of multi- international systems. In other words, IRT have turned into what Karl Marx might have deemed as the Vulgar International Relations Theories (VIRT). Thus, the end of international relations theories. This phenomenon will be negated by the so-called Chinese School, which will set the sustainable and harmonious relations among nations, between state and non-state actors, and within states and non-state actors (in one word “global-society”) in five life-forces of economy, politics, military, culture and religion. Consequently, this will bring about a real) > @ # # ! 18 8 % % 8 8 ?8 A 8 ? 8 ? % %
  • 16. regression of nationality and compatible development of various international systems.17Current State of IR Theory in China According to Song Xinning (2001), there are threemajor groups of IR scholars in China: a) Researchers ininstitutes under various government agencies, who focus moreon policy-oriented studies to justify government policies andprovide policy reports to the government; b) Universityprofessors and researchers who concentrate more on theoreticaland general IR studies; and, c) Researchers in the ChineseAcademy of Social Sciences in Beijing and various academiesof social sciences at the provincial level, who conduct bothactivities of the first two groups. Despite the efforts of these three groups, Xinninglamented that IR theory in China remains backward comparedto IR theory-building in North America and Europe. He,however, expressed hopes for progress because of increasinginterests in IR theory in China both by Chinese and foreignscholars. Since the 1980s, IR as a field of scientific inquiry hasgrown dramatically amidst ideological constraints and politicalinhibitions.18 The 1990s saw the publication of some excellentbooks on IR theory. In 1998, Wang Yizhou published a book,The Discipline of International Politics in the West: Historyand Theory19 while Zi Zhongyun published the Explorations ofTheories of International Politics in China.20 In 1999, Lu Yi,Gu Guanfu, Yu Zhengliang, and Fu Yaozu edited a volumeentitled Research on International Relations Theories inChina’s New Era.21 These publications strongly demonstratethat intense discussions on IR theory have been taking place inChina. Professor Alastair Ian Johnson of Harvard University; 4%< > B C 1 #- ! " % 9; *" (& (+ % & % & 2 @ >D E # @ 1,* 1 4 22<+ %(& C C A # # * 1 4 22<+ %( F > = = # > C - > D * + G * B 1 4 222+ %
  • 17. observed that Chinese IRT has gone through three stages orthree styles of IR theorizing in China: traditional, realist andsocial scientific stages.22 Traditional stage or style, which became predominantin the 1960s and 1970s, views theory not as an explanatorydevice but more of a guiding philosophy. As a guidingphilosophy, “it was politically important to get this ‘theory’right.”23 It means that “the correctness of theory rested in itsconsistency with the political interests of the state as defined bythe CCP. Theory was both positivist in the sense that it restedon understanding objective laws of historical development (thelegacy of historical materialism in PRC scholarship), but it wasalso normative in the sense that what was often cast as anobjective process was, in fact, desired by China’s leaders.”24 The realist stage or style, which became popular in the1980s and early 1990s, saw some Chinese scholars abandoningthe traditional style of IR theorizing with the waning ofideological influence of Marxism. During this stage, someChinese scholars, particularly the younger ones, were attractedto realist schools advanced by Hans Morgenthau and HenryKissinger. These younger IR Chinese scholars expressed theirdissatisfaction over the idea of an IR theory with Chinesecharacteristics arguing that this is “backward” and it isolatesChinese scholars from Western IR discourses. 25 Thistheoretical debate among Chinese scholars has positive effectsin terms of acquiring a “higher level of awareness of the meta-theoretical issues behind social sciences, and the need to thinkmore systematically about ontology what is researchable) andepistemology (how to research it).”26 The social scientific stage refers to events of the mid1990s when some Chinese scholars became more consciousabout “understanding and situating Chinese research inrelationship to US and Western IR theory.”27 There are threemajor sources of this “turn to theory.” The first was a group of(( 5 " # ! *(& (+ & 18 % 8 % 8 8 ?8 A 8 ? 8 ? % %(3 4 % % 33%(9 4%(: 4 % % 39%() 4%(; 4%
  • 18. Chinese scholars who returned to China after acquiring IReducation in the US and Western Europe. These returningscholars who were required to teach IR in China “brought withthem their specific training in theory and methods which theypassed on to their students.”28 The second was the translationinto Chinese major classic IR works of Western theorists likeRobert Gilpin, Kenneth Waltz, Peter Katzenstein, RobertKeohane and Joseph Nye. The third was the entrepreneurshipof a key group of younger IR scholars in Beijing and Shanghaiwho took over the editing of IR journals and book series.29 According to Johnson, though there is the currentgrowth of IR theory consciousness in China, explicit theorizingis still relatively new in the PRC. In fact, in IR studies inChina, there are more discussions on current internationalevents than on IR theory.Is There an IR Theory With Chinese Characteristics? Though at present there is an increasing interest on IRtheory in China, which encourages other scholars to develop anIR theory with Chinese characteristics, the state remainsnascent or embryonic. Even in the more specific area offoreign policy, the scientific theory and method are still new.30William A. Callahan (2001) expressed doubts about theexistence of IR theory with Chinese characteristics.31 ProfessorQin Yaqing contended that China is yet to develop a ChineseIRT. He identified three reasons why there had been noChinese IRT, to wit: There is not yet a Chinese international relations theory (IRT) mainly due to three factors: the unconsciousness of ‘international-ness’ in the traditional Chinese worldview, the dominance of the Western IR discourse in the Chinese academic(< 4%(2 4 % % 3:%3& 5 " . # - !* # # # :&5 7 # - 4 ? # 5 E 4 (& :+ & %3 @ 5% = 4 D # 1E # !" # 7 % & % () *(& + % ;: <<% &
  • 19. community, and the absence of a consistent theoretical core in the Chinese IR research. A Chinese IRT is likely and even inevitable to emerge along with the great economic and social transformation that China has been experiencing and by exploring the essence of the Chinese intellectual tradition. The Tianxia worldview and the Tributary System in the two millennia of China history, the radical thinking and revolutions in s the nineteenth and twentieth century, and reform and opening-up since 1978 are the three milestones of China ideational and practical development and s therefore could provide rich nutrition for a Chinese IRT. In addition, a Chinese IRT is likely to develop around the core problematic of China identity vis-à- s vis international society, a century-long puzzle for the Chinese and the world alike.32 One of the major reasons why IR theory remainsundeveloped in China is that there is no fully developed IRresearch institutions in the PRC that are academicallyindependent from state institutions. 33 Most IR researchinstitutions are regulated by the government whose principalinterests are not in theories but in strategies and tactics. IR-related research works and studies are heavily influenced bythe state’s demand to justify its present political ideology andstrengthen its current foreign policy. According to GustaafGeeraerts and Men Jing (2001), “if social scientists pay muchattention to what the government requires, they will not bescientists but rather aides and staff to government officials.”34This argument was reinforced by Wang Jisi (1995) whounderscored that without academic independence in the field ofIR, there can be no scientific theory.35 IR theories developed byWestern scholars will continue to be used by Chinesecounterparts to analyze PRC foreign policy strategy and its3( H >I @ J ! % % 8 8 #II ; % # 8 & %33 = #= . " ! = 4 7 % : % 3 *(& + & %39 4%3: @ " K K # - 15 7G G @% 4 E7 4 * %+- 1 *0A 1 # 22:+ % :;%
  • 20. place in the international community.36 Even China’s securitypractice will still be analyzed within the prism of Westerntheories.37 With the rise of China as global superpower, somescholars argued that China can present a challenge to existinginternational relations theory.38Summary and Conclusion Though China can be proud of its 3,000 years ofcivilization with excellent statecraft on foreign relations, IRtheory remains undeveloped. It was only in the 1950s whenserious academic interests on IR began. IR as a field of studybecame more popular in 1979 during its economic opening.The end of the cold further accelerated the interests of scholarson IR studies. Yet, IR theorizing continues to be nascentbecause of limited academic independence of IR researchinstitutions. The government is more interested in strategydevelopment and foreign policy-making rather than on theory-building. Without greater academic independence in the fieldof IR, scholars will find it difficult to develop their own IRtheory.3) # A 57 = 5 G = 15 J ! =% " ? 4 . . * + 5 # * > ?1 4 6 7 (& 3+ % :; & & )%3; @ 4 1 # . D 5 !. 5 * +5 1 . #* # 1 # 6 7 22<+ % : :)%3< " # !* # # 5, , . (& :+ & %
  • 21. CHAPTER TWO A Philippine Perspective on China-US-ASEAN Security Relations39Introduction To maintain regional stability and promote regionalsecurity, the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN)has been constructively engaging all major powers in the AsiaPacific. This has been manifested in ASEAN’s dynamicdialogue partnerships with Australia, Canada, China, India,Japan, Russia, and the United States. ASEAN also has dialoguepartnerships with the Republic of Korea, Pakistan and someregional and international organizations. Among its dialogue partners, ASEAN relations withChina and the US are considered to be the most challengingbecause of the prevailing perception that the security of theAsia Pacific region, as well as of Southeast Asia, restsenormously upon the status of China-US relations.40 The twomajor powers are also seriously competing for influence inSoutheast Asia,41 which test the ability of ASEAN to deal withthe rising dragon and the American eagle. 42 Being a foundermember of ASEAN, the Philippines also confronts theformidable challenge on how to engage the rising Chinawithout creating unnecessary discomforts with its Americansecurity ally. # 5- 5 5 5 ! D 4 # 5 #" 6 7 = D ; < 4 (& %9& 7 = # 4 5 #1 6 ! E @ ? % :* 4 (& 3+ % % &9 L F% = M J @ # @ # M5 @ . A % < *" 222+ %9( H 4 E 1 G 5 * " 1" @ % (& <+ - & % 4? # EF E 1 , #6% % * # 1 2<:+%
  • 22. This chapter presents a Philippine perspective of China-US-ASEAN relations in the post-9/11 world. It starts with thediscussion of the background of China-US-ASEAN relationsduring the cold war followed by an analysis on the status ofthese trilateral relations after 9/11. It then examines theimplications of China-US-ASEAN relations on Philippineforeign and security policy towards China.Background on China-US-ASEAN Relations Since its establishment in 1967, ASEAN foreign policyhas always been influenced by the behaviors of majorpowers.43 Southeast Asia became the fulcrum of major powerrivalries in the Asia Pacific. During the cold war, the foundingmembers ASEAN sided with the Western powers to containthe spread of communism in the region. Among the Western powers, the US became the mostimportant partner of ASEAN in preventing communistexpansionism in Southeast Asia. In fact, "support for andcooperation with ASEAN is a linchpin of American PacificPolicy" during the cold war in order to protect ASEAN statesfrom falling to communist rule. 44 The US also entered intomilitary alliances with Thailand and the Philippines to supportAmerican regional security strategy in Southeast Asia. It evenattempted to form a NATO-type security organization inSoutheast Asia in 1955 through the Southeast Asian TreatyOrganization (SEATO). SEATO met its untimely demisewhen it was dissolved in 1977. Nonetheless, the US remainedcommitted to security in Southeast Asia through its existingmilitary alliance with Thailand and the Philippines. During the cold war, ASEAN viewed China as anideological enemy. 45 Beijing’s support to the communistinsurgency movements in Southeast Asia created negativefeelings and hostility towards China among the non-communist93 % = 5 5G . B A ! 5 7 % (( % ( *5 (& & % (:<% &+99 L " % 7 6 5 5 H 5 ! ,- 5 ? % )&*( 5 2<;+%9: - A 4? # 5 5 F 5 * 1 6 7 # 2<:+ %
  • 23. Southeast Asian states. 46 In fact, none of ASEAN foundingmembers had normal relations with China in the 1960s. 47ASEAN-China security relations improved in the late 1970swhen Southeast Asian countries normalized their relations withthe People’s Republic of China (PROC). China’s securityrelations with ASEAN improved further in the 1980s whenBeijing rallied behind ASEAN in opposing Vietnameseoccupation of Cambodia.48 With the end of the cold war, the ideological conflictamong the major powers subsided. The interests of majorpowers on ASEAN persisted, as they re-defined their interestsin the region. ASEAN, on the other hand, deliberately pursueda post-cold war strategy of engaging all major powers thoughbilateral and multilateral means. A scholar called this strategy“omni-enmeshment,” which refers to the process of engagingan actor or entity to draw it into deep involvement into asystem or community, enveloping it in a web of sustainedexchanges and relationships, with the eventual aim ofintegration.”49 Meanwhile, the post-cold war period increased tensionsbetween the US and China. With the disintegration of theformer Soviet Union, the US was freed of a former archrival.American attention was then focused on China considered bymany Western security analysts as a great threat to the securityof the world. 50 Though China resisted this perception, theTiananmen Incident in 1989 created a negative image of Chinain the world. American security analysts viewed China as the9) 5 75 ? E G 15 5 0 ! E @ ? % 99 *. (& 3+ & % 3%9; 5 E% 5 51 7 # ( 5 !5 7 7 % 93 % 9 *(& 3+ % )(9% &9< 4%92 7 = = 5 10 , 0 ! E @ ? % <9*" (& :+ % <% &:& = *@ E 1 (& &% 5 &+ , 4> * + 1 . * > ? 1 D (& (+ & %
  • 24. “great American foreign policy problem in the 21st century”51and a “potential peer competitor to the U.S. in world affairs.”52News reports and experts’ analysis demonizing Chinadominated Western literature after 1989. The EP-3 incident inApril 2001 exacerbated the negative view about China. This “aura of tragedy” surrounding US-China securityrelations in the post-cold war era resonated strongly inASEAN. 53 Though ASEAN carried an ambivalent view ofChina after the cold war and was aware of Americanpreeminent power in the Asia Pacific, the fragile China-USsecurity relations was a source of security concern in SoutheastAsia.54 China’s assertive attitude in the South China Sea sincethe 1990s left a negative effect in China-ASEAN relations.China recovered from this when it played a constructive role inthe 1997 Asian financial crisis. Since then, China’s image inASEAN dramatically improved while American imagedeteriorated since it left Clark and Subic in 1992.55 China’snegative image in Southeast Asia resurfaced in 2011 whenPRC displayed anew its assertive attitude in the South ChinaSea. Though the US continued to be the most importantsecurity partner of ASEAN (particularly of the foundingmembers), China’s effective “charm offensive”56 of SoutheastAsia marked by American “neglect” of the region in the late1990s, made ASEAN relations with US and China tilting in: " = 5 @ ! @%* + # 5 1 * 51 (& (+ % ( % &:( . 7 % 0 5 6 1 @ ! 5 % ( *(< . 22+ % 5N 18 8 % 8 # 8 ( 22% 8 O%:3 E P 6% % 1 7 4 7% , D G 4 0$ % 9; % (& 3 % 3;% &:9 , , 5- *@ E% %1 ? 22(+%:: 6% % # 5 6 @ !5 - *(2 5(& 9+ & %:) L D? G 0# 7 # 5 ! , 4 (& )% &
  • 25. favor of the latter. 57 It was argued that US relations withASEAN became problematic in the 1990s because “ASEAN’sinterests and concerns have never been a major considerationin the formulation of US policy towards the Asia-Pacificregion.”58China-US-ASEAN Relations after 9/11 The 9/11 event served as a significant milestone inChina-US-ASEAN relations. After a decade of neglect, the USdeclared Southeast Asia as the “second front” in the global waron terrorism. This occurred amidst China’s strengtheningrelationship with ASEAN after 9/11. While the US reinvigorated its security alliance with thePhilippines, strengthened military relations with Thailand,improved defense relations with Indonesia and Malaysia andenhanced strategic partnership with Singapore in the aftermathof 9/11 using its “hard power,” China also improved itsbilateral ties with Southeast Asian states and deepened itsdialogue partnership with ASEAN using its “soft power”diplomacy. 59 This was reinforced by a new policy ofmultilateralism which created a benign image of Beijing inASEAN.60 On the other hand, American use of “hard power”aggravated by a strategy of unilateralism isolated itself fromSoutheast Asian affairs.61 To assure ASEAN that China’s international behaviorwas peaceful and constructive, it signed in 2002 theDeclaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea:; D ? 6 5 5# 1E ! * ? # 5 - G@ ?5 G 5 ? ? (( (9 . (& &% &+:< 4%:2 F @ .% . $ G # 5 ! # *9 " (& <+ 5 & % G # 5 ! 25 *3 . (& 9+ & %)& L ? . / 5 5 1 7 5 ! 5 7% (; % *5(& :+ % & ((% & () . B %M, # 1 # # # 28 6 , M* # 5 5 . F 7 7 5 (& <+ & %
  • 26. (DOC) and acceded in 2003 to the ASEAN Treaty of Amityand Cooperation (TAC). The US upholds its neutral positionon the South China Sea disputes and has not ratified the TAC.Though the war on terrorism in Southeast Asia broughtrenewed US attention to ASEAN, Washington failed to matchBeijing’s increasing influence in Southeast Asia. There is eventhe view that the US was so preoccupied in Iraq andAfghanistan that it exhibited a strategic neglect of SoutheastAsia. While China was busy forging economic ties withASEAN countries using its soft power, the US was using itshard power, hunting for so-called terrorist personalities inSoutheast Asia associated with Al-Qaeda, Jemaah Islamiyah(JI) and the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG). This shift in China-ASEAN relations affected not only American interests but alsothe US status in the region.62 The post-9/11 era was a period of China’s tactical gainin ASEAN vis a vis the US.63 China’s soft power re-emergencein Southeast Asia resulted in a dramatic change of ASEANstates’ attitude towards the PROC – they are now “less-biased,less anti-communist and less anti-Beijing.” 64 On the otherhand, American assertiveness to use its hard power to achievepolitical and strategic ends in the global war on terrorism hascreated dissent and anti-Americanism in Southeast Asia. 65Though ASEAN needs American presence to balance China’sgrowing influence in the region, it detests Americanpredominance. ASEAN also expressed disappointment that theUS after 9/11 has become less consensual and more coercive.66This is in stark contrast with China, which has become moreconsultative, cooperative and socializing in the aftermath of)( $ 5 1 # 6 ! # *< - 4 (& :+ & %)3 . . ?E 15 G =F 4 * 51 (& (+ & %)9 " E 4? GM # M 5 !* ? P @ G 5 & . (& )+ % 3<% &): . ? 1 # 5 5 !* # ? = 4 D # 5 - @5 : ) 5 (& 3+ & %)) 4 % % 3%
  • 27. 9/11. 67 Now, ASEAN no longer views China as a threat.Though the rise of China poses security challenges inSoutheast Asia, ASEAN regards Beijing as a partner inregional security. 68 This new reality in China-US-ASEANrelations endangered American primacy in Southeast Asia.69Implications for Philippine Foreign and Security PolicyTowards China in the Post-9/11 World The growing China-ASEAN ties unleashed profoundeffects on Philippine policy towards China. While 9/11resulted in the reinvigoration of Philippine-American securityrelations,70 it also led to the enhancement of Philippines-Chinadefense and military cooperation.71Since the establishment ofPhilippines-China diplomatic ties in 1975, both countries havegone a long way in their relations. After 9/11, Philippines-China relations became comprehensive. In 2005, in fact, thePhilippines and China celebrated the 30th anniversary of theestablishment of Philippines-China diplomatic relations.According to Chinese President Hu Jintao who visited thePhilippines that year, the 30th anniversary represented the“golden-age” of Philippines-China relations. That year wasalso a landmark period in both countries’ bilateral relations as); 5 @ / D @ J A 5 5 ! # 7 7 % 2 % ( *" (& )+ % :; ;2% &)< % 5 7 # 1 5# 28 ! 7 33 % ( * (& 3+ % 2< & & ;%)2 E % E " " ? ? "% % 5 515 5 ! , - ? % <<) * 2 0 4 (& :+ & %;& M 6 5 # - M, - A 7. % < : * 3 . (& (+5 & % % # 5 = 4 5 1 # ! 5 7 % (9 %( *5 (& (+ % (29 3 (Q & D 7 D 6 15 = # @ 5 # ( !5 7 7 % 93 % ) * 7 4 8 E 4 (& 3+ % 2; 2<<Q & .%. 5 5# 41 A. # - 5 ! 55# *"# (& 3+ % ((< (3<% &; % E# . 1 28 * 1 #5 7 # " (& ;+& %
  • 28. they launched the First Philippines-China Defense and SecurityDialogue in May 2005. 72 The Philippines even played theChina card when Manila’s relations with Washington cooledoff in 2004 as a result of the withdrawal of Filipino troops inIraq.73 Conservative analysts in Washington regretted the factthat China’s relations with the Philippines improved amidst thecrisis in Philippines-American relations, to wit: China has developed and refined a policy of helping regimes in trouble by offering considerable political and economic support. This will become true for the Philippines, as China moves away from threatening rhetoric on territorial disputes in the South China Sea and employs a new approach. Beijing offered Manila $3 million for the establishment of a Chinese language-training program for the Philippine military, donated engineering equipment, and invited the Philippines to participate in naval exercises. Moreover, in the midst of stern U.S. criticism of the withdrawal of the Philippine medical team from Iraq, President Arroyo signed a confidential protocol with China on the exploitation of South China Sea resources. With her presidency in dire straits, Arroyo will gladly accept more largesse from Beijing.74 To understand the post-9/11 Philippine foreign andsecurity policy towards China, there is also a need tocomprehend ASEAN policy in the post-9/11 era. Theimprovement of China’s security relations with ASEANprovided a conducive regional environment for the Philippinesto improve its foreign and security policy towards China.ASEAN’s benign attitude towards China in the post-9/11 eracreated a kindly attitude of the Philippines towards China, evenif Manila is known in ASEAN as Pentagon’s long-standingsecurity ally in Southeast Asia. China-US-ASEAN political;( 4 % 5 # 1 5 # 4 = *H D 1 A ? (& ;+ % % &;3 . 4 5 I, 1 5 6 ! E *(< " (& 9+ & %;9 E E 1@ # 6% %J ! ,- @ 4. % ;22 * < " (& :+ & %
  • 29. and security dynamics greatly informed Philippine foreign andsecurity policy towards China in the post-9/11 world. In the midst of the strategic uncertainty of the securityenvironment in the post-cold-war/ post-9/11 era, ASEAN facedthe dilemma of balancing its relations with China and the US.Rather than pursuing a balancing act in traditional realist terms,ASEAN, instead, adopted a strategy of what scholars ofinternational relations called “soft-balancing.” 75 This conceptdeparts from “hard balancing,” which requires the formation ofmilitary alliances. According to the traditional realistconception of hard balancing, ASEAN should side with theweak to balance the strong. However, “ASEAN did not actthis way; it rejected the strategy of balancing against thestronger power because it saw the stronger power (the UnitedStates) as less of a threat than the weaker but rising power(China or Japan).” 76 There is also view of hard balancing,which contends that states form or join military alliances tocounter-check the rise of a new power. 77 In the case of Asia,this new power may refer to China. Instead of “hard balancing”China, ASEAN states were soft-balancing China by welcomingAmerican presence but at the same time engaging the newpower. One school of international relations calls this approachas “bandwagoning” that is “crouching under” rather than“containing” the new power. 78 Bandwagoning is a form ofacceptance of “a subordinate role to the dominant power inexchange for material or ideational gain.” 79 It is argued that;: > - L 6 1 # # 5 G @ * # E, 7 @ ? 5 . :(& 9 @ & # 5# # , 7 6 7 + 5 % : #5 L D "% %" * %+ ? 5 1 ## * # 6 7 28 & % (& 9+;) 4 % % <%;; .% @ 5 - #@ ! 7% 2 % 9 * 2<:+ % 3 93%;< L ? E J - #. 22&(& : & 4 5 7 % 3 % 9 *" (& <+ % 9% &;2 4%
  • 30. instead of balancing, ASEAN is, in fact, bandwagoning withChina.80 There is the view, however, that balancing andbandwagoning “may not fully account for the range ofstrategies state actors adopt to preserve and promote theirinterests.” 81 To accurately explain ASEAN relations withChina and the US, scholars of Southeast Asian security affairsadopted the concept of “hedging strategy.” It is defined as “apurposeful act in which a state seeks to ensure its long terminterests by placing its policy bets on multiple counteractingoptions designed to offset risks embedded in the internationalsystem.”82 In the context of China-ASEAN relations, hedginghas five components: economic-pragmatism, bindingengagement, limited-bandwagoning, dominance-denial andindirect-balancing.83 ASEAN strategy of hedging with China and the UnitedStates also explains Philippine foreign and security policytowards the two major powers. Instead of strictly balancing orbandwagoning with the two powers, the Philippines is hedging.Though the Philippines comprehensively engages China, it alsomaintains its security alliance with the US. Like ASEAN, thePhilippines is relating with China and the US to get the best ofboth worlds. More of China in the Philippines does not meanless of the United States. As rightly underscored by thenPhilippine foreign affairs Secretary Teofisto Guingona, “In ourrelations with an old friend, China, and with a perennial ally,the United States, we Filipinos should be guided by one surecanon: national interests.”84<& E 5 1 # J ! 5 7 % (; % ( *5 (& :+ % 3& 3((% & :< " 7 1= E ! E @ ? % :9 * 7 4(& 3+ % % &<( L ? E J - # . 22&(& : & % %<3 4%<9 # %= "% 6 1- ! *F 7 9 -$ E $F 3 " (& (+ % (% &
  • 31. Summary and Conclusion ASEAN adopted a strategy of constructively engagingall major powers in the Asia Pacific. Among the great powers,ASEAN relations with China and the US are considered to bethe most challenging. During the cold war, ASEAN sided with US to containthe spread of communism. ASEAN had animosity China atthat time because of its support to communist insurgency. Afterthe cold war, however, China’s relations with ASEANdramatically improved. The US, on the other hand,strategically neglected Southeast Asia. After 9/11, China-ASEAN relations improved further, despite Americandeclaration of Southeast Asia as its second front in the globalwar on terrorism. In the post-9/11 era, ASEAN adopted a hedgingstrategy towards China and the US. Consistent with theASEAN strategy, the Philippines also pursued a foreign andsecurity policy towards China and the US on the basis ofhedging. ASEAN’s hedging strategy informs Philippineforeign and security policy towards China.
  • 32. CHAPTER THREEPhilippine Policy in the South China Sea: Implications for Philippines-China Security Relations85Introduction In March 2008, the Philippines and China faced aserious controversy concerning the implementation of JointMarine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) in the South China Sea.The JMSU, signed in Manila on 14 March 2005, is a tripartiteagreement among the petroleum companies of China, thePhilippines and Vietnam that requires the three countries toconduct joint marine seismic explorations of the designatedarea in the Spratly Island. Both houses of the PhilippineCongress urged for an investigation of the deal to examine theculpability of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for possibleviolation of the Constitution, which is, under the Philippinelaw, a grave offense that can lead to impeachment. The JMSU raised many collateral issues that havebearings on Philippine position in the South China Sea and onthe status of Philippines-China security relations. Thecontroversy demonstrated that the South China Sea disputeremains a lingering challenge in Philippines-China relations inthe post-9/11 world. This challenge not only affectsPhilippines-China security relations but it also has impact onregional security. This chapter re-examines Philippine foreign andsecurity policy on the South China Sea in the light of the JMSUscandal. It describes the strategic significance of the SouthChina Sea in Philippine foreign and security policy andanalyzes its implications for Philippines-China securityrelations. It concludes with a discussion on how to manage thedispute in the South China through what many analysts call“cooperative management regime.” 4 7 E# 6 7 # :5 (& & . - L )5 (& &%
  • 33. The South China Sea in Philippine Foreign and SecurityPolicy86 There is an avalanche of literature on the South ChinaSea, one of the largest bodies of waters in the world after thefive major oceans. 87 Located in the Pacific, it encompassesareas from the Malacca Strait to the Taiwan Strait measuringaround 3,500,000 km.² The South China Sea is composed offour major groups of islands, namely the Pratas Islands, theParacel Islands, Macclesfield Bank, and the Spratly Islands.88Ownership of these islands has been contested by severalclaimants for various reasons including among others historicrights, discovery, effective occupation and sovereignjurisdiction provided for by the United Nations Convention onthe Law of the SEA (UNCLOS). Since the South China Sea isa strategic waterways surrounded by rich marine resources aswell as oil and gas potential, the area is marred by internationaldiplomatic disputes that, if not effectively managed, canescalate into military conflicts.89 The South China Sea Disputehas been creating a security anxiety for being one of theflashpoints of conflict in the Asia Pacific.90 Among these groups of islands, the most controversialis the Spratlys having been claimed in whole by China andTaiwan and in part by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines andVietnam. Indonesia, though strictly not a claimant state, is animportant stakeholder in the on-going conflict in the Spratlysbecause of its overlapping Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)with other claimants, particularly its Gas Field in Natuna Islandbeing contested by China and Taiwan.<) # % E# 7 # ! 5 # 1 5 # 4 =*H D 1 A ? (& ;+ & :%<; A . ?"$ % E 5 % (2< * > ? 0A 6 7 1 # 22:+ E Q ED ? E *E 1 6 22)+ %<< 5 ! 18 % 87 % % 8 8 % A% %<2 5% M # # 1 A # # M 5 # - M R )% *5 ; 22<+ %2& F - * 1E F 22:+ %
  • 34. The Philippines is claiming parts of the Spratlys that belongto what it calls the Kalayaan Island Group (KIG). The KIG liesin the Western section of the Spratlys. It is composed of 53islands, islets, reefs, shoals, cays, rocks, and atolls with an areaof 64,976 square miles. The biggest island in the KIG is Pag-asa (Hope), more internationally known as Thi Tu Island. ThePhilippines has also occupied the following islands: • Patag -Flat Island (Feixin Dao) • Lawak -Nanshan Island (Mahuan Dao) • Likas -West York Island (Xiyue Dao) • Panata -Lankiam Cay (Shuanghuang Shazhou) • Kota -Loaita Island (Nanyue Dao) • Rizal Reef -Commodore Reef (Siling Jiao) The Philippine government laid its claim in the SouthChina Sea in 1947, a year after the Philippines gained itsindependence from the United States. During that time, thePhilippine government described the Spratlys as the “NewSouthern Islands.” Then Philippine Foreign Affairs SecretaryCarlos P. Garcia requested the Allied Forces to put the “NewSouthern Islands” under Philippine jurisdiction for securityreasons. The Philippines asserted its sovereignty to the KIGbefore the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in the1950s. Since 1968, the Philippine military has occupied andadministered at least eight of the islands in the KIG. On 11 June 1978, then President Ferdinand E. Marcossigned Presidential Decree No. 1596 declaring the KIG as amunicipality of Palawan. PD 1596 reflects the Philippinepolicy position on this claim when it stated that the KIG “doesnot belong to any state or nation, but, by reason of history,indispensable need, and effective occupation and controlestablished in accordance with international law, such areasmust not be deemed to belong and subject to the sovereignty ofthe Philippines.” It has also declared the area as vital to thesecurity and economic survival of the Philippines. Since then,residents of KIG have been holding local elections there todemonstrate Philippine sovereignty in the area. 91 ThePhilippines recognizes the fact that there are other claimants on2 - 5 % 7 * + E 1 7 *. 1 E7 5 # 22(+ %
  • 35. the KIG. PD 1596 articulates the Philippine perspective on thismatter when it said that “while other state have laid claims tosome of these areas, their claims have lapsed by abandonmentand cannot prevail over that of the Philippines on legal,historical, and equitable grounds.” Another basis of Philippine claim of the KIG is theprinciple of terra nullius. This principle states that the islandsbeing claimed by the Philippines are owned by no one andwithout a sovereign authority. The discovery and occupationof Filipino navigator Tomas Cloma of around 33 islands, cays,sandbars and coral reefs in the South China Sea on 15 May1956 provided the Philippines a historical justification of theclaim. The Filipino navigator collectively called these islandsand islets as Free Territory of the Freedomland. In 1956,Cloma wrote to Garcia to inform him of the occupation of theislands, which were described, as outside of Philippine watersbut not within the jurisdiction of any country. When thePhilippine media publicized the Philippine claim, China,France, South Vietnam, the Netherlands and Taiwan reportedlylaid their respective claims to this group of islands. 92Eventually, France and the Netherlands dropped their claims. The Philippines also laid its claim on the basis of theprinciple of proximity and the principle of the 200-nauticalmile EEZ embodied in the UNCLOS. The Philippines arguesthat the KIG falls within the EEZ of the Philippine archipelago. The final basis of the Philippines is the principle of thecontinental shelf. The KIG lies in the continental shelf abuttingthe Western boundaries of Palawan Province. 93 Filipinogeologists argued that Palawan is a mini-continent. On thebasis of geological evidences, the KIG belongs to thecontinental shelf of Palawan. PD 1596 asserts this basis ofclaim when it states that the KIG “is part of the continentalmargin of the Philippine archipelago.”2( . D .% . ? 6 E !0 # *H D 1 0# # # 5 - # 2<<+ % (%23 , %> = ! % * + 5 5 1 *. 1 E7 22 + = % - D G ! 7 % < (9%
  • 36. Strategic Significance of the South China Sea in PhilippineForeign and Security Policy The South China Sea is strategically significant for thePhilippines because of the following considerations: a) Thepolitics of oil; b) The geopolitics of navigation; and c) Thepolitics of marine resources. The Politics of Oil. It has been projected that oilconsumption in Asia will going to increase dramatically in thenext few decades. Over the next 20 years, oil consumptionamong developing Asian countries will rise by 4 percentannually.94 If the current oil demand persists, oil consumptionin Asia will double in 2020. Though the Philippines onlyrepresents 1.2 percent of the total oil consumption in Asia, itsoil production is extremely limited making the country heavilydependent on oil imports. Due to the development of new offshore deepwater oildeposits, the Philippines experienced a modest increase in oilproduction in 2007 estimated at 23 thousand barrels per day(bbl/d). 95 The Malampaya Project is the country’s largestnatural gas development project. Nonetheless, the Philippinescontinue to rely on imported oil, particularly from the MiddleEast, to meet the increasing domestic demand. This situationencourages the country to consider the South China Sea as analternative source of its power supply. There are conflicting claims on the oil potential of theSouth China Sea. Based on the research conducted by Chineseexperts, the total gas resources of the South China Sea canreach 900 Tcf with an annual production of 1.8 Tcf. Othersources indicate that the potential oil resources of the SouthChina Sea are 213 billion barrels. In the 1995 study conductedby Russias Research Institute of Geology of ForeignCountries, there were around 6 billion barrels of oil in theSpratly Islands, of which 70 percent would be natural gas.96 Ithad also been estimated that the hydrocarbon resource potentialof the Spratlys area fall into the very broad range of between29 E7 4 ! 18 8 % % 8 % %2: # 5 0 ! 18 8 % % % 7 8 8 48 8 % 0 %2) 4 ! 18 % 8 % 8 % %
  • 37. one and 17.7 million tons of oil. 97 Despite these competingestimates, the South China Sea is perceived to be “oil rich,”Chinese media described the area as the “Second PersianGulf.” Table 1. Oil and Natural Gas Potential in the South China Sea Countries Proven Oil Proven Gas Oil Production Gas Reserves Reserves (Barrels/Day) Production (Billion (Trillion (Billion Barrels) Cubic Feet) Cubic FeetBrunei 1.35 14.1 145,000 340Cambodia 0.0 0.0 0 0China* 1 3.5 290,000 141Indonesia* 0.2 29.7 46,000 0Malaysia 3.9 79.8 645,000 1,300Philippines 0.2 2.7 <1,000 0Singapore 0.0 0.0 0 0Taiwan <0.01 2.7 <1,000 30Thailand 0.3 7.0 59,000 482Viet Nam 0.6 6.0 180,000 30Total 7.5 145.5 1,367,000 2323Source: GlobalSecurity.Org, “Oil and Gas in the South China Sea,” 2008. Among the claimants in the Spratlys, the Philippineshas been to be the most active in licensing explorationactivities. As stated earlier, the Malampaya Natural Gas toPower Project is its largest venture that started to sell gas inJanuary 2002. The Malampaya Gas Field has proven to be asource of 3.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas with 118 millionbarrels of condensate. Geopolitics of Navigation. The South China is one theworld’s maritime superhighways. More than 50 percent of theworld’s supertanker traffic passes through the South China Sea.Annually, almost half of the world’s merchant fleets sailthrough the South China Sea. According to US Energy Information Administration,“tanker traffic through the Strait of Malacca at thesouthwestern end of the South China Sea is more than threetimes greater than Suez Canal traffic, and well over five times2; 7 # # 1 0 - #" E7 !* # # # . F # # # 5 # 5 F )< 4 (& + % ;% &
  • 38. more than the Panama Canal.”98 Sea Lines of Communications(SLOCs) in the South China Sea are therefore a matter of lifeand death for the Asia Pacific countries considering that around41,000 ships use its waterways. 99 The South China Sea is astrategic waterway as it also provides the key maritime linkbetween the Indian Ocean and East Asia.100Figure 1. South China Sea Source: Energy Information Administration, 2008. As an archipelagic state, the Philippines heavilydepends on the freedom of navigation in the South China Seafor its development and survival. With a total coastline of17,500 km, of which 1,200 km face in the South China Sea, thePhilippines has enormous interest in the maritime security ofSLOCs in the area considering that around 400,00 fishingvessels and 20,000 other commercial vessels navigate inPhilippine waters. 101 However, almost one third of the2< 4 ! 18 8 % % 8 % %22 "= A @ 1 7 # . ! 5 # % :3 *, 1 @ 5(& + % (% & && 4% & 5 % % 7 . 5 15$ # !* # D4 # E7 . , ; <0 4 22;+ %
  • 39. country’s sea lanes are found to be “unsafe” for navigation.Moreover, shippers and mariners do not use the Philippine sealanes is extensively as the Strait of Malacca and the SouthChina because voyages in the Philippine waters take longer.Thus, the Philippines has to pursue its claims in the busywaterways of the Spratlys to promote its navigational rights. Politics of Marine Resources. Marine scientistscontend that the South China Sea is rich in marine resources. Itis described as “the center of maritime generic richness anddiversity in the world” with a macro-ecosystem characterizedby “high bio-diversity and fisheries productivity” due to the“intrinsic connectivity of coral reefs, sea-grass, and mangroveforests.”102 The United Nations Atlas of the Oceans declaresthe South China Sea as Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) withthe world’s highest level of bio-diversity.103 Since the South China Sea is the locus of complexecological connectivities, the area is considered a “savingsbank” of all claimant states.104 Marine production in the arearepresents 12 percent of the total marine global production.105Culture fisheries, in fact, contribute 54 percent of worldwideculture production. 106 Due to its rich marine endowments,claimants, including the Philippines, are competing for controlof the fishing area of the South China Sea. The situation isaggravated by the overlapping EEZ not only among claimantsbut also other littoral states of the South China Sea. In the study of Pakjuta Khemakorn of the UnitedNations – The Nippon Foundation, “The average per capitaconsumption of fish in East and Southeast Asia during the&( . E% - #. 7 @ ! 6 7 # . *6 4222+ %&3 - A ?B L ? 4 . # - !*. 7 4 (& )+ & 18 % % 8 8 E 8 8 8 # # S S 8 # S 8# S 8 ? ? S )& & ;S % # % &9 % 7 ! *E# # 4 (& + & % &: %E% = D E #. 7 4J 51 4 . ! 18 % 8 % %B8 & (& & 8 # 8 % #% &) 4%
  • 40. period 2000-2003 was 26.1 kg/year. This is much higher thanthe world average of 16.3 kg/year.” 107 Khemakorn also writes: Fisheries also contribute to the employment and income of millions of people in the region. In 1994, the estimated numbers of full and part-time fishers engaged in marine and inland fisheries were 8.7 million and 1.7 million, respectively. According to FAO, around 85 percent of the world fishers are concentrated in Asia, s particularly in the SCS region, compared to 77 percent in 1970. China has the largest number of fishers followed by Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. In total, at least 31 million people are engaged in the fisheries sector (including aquaculture) and related industries in the region. Fisheries, therefore, play a very vital role in thefood and economic security littoral states in the SouthChina Sea.The South China Disputes After 9/11: A ContinuingChallenge in Philippines-China Relations With the politics of oil, geopolitics of navigation andpolitics of marine resources, there is no doubt that the SouthChina Sea is a continuing security challenge in Philippines-China relations even after 9/11 with significant impact on thesecurity of Southeast Asia and its neighboring regions. Thoughboth countries are parties to the Declaration on the Conduct ofParties in the South China Sea, which, according to a study, isa product of de-escalation of dispute in the area,108 competingclaims on the ownership of the islands continue to be a sourceof security anxieties not only between the Philippines andChina but also other claimants and stakeholders in the conflict. One of the main sources of controversies involving thePhilippines and China over the issue of the South China Seawas the JMSU scandal. Though Vietnam was part of theJMSU, the issue primarily involved the Philippines and China&; L ? 4 . # - ! % % % (< (2%&< # E # E 5 ! @ ? *) " (& ;+ & %
  • 41. because of domestic political dynamics in Manila. The threepetroleum companies of the three countries signed the JMSUon 14 March 2005 in Manila in order to undertake joint marineseismic exploration of designated areas in the Spratlys. Thethree countries regarded the JMSU as a significant step in theimplementation of the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties inthe South China Sea. It is a manifestation of pragmaticcooperation in the South China Sea in order to promote peace,stability and development of the contested area. The original JMSU only signed between the Philippinesand China on 1 September 2004 as part of their efforts toenhance their bilateral relations. Vietnam protested for beingexcluded in the initiative. Being a strong claimant, thePhilippines and China accommodated Vietnam after less than ayear of negotiations that led to the signing of the tripartiteagreement. China described the JMSU as “landmark agreement”while the Philippines called it a “historic breakthrough.”According to President Arroyo, "This is a historic eventbecause it is the first, it is the breakthrough in implementingthe provisions of the code of conduct in the South China Seaamong ASEAN and China to turn the South China Sea into anarea of cooperation rather than an area of conflict." Arroyoadded, "It is not only a diplomatic breakthrough for peace andsecurity in the region, but also for our energy independenceprogram because one of the elements of this program is towork on strategic alliances with friends and allies so that wecan have more supply of energy for the region and ourcountry.” A $15 million budget was allotted for theimplementation of the JMSU for a period of three yearscovering 2005 to 2008. However, the JMSU was put in the cloud ofcontroversy in the Philippines because of the allegation that thePhilippine government sold out parts of its territory to China inexchange of Official Development Assistance (ODA). Theshort article written by Barry Wain triggered the scandal. Waincriticized President Arroyo for her “bungle in the South ChinaSea.”109 He argued that President Arroyo entered into “unequal&2 @ . G ! - 7 " 8 4 - (& <% &
  • 42. and surreptitious” agreement with China, which lawmakers inManila linked with a $329 million contract with the Chinesecompany, the ZTE, for a national broadband network. Whatmade the JMSU highly suspicious was the lack of transparencyin the agreement. The JMSU was “shrouded in secrecy” andbroke ranks with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations(ASEAN), which “was dealing with China as a bloc on theSouth China Sea issue.” He contended that: President Arroyo’s agreement with China for a joint seismic study was controversial in several respects. By not consulting other ASEAN members beforehand, the Philippines abandoned the collective stance that was key to the group’s success with China over the South China Sea. Ironically, it was Manila that first sought a united front and rallied ASEAN to confront China over its intrusion into Mischief Reef a decade earlier. Sold the idea by politicians with business links who have other deals going with the Chinese, Ms. Arroyo did not seek the views of her foreign ministry.110 With the allegation that the Philippines has soften itsclaim in the South China Sea in favor of a multi-million dollarloan package from China, Congressman Roilo Golezsponsored an inquiry into the alleged anomalous agreement andargued that if found guilty of treason, President Arroyo shouldbe held accountable and be subjected to impeachmentprocedure. 111 Golez said that the JMSU was illegal andunconstitutional because it did not pass the approval of thePhilippine Congress. Government officials contended that the JMSU did notviolate the Philippine Constitution and it was intended to easethe country’s dependence on imported oil.112 Local officials inPalawan even expressed support to the JMSU arguing that this & 4% F ? 5 4 # D " 6! . * .(& <+ & 18 % 8 % % 8 8 8 & & (& <8 38 8 ?% % % % 4 %# % D %B %* % & % %+ % % % ( # 5 " 6 . Q 7 / D. . *2 . (& <+ & 18 % 7 8 8 # % JT(& <% 8 % 3&
  • 43. “will open the gates for us to really know the resources wehave.” 113 Moreover, the Philippine government exclaimed thatthe JMSU was a tripartite commercial agreement among threeoil companies of China, the Philippines and Vietnam. Theagreement was not “a sell-out” of Philippine territory as theJMSU did not alter the territorial claims of three parties. ThePhilippine government also explained that the JMSU was anexemplary confidence building measure (CBM) to convert theregion of conflict in the South China into a region of peace andcooperation. The heat on the JSMU scandal slowed down when itexpired in June 2008. The Philippine government organized acommittee headed by the Department of Foreign Affairs tolook into the possibility of extending the JMSU for mutualbenefits of all parties concerned.114 Despite the controversy, thePhilippine government remained steadfast in its position thatthe JMSU was needed to manage the South China Sea Disputepeacefully.Managing the South China Sea Disputes: Towards ACooperative Management Regime? After 9/11, Philippines-China relations improvedtremendously based on the various agreements the twogovernments entered into in various fields. Their bilateralrelations also became comprehensive when they started theirdefense and security dialogue in 2005 and enthusiasticallypursued thereafter a series of exchange visits of their militaryand security officials. The JMSU scandal also demonstrated that their bilateralsecurity relations remain fragile and the issues of territorialintegrity in the South China Sea continue to be a sensitive issuein their bilateral relations. There have been many proposals to peacefully managethe South China Sea Dispute. One proposal is through a 3 F 0# # ? " 65 . ! * . (& <+ & 18 % 8 % % 8 8 8 & & (& <8 38 8 ?% % % % 4 %#% D %B %* % & % %+ % % %9 # 4 A # . 6 ! =.5 *( " (& <+ " & 18 % 8 %78 8& 9)<38 # 4 A# . 6% "
  • 44. functionalist approach where claimants will start cooperating innon-political aspects of the issue to “put under the rag” allsensitive issues that trigger conflict. 115 Another is through“joint development”, which inspires the JMSU. 116 There isalso a concept of “sharing the resources” of the South ChinaSea as a peaceful option.117 The most recent is called “cooperative managementregime” (CMR) conceptualized in 2007 in an internationalconference in Singapore organized by the S. RajaratnamSchool of International Studies of Nanyang TechnologicalUniversity.118 Apparently influenced by a “Regime Theory” ininternational relations, the CMR is consistent with thefunctionalist option in upholding the idea of functionalcooperation to manage conflict in the South China Sea. Thoughthe CMR remains embryonic in its conceptualization with littleclarity and coherence, it urged claimants to engage incooperation in non-traditional security as part of the over-allCBM and trust building in the South China Sea. The CMR isdeemed to be alternative “conflict-avoidance” approach for theestablishment of a regime of peace and stability in the SouthChina Sea. The Philippines and China can contribute in thedevelopment of CMR in the South China Sea by pursuing abilateral fisheries agreement. China and Japan entered into thiskind of agreement in 1997 while China and South Koreafollowed suit in 2000. In fact, the Philippines proposed in 2007 : % 5- 5 . # # 10 # ! 5 # % % <% 5 5 5 - E- 0 *H D 1 E# # + % :9<&% ) 7 # # 1 0 - #" E7 !* # # # . F # # # 5 # 5 F )< 4 (& + & % ; . ?$ . ? " .% $ E ? 5% F # 4? % *, 16 7 #, 22;+% < 1 7. * # 1 6 ) ; . (& ;+ 5 & % #* + 1 7. * > ? F 1 (& <+ & %
  • 45. a ’fisheries corridor’ in the South China Sea to avoid potentialconflicts that could affect peace and stability in the region.119Though the Philippines and China held in 2005 the FirstMeeting of the Philippines-China Joint Commission onFisheries to explore bilateral cooperation on fisheryinvestments, research and technology, and safety of propertyand life at sea, the momentum to talk was disturbed by theJMSU controversy. There is a need to sustain talks on thisissue to find a more pragmatic, peaceful and non-confrontational solution to the South China Sea conflict.Summary and Conclusion The Philippines has a policy to pursue what it calls alegitimate claim in the contested areas of the South China Sea.Immediately after the end of the cold war, territorial issues inthe South China Sea became a source of tension in SoutheastAsia because of China’s passage of territorial waters law in1992 and occupation of the Mischief Reef in 1995. However,the tension deescalated after 9/11 due to China’s “charmoffensive” in Southeast Asia, which resulted in the signing ofthe Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China in2002. The Declaration was hailed as a historic landmark inmanaging disputes in the South China Sea. But the SouthChina Sea continues to be a security challenge between thePhilippines and China because of lingering concerns over thesensitive issue of territorial integrity and national sovereignty. 2 # % ! *9 4 (& ;+ & 18 8 %4 % 8 % 3J S T2)33%
  • 46. CHAPTER FOUR The Taiwan Factor in Philippines-China Security Relations120Introduction Though Philippines-China security relations have gonea long way since the establishment of their diplomatic ties in1975, both countries continue to confront the perennialchallenge of Taiwan. Every now and then, the issue of Taiwansurfaces in Philippines’ relations with China causing someirritants and occasional hiccups in their bilateral ties. In fact,the Taiwan issue has been a major source of China’s securitydilemma when dealing with other nations.121 While the Philippines upholds a “One-China Policy,” itmaintains its relations with Taiwan in the economic, social andcultural realms. There was even an allegation that thePhilippines has discreet security ties with Taiwan makingChina suspicious of Manila’s strategic intention in the CrossStrait conflict.122 This chapter examines the issue of Taiwan as a factor inPhilippines-China security relations. It describes Philippines-Taiwan security relations after 9/11 and how these relationsaffected the direction of Philippines-China security relations.Background on Philippines-Taiwan Relation123 Prior to the establishment of Philippines’ relations withthe People’s Republic of China (PROC), the Philippines first(& 4 7 # # = A5 # = A 35 (& %( FB GE 1 * 1 #5 (& + & % (( 0# # E # # # ## # 5 07 7 1 L E7 *H D 15 - #" (& 9+ & % (3 7 7 # % A # 0 1 - ! 5 # 1 5 #= 4 *H D 1 A ?(& ;+ & %
  • 47. had a diplomatic relations with the Republic of China (ROC).When the Philippines became an independent republic in 1946,the very first Treaty of Amity it entered into was with the ROCthen called as the Nationalist China. Establishing diplomaticrelations with the ROC was considered to be a foreign policypriority of then President Manuel Roxas.124 As reciprocation,the ROC, on the other hand, was one of the first countries torecognize the Philippines as an independent republic. Common historical experiences during the war,geographic proximity and cultural familiarity were crucialfactors for the close ties with Taiwan. During the 3 October1946 presentation of credentials of Chen Chih-ping, the firstChinese ambassador to the Philippines, President Roxasstressed that the Philippines and China had common ties due togeographic propinquity, a mutual wartime cause, and Chinesecontribution through industry and thrift over the centuries toPhilippine economic life. 125 The negotiations on Philippine-Chinese treaty of friendship were not easy. They were stormy,surrounded with controversies because of domesticconsiderations. Both countries finally signed the treaty on 18April 1947, which provided that “the nationals of each countrywere at liberty to enter or leave, to travel or reside in, theterritory of the other upon the same terms as the nationals ofany third country in accordance with domestic laws andregulations.”126 With the signing of the Treaty of Amity between theRepublic of the Philippines (RP) and the ROC, Manilaestablished its Consulate General Offices in Amoy andShanghai in 1947. To strengthen RP-ROC diplomatic ties, thePhilippines opened a legation in Nanking in March 1948 withSenator Proceso Sebastian as the first Philippine ambassador toNationalist China. 127 However, the Philippine Legation wasshort-lived due to domestic political changes in China. WhenMao Tse Tung proclaimed the PROC in 1949, the Philippines(9 . @ . 5 E , # 4 *, 16 7 #, 2):+ % )&%(: 4%() 4%(; " - *. 1F # 2<(+ % 9 %
  • 48. closed its legation in Nanking, established a liaison office inGuangzhou, and in 1950 finally transferred to Taipei. The establishment of a communist government inMainland China posed two major problems for the Philippinegovernment. The first was internal: increased control overChinese immigration. The second was external: recognition ofa communist regime. On the first problem, the Philippine government, havingadopted a staunch anti-communism policy, decisivelyprohibited Chinese immigration and banned travel to or fromMainland China. 128 While being very strict with anythingrelated with PROC, the government pursued strong diplomaticand economic relations with Taiwan. It signed a tradeagreement with Taiwan and even intensified exchange ofspecialists and information leading to the development of aclose ideological and economic partnership with ROC. In 1956,it raised the legation in Taipei to embassy level. Theestablishment of a Philippine Embassy in Taiwan clearlydemonstrated the interest of the government to have strongeconomic and political partnership with Nationalist China. Being both security allies of the United States, thePhilippines and Taiwan established security relations. Militaryofficers from the Philippines and Taiwan had regularexchanges. Taiwan’s War College inspired the establishment ofthe National Defense College of the Philippines in 1963. Bothcountries established regular exchanges of military officers andeven intelligence information. On the second problem, the Philippine governmentattempted not to get entangled with Beijing-Taipei conflict.During the administration of former President Elpidio Quirino,the Philippine government did not explicitly take an anti-communism posture. The establishment of Philippine Embassyin Taiwan was a lucid expression of Manila’s political leaningswith Taipei. Philippine support of democratic and nationalistChina represented by ROC was revealed as early as 1951 whenthe Philippines signed a Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) withthe United States. The MDT was an anti-Communist treaty that(< F # ! * # # G =5 5 5 . 6 7 ) 7 4 222+ % )%
  • 49. aimed to deter communist expansionism in Asia. When thePhilippines became a member of the Southeast Asia TreatyOrganization (SEATO), then President Ramon Magsaysaydeclared support to the US commitment to the defense of“Formosa” against communist China.129 Succeeding Philippinepresidents (Carlos Garcia and Diosdado Macapagal) pursued amore vigorous anti-Communist foreign policy. It was only during the time of President FerdinandMarcos when the Philippine government consideredestablishing diplomatic relations with communist countries foreconomic, strategic and security reasons. On 9 June 1975, thePhilippines formally established diplomatic relations withPROC and proclaimed a one-China policy treating Taiwan as aprovince of China. In October 1975, the Philippines establishedan embassy in Beijing. Since then, Philippine-China diplomaticrelation has become one of the most important bilateralrelations of the Philippines with foreign countries. Thereafter,both countries have entered into various cooperationagreements covering wide-ranging areas like trade andinvestment; tourism and air services; cultural, scientific andtechnical cooperation; agricultural cooperation; avoidance ofdouble taxation; postal parcel agreement; and even defensecooperation. 130 As result, Philippine relations with Taiwanwere officially downgraded. Though upholding a one-China policy, the Philippinescontinues its substantial relations with Taiwan. Philippines’one-China policy does not prohibit commercial, economic,cultural and other unofficial or people-to-people contacts withTaiwan. To continue relations in these areas, the Philippinegovernment converted its embassy in Taipei into ManilaEconomic and Cultural Office (MECO). Taiwan, on the otherhand, converted its embassy in the Philippines into TaipeiEconomic and Cultural Office (TECO).(2 5 4 7 (& 1, $ !5 $ % 3) % ( *(& & % :;% &+3& % E# 1 - J * ! #5 6 7 #, L 25 (& 9+ & %
  • 50. Philippine-Taiwan Security Relations After 9/11 From 1975 to 2001, the Philippines was bound toimplement a “One-China Policy.” During this entire period, thePhilippines retained its ties with Taiwan and the causingoccasional irritants in Philippines-China relations. This state ofaffairs did not change after 9/11. Though the Philippines andChina cautiously enhanced bilateral ties after 9/11, 131 pro-Taipei lobby in Manila (particularly those associated withTaiwan Association, Inc. in the Philippines) made itburdensome for the Philippine government to put Taiwanaside. Since 9/11, Philippine-Taiwan interactions in the areaof agriculture, commerce, culture, education, and sports havebeen vibrant. Amidst the growing relations between thePhilippines and China, Philippine relations with Taiwan havegrown steadily after 9/11. Taiwanese tourists to the Philippinesnumbered to 1 12,206 sharing 4.3 percent of the total foreignvisitors, making Taiwan the 6th largest tourist source countryin 2007. 132 Taiwan is also one of the major destinationscountries for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). In 2007alone, Taiwan is the Philippines’ 5th top overseas labor marketwith more than 100,000 Filipino workers and migrants inTaiwan. It has also been recorded that the Filipino workers inTaiwan was the second largest workforce in 2007 and that theannual remittances from Filipino workers in Taiwan eamounted to US$1 billion.133 This prompted former Trade andIndustry Secretary Cesar V. Purisima to call for strongerPhilippines-Taiwan relations.1343 ? 1 ! F* +5 G *, 1 5 # #(& 9+ & (%3( 0# # ! 18 8 % # % % 8 # % %33 4%39 E # # ! 18 8 % % 8 8 8 &9 % # %
  • 51. Table 2. Filipinos workers in Taiwan and theundocumented (runaways, overstayers, etc.), November2006 Year Filipinos Undocumented 2001 72,779 - 2002 69,426 643 2003 81,355 873 2004 91,150 1,177 2005 95,703 1,543 2003 91,442 1,023Source: Employment and Vocational Training Administration (EVTA),CLA; Romeo Velos, “Situation of Filipino Migrant Workers in Taiwan”(2007) at Table 3. Breakdown of Filipino Workers in Taiwan by Area of Destination, November 2006 Area Filipino Area Filipino Area Filipino Workers Workers WorkersNorthern 56,632 Central 23,268 Southern 16,412Taiwan Taiwan TaiwanTaipei 10,007 Miaoli 2,774 Chiayi City 463City CountyTaipei 10,078 Taichung 3,293 Chiayi 833County City CountyTaoyuan 21,586 Taichung 6,823 Tainan 1,154County County CityHsinchu 5,641 Changhua 8,427 Tainan 3,404City County CountyHsinchu 6,914 Nantao 630 Kaohsiung 6,232County County CityKeeling 513 Yunlin 2,321 Kaohsiung 2,872City County CountyIlan 1,152 Pingtung 1,132County CountyHualien 741 Taitung 215County County Penghu 85 County Kinmen 16 County Lian Jiang 6 CountySource: Employment and Vocational Training Administration (EVTA),CLA; Romeo Velos, “Situation of Filipino Migrant Workers in Taiwan”(2007) at
  • 52. One initiative that aims to cement a strongerPhilippines-Taiwan relation is the Kaohsiung-Subic Bay-ClarkEconomic Corridor Project. Designed in 2006, the Kaohsiung-Subic Bay-Clark Economic Corridor Project is described as agiant step towards the strengthening of Philippines-Taiwanrelations in the post-9/11 era. According to Armand Arreza,Administrator and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the SubicBay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), the Kaohsiung-SubicBay-Clark Economic Corridor Project will allow Taiwan andthe Philippines to build upon their already successful traderelations and create a win-win situation.135 There are more than45 Taiwanese locators in the Subic Bay Freeport Zoneaccounting for more than 80 percent of the zones export value.“The establishment of the corridor is expected to resolve someissues that have concerned Taiwanese companies and makeSubic Bay attractive again.”136 For the Philippines, continuously engaging Taiwan isan economic necessity considering that Taipei is one ofManila’s main trading partners in the world. In 2007, forexample, Taiwan was the No. 6 trading partner to thePhilippines. For Taiwan, Manila is its No. 14 trading partner.137The facts and figures below are clear indications of Taiwan’seconomic importance to the Philippines: • Taiwan-Philippine bilateral trade volume reached US$7.199 billion in 2007. Taiwan was the N0.6 trading partner to the Philippines, while the Philippines was ranked the 14th important trading partner to Taiwan. • The aggregated investment value from Taiwan up to 2007 amounted to US$1.82 billion, and is the 7th largest foreign investment in the Philippines, just after Japan, USA, U.K., Netherlands, Singapore and South Korea.138 With these economic figures, it is, therefore, difficultfor the Philippines to isolate Taiwan in its economic and3: 10# ! # 5 *: . (& ;+ & 18 D 8 # %4 % 8 & & (& ;8 :8 % %3) 4%3; 0# # ! 18 8 % # % % 8 # % %3< 4%
  • 53. foreign policy agenda, particularly in the context of Manila’spursuance of “development diplomacy.” There is even a talk offree trade arrangements between the Philippines and Taiwan tostrengthen their economic relations. According to David Hong,President of Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER), afree trade agreement “would make both markets moreaccessible to each other, increase investment flow and createstronger incentives for Taiwan companies to do business in thePhilippines." 139 “As Taiwan and the Philippines are bothmembers of the World Trade Organization (WTO), nodiplomatic ties are needed for both countries to sign a freetrade agreement adding the establishment of free trade —exchange of products without barriers such as tariffs andquotas — between Taiwan and the Philippines would only leadto a win-win situation for both.”140 Aside from vibrant economic relations, the tie thatbinds the Philippines and Taiwan in the post-9/11 world iscommon adherence to democratic political system. Though thecountries have different experiences in their democratizationprocesses, they shared a number of similarities “includingconstitutional amendments, bolstering political participation,restructuring political dominance, and more guarantees for theprotection of individual rights.” 141 Adherence to commondemocratic principles provides a strong political bridgebetween the Philippines and Taiwan to sustain their bilateralties. Strong security relations with the US also bring thePhilippines and Taiwan closer. Washington has MutualDefense Treaty (MDT) with the Manila and Taiwan RelationsAct (TRA) with Taipei. On the basis of the TRA, Pentagonsells hi-tech military weapons to Taiwan. Based on MDT, onthe other hand, the US also sells weapons and even providesthe Philippines military assistance. With TRA and MDT, theUS provides a strong strategic link for Taiwan and thePhilippines to cooperate.32 @ % 4 ## - 5 ! * 0 4 (& :+ & %9& 4%9 %>% L E D 15 7 7! " # 5 7% ; % *. (& <+ % : <% &
  • 54. Lastly, geographic proximity inevitably puts Taiwanand the Philippines in the same strategic space. There is an oldsaying in the Philippines that “when a cock crows in Taiwan, itis heard faintly in the picturesque Philippine province ofBatanes.” This saying underscores the proximity of Taiwan tothe Philippines. 142 Due to geographic proximity, Taiwan hasbecome one of the most favored destinations of OFWs.Geographic proximity also causes some security concerns inthe Philippines.143There is the possibility of military conflict inthe controversial Taiwan Strait.144 According to an intelligenceanalysis, “Given the proximity to Taiwan to RP, any conflictmay spill over to Philippine territory as it may be a possibledestination of refugees.”145 Vibrant Philippine-Taiwan relations also have securityaspects. Though both are not allowed to relate with each otherin security fields, their respective security officials also have“unofficial” communications. The plan of the Philippine AirForce to purchase F-5s from Taiwan was an indication of theexisting communication links between the two countries’security officials.Taiwan Challenge in Philippines-China SecurityRelations146 Despite the improvement of Philippines-China securityrelations in the aftermath of 9/11, the Taiwan issue still poses aformidable challenge in the stable security relations betweenChina and the Philippines. It is even called “The Taiwan9( A # 0 1 - ! 5 # 1 5 # 4 = % %93 4%99 4%9: 0# # E # # # ## # # 5 - # 5 7 H = # # ! *5 # " (& 9+ % % &9) 4 # % # 3&> # E = 4 7 ! (( 0 4 (& :& D = .0 %
  • 55. Problem” to emphasize the utmost security dilemma of bothcountries in grappling with the issue. The Taiwan problem, if not properly addressed, canseverely affect the direction of Philippines-China securityrelations. It was even raised by an American security analyst,“By reinvigorating its military alliance with the United States,the Philippines may be in the undesirable position of having tochoose between security cooperation with the United Statesand economic cooperation with China in the event of aconfrontation between the two over Taiwan. The Philippineshopes to avoid having to make such a choice.” 147 The dilemma of the Philippine government on theTaiwan problem is confounded by the fact that “there remainsan influential group within the Philippines’ political elite,especially in the Senate, that is committed to establishing tieswith Taiwan for a combination of ideological or personaleconomic reasons.”148 Due to the problem in the Taiwan straits,the Philippines is pursuing a very cautious relations with thePROC.149Summary and Conclusion The Philippines upholds the One-China Policy, whichrecognizes PROC sovereignty over Taiwan. The Philippinescontinues to have cultural, economic, and social ties withTaiwan. Philippine relations with Taiwan are alsostrengthened not only by cultural, economic and socialimperatives but also by geographic proximity, democraticpolitical systems and strategic ties with the US. Due to these factors, Taiwan ties with the Philippineshave spill-over effects on security areas. This situation createsirritants in Philippines-China security relations. If not handledproperly, the Taiwan issue can serve a great obstacle in theenhancement of Philippines-China security relations – a greatchallenge that both countries have to confront now and in thefuture.9; ? 1 ! % %9< 4%92 4%
  • 56. CHAPTER FIVE Philippine Foreign and Security Policy Towards China in the Post-9/11 World: Current Realities and Future Prospects150Introduction Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on theUnited States (US), the Philippines has been undergoing aserious reexamination of its foreign and security policy toadvance the country’s national interests amidst thecomplexities of the global and regional security environment.This entails a comprehensive assessment of its bilateralrelations with major powers whose influence in world politicshave profound impacts on the foreign and security policy ofother states. One of the major powers that matter most to thePhilippines is China, a rapidly growing Asian power and anemerging global power. This chapter describes Philippine foreign and securitypolicy towards China in the post-9/11 security environment. Itexamines the role of China in Philippine foreign and securitypolicy and describes the current realities and future prospectsin Philippines-China security relations, particularly in thecontext of the election of American President Barack Obama.The Post-9/11 Philippine Foreign and Security Policy The Philippine government officially adopted a post-911 foreign and security policy anchored on three pillars.151 First is the preservation and enhancement of Philippinenational security, which is the heart of the nation’s overallpolitical diplomacy.:& 0 7 # # 5" 6 7 = D ( E 4 (& 2% & : 5 4 =% - ! * 7. 07 4E D, ; 4(& 9+ & %
  • 57. Second is the promotion and attainment of economicsecurity through the mobilization of external resources foreconomic advancement and social development. Third is the protection of the rights and the promotionof the welfare and interests of Overseas Filipino Workers(OFWs). The Philippine government considers these three pillarshighly interrelated as they mutually reinforce each other andgive substantive content to Philippine foreign relations.152 Onthis basis, the Philippine government enunciated a foreign andsecurity policy based on “eight realities in the global andregional environment.” These realities are the following: 1. China, Japan and the United States have a determining influence on the security situation and economic evolution of East Asia. 2. More Philippine foreign policy decisions have to be made in the context of the ASEAN tenets. 3. The International Islamic Community will become more important to the Philippines. 4. The coming years will see the redefinition of the role of multilateral and inter-regional organizations in promoting common interests. 5. The defense of the nation’s sovereignty, the protection of its environment, and natural resources can be carried out only to the extent that others respect the country’s rights over its maritime territory. 6. The country’s economic growth will require direct foreign investments and relations with the EU, the largest source of portfolio investments —remain important. 7. A country like the Philippines can benefit faster from international tourism. 8. Filipinos’ overseas remittances will continue to play a critical role in the country’s economic and social stability.153 :( 4% :3 = . 5 # - !* 7 . 07 4 )5 (& 9+ & %
  • 58. Apparent from these eight realities is the officialrecognition of China as one of the major powers that stronglyshape the security landscape. Though the Philippine government regards China as aformidable power that can affect the behavior of othercountries, Philippine foreign and security policy has beenlargely determined by its existing security alliance with the US. Philippine security relations with the US largelyinfluence the conduct of its external affairs. Though there is aserious attempt in the Philippines to diversify its relations withother nations, particularly in the post-cold war era, Americansecurity policy towards the country affects the foreign policy ofthe government. Since 1946, the cornerstone of Philippine foreign andsecurity policy has been its treaty alliance with the UScemented by the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) signed in1951. Thus, understanding Philippine foreign and securitypolicy is incomplete without taking into account this alliance,the only linkage that the Philippines has with other sovereignstates. It has been demonstrated in scholarly literature that thesecurity alliance between the US and the Philippines wasforged as a result of shared historical experience, securityconvergence and common adherence to democraticprinciples. 154 These continue to cement Philippine-Americansecurity relations in the post-911 era. Former Foreign AffairsSecretary Alberto Romulo emphasized that this enduringstrategic alliance is bound by common interests. “The commoninterests of the Philippines and the US bind us to protect andhelp preserve the peace and security of our region. We are bothstrategic and treaty partners.” 155 He emphasized that “thebonds of friendship between the Philippines and the UnitedStates are enduring which have been forged in the battlefieldsof freedom, in the foxholes of Bataan and Corregidor, and by:9 # % #- 5 2& 2( ! 5 , $ % % 3 *0 4 2;:+ Q I$ = 6% % . 15 * 16 7 # 2);+ C% D5 H # 7 1 . 5 299 2;2 *. 2<&% +:: - ! % %
  • 59. thousands of brave and courageous soldiers who fought anddied together for their beliefs and ideals.”156 Though Philippine-American security relationsexperienced a decade-long hiatus with the termination ofMilitary Bases Agreement (MBA) in 1991, which consequentlyled to the withdrawal of American troops from the Philippines,support to the American-led global war on terrorism in theaftermath of 9/11 resulted in the reinvigoration of Philippine-American security relations.157 Romulo underscored that “ourstrategic alliance with the United States in the war againstglobal terrorism remains vital to our national security.”158 Thus, the war on terrorism after 9/11 revived the once-ailing Philippine-security alliance. Due to its staunch support to the global war onterrorism, the US designated the Philippines as a Major Non-NATO Ally (MNNA) in 2003.159 While the MNNA status does not guarantee automaticretaliation in case of external aggression, it allows bothcountries “to work together on military research anddevelopment, and give the Philippines greater access toAmerican defense equipment and supplies." 160 The MNNAstatus also gave the country assurances of military assistance tobolster the capability of the Philippine armed forces to combatterrorism and other threats to internal security. However, the Philippines suffered a foreign policycrisis in 2004 when the government withdrew its peacekeepingforces from Iraq in exchange of the freedom of Angelo de laCruz, an OFW held hostage by Iraqi militants. The earlierwithdrawal of Philippine troops created a serious dent in:) 54 =% F @ ?# !* - 5## 7 (3 5 (& 9+ & %:; % # 5 = 4 5 1 # ! 5 7 % (9 % ( *5 (& (+ % (29 3 (% &:< F @ ?# ! % %:2 @ , E # . B 5 0 5 ! 18 ? % 8 % % 7 # (& 98 I 8 #3 - 0 )% # 8 S & B 8 %)& " = . B 5 0 5 !5 - 7 * 2 . (& 3+ & 18 % # 8 ? 8 8 % % A T(<2)<% J
  • 60. Philippine-American security relations in the post-9/11period.161 For the American government, this was tantamount to abetrayal of Philippine commitments in its security alliance withthe US and in the global campaign against terrorism.International press opinions disseminated by the InternationalInformation Programs of the US Department of State expressedthat the troop pullout was a “grave mistake, a “setback forglobal politics” and a “pact with the devil.” 162 Thus, thePhilippines received a cold treatment from the US after thewithdrawal. Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, in atelevised national address, cautiously explained, I made adecision to bring our troops home a few days earlier to sparethe life of Angelo. I do not regret that decision. For PresidentArroyo, dela Cruz represented the aspiration of around eightmillion OFWs who are seeking hope and opportunities abroad.Remittances from OFWs are a major source of the country’sforeign currencies amounting to around US$10 billionannually. The Philippine government regarded the trooppullout as a wise decision to save the life of dela Cruz, whichthe government considered as an integral part in advancingPhilippine national interests by protecting the welfare ofOFWs, the third pillar of Philippine foreign policy. To assuage the concern of the US that the Philippinesreneged in its commitment to the security alliance and the waron terror, the government held a series of dialogues with itsAmerican counterparts to explain its decision to withdraw itstroops. The government convinced the US that this trooppullout was a reaction to domestic political considerations thathave a bearing with the survival of the political regime inpower.) . 4 5 I, 1 5 6 ! E *(< " (& 9+ & % 5 @ , J - 5# 5 D!L 1 " # @ 7% 2 % *(& 9+ % 3 & 9 %)( 6 E # # I1@ 5 = 7 . ?! 18 % 4 8 % 8 84 8 8 I (& 98 ;8 8 & & 9&;(<%
  • 61. From the foregoing, Philippine foreign and securitypolicy in the post-9/11 era has been largely influenced by itsalliance with the US. Though the government is placing highpremium on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations(ASEAN) as the cornerstone of its regional policy and paysattention to international Islamic community as well as othermultilateral bodies as part of its international engagement“strategy”, its bilateral security policy is largely shaped andinfluenced by its relations with the US. There is a view thatPhilippine foreign and security policy has a built-in biastowards the US because of the countries’ existing treatyalliance. The war against terrorism launched by PresidentGeorge W. Bush provided the two countries opportunities torevitalize their security alliance in the post-9/11 world.163 President Barack Obama intends to continue its supportto the country within the framework of the treaty alliance. Therejuvenation of this alliance after 9/11 opened channels for thePhilippines to receive American security assistance to promotemutual interests in building the capacity of the Philippinemilitary in combating terrorism.164 The US currently providessupport to Philippine Defense Reform (PDR) program toprovide a framework for a comprehensive, institutional,structural and systemic reform package for the Philippinedefense and military establishment.165 Increased American security assistance to thePhilippines resulted in increased American presence in thearchipelago, particularly in Mindanao. Though it was viewed inthe US in 1991 that American presence 166 in the Philippines)3 - D 7 D 6 15 = # @ 5 # ( ! 5 7 7 % 93 % ) * 7 4 8E 4 (& 3+ % 2; 2<<% & )9 .% . 5 5# 41 A . # - 5 ! 5 5# *" # (& 3+ % ((< (3<% & ): - 4 #4 7 # 77 # E# # E # E# E# #* E + ! 18 % % 7 8 8 % EE@ 5= S 8 8 # % % )) - #554 5 . 1 5 7, 07 7 ! @ @ ? % ; *0 4 (& 9+ & %
  • 62. was expensive and unnecessary,167 after 9/11, this is perceivedto be important in supporting US Naval presence in the AsiaPacific.168 Since January 2002, around 1,000 American soldiersare being maintained in the Philippines in the annual militaryexercises with their Filipino counterparts. The US organizedthe Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTF-P)in Zamboanga City to serve as its “forward operating base” forcrisis response and deployment. Critics of American presence in the Philippines accuseJSOTF-P of engaging in an offensive war in Mindanao to crushthe Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and other foreign militaryjihadists.169 Others claim that the US establishes military presencein the Philippines to check the growing influence of China inSoutheast Asia.170China in Philippine Foreign and Security Policy There is no doubt that China is the fastest growingmajor power in the Asia-Pacific region. Thus, the Philippinegovernment comprehensively engages China while maintainingits alliance with the US.171 Though the aftermath of 9/11 saw); 6% % . 1 A 76 ! 5 0 - # % ( * 2 " 22 + % % )< "= % # 6% % 7 - !* 1 7 E 4 (& + & % )2 , 4 E 6 7 @ # 15 6 -0# 7 @ # *H D 1- = 4 (& ;+ & % ;& D4 G 5 1 # 6 ! " # 7% 9 % 99 *(& :+ % 9& 9(:QF & 2 ? ,%" L % G= 5 1 # 6 *5 A $51 B 5 # 7 5 5(& 9+ & Q % 5 7 # 1 5# 28 ! * (& 3+ % 2< & & ;Q @6 5 15 # = J*> ? 1 7. . (& 3+ & % ; - A # # # 7 4#28 5 % % 7 1 7 *. 1 E7(& &% &+
  • 63. the rejuvenation of Philippine-American security relations, itprovided opportunities for China and the Philippines to sustaintheir friendship and enhance their cooperation. The PhilippineDepartment of Foreign Affairs (DFA) contends that “It isstrategically fundamental for the Philippines to develop ahealthy, far-reaching and comprehensive relationship withChina.”172 The Policy Paper on China by the DFA in theaftermath of 9/11 recommended to “engage China and enhancerelations in all aspects.” 173 Scholars of international relationscall this a “hedging” strategy.174 The Philippines does not havea coherent hedging strategy towards China. “The Philippinepolicy elite’s views on China remain inconsistent, and itspolicy response, ad hoc. There is no agreement on theimplications of China’s growing regional influence or,apparently, serious thought on how the Philippines mighthedge instead of balance against Chinese economic andmilitary power in the future.”175 In the Eight Foreign Policy Realities of the Philippinegovernment, China was identified as an influential power thatshapes the Asian security landscape. It looms large in the Asianstrategic debate. China, therefore, occupies a very significantspace in the post-9/11 foreign and security policy agenda of thePhilippine government. There are four factors why China matters significantlyto Philippine foreign and security policy: 1) Historical legacy;2) Geographic proximity; 3) Cultural familiarity; 4) Economicactivity; and 4) Political expediency. Historical legacy. Prior to becoming a state known asthe Philippines, several islands of the archipelago had alreadyestablished relations with China. As early as 972 AD, the first;( E #- 5# # 5 2;: (& :1 & = 5 # * B 1 4 (& :+ & %;3 E #- 5## * 1 E-5 0# # # 0 4 (& + & %;9 7 %. , - #5 # 4 ! @ H 7 % (2 % *@ (& : (& )+ % 9: ); # " " & & % ? ? "% , 5 !, - ? % 2(: * ;5 (& )+ & %;: 7 E F ? 1 5 *@ 1 4 (& ;+ % )2% &
  • 64. emperor of the Sung Dynasty set-up a maritime trade office inthe Philippine island of Mindoro (rendered in Chinese as Ma-i). 176 In 1001, the pre-colonial island of Butuan (rendered inChinese as P’u-tuan) had a commercial contact with the SungDynasty.177 In the 16th century, the Sultan of Sulu visited Chinato pay tribute to Chinese monarch. During the Spanish period,some Chinese businessmen migrated to the Philippines wherethey married locals. As a result of mixed marriages, ethnicChinese played an integral part in the development ofPhilippine nationalism. Filipino-Chinese leaders fought againstthe Spaniards during the revolutionary period versus theJapanese colonial forces during the Second World War.178 Thisshared historical experience made for China’s and thePhilippines’ mutual familiarity. Geographic proximity. The distance between thePhilippines and China is only 1,850 miles or 2,978 kilometersseparated only by a strip of water called the South China Sea.They are close neighbors, much closer geographically thanbetween the Philippines and the US, which are separated by avast Pacific Ocean. The proximity between the two countriesfacilitated trade relations during the pre-colonial times.Strategically, China regards the Philippines as strategicallysignificant because of its geographic proximity to southernChina, particularly Hong Kong-Macau and Taiwan, and viceversa. Cultural familiarity. Common historical legacy andgeographic proximity facilitated cultural familiarity betweenthe Philippines and China. With the presence of around 1.2million Filipino-Chinese in the country forming thecommunity, 179 which is one of the largest ethnic Filipino;) . # D F # %4 . . 4 4 . 0* M M# + % ;; #5 $ 5 7%;< % E# 5 # 1 # ! 5 # 1 5 #= 4 *H D 1 A ? (& ;+ % &;2 # 7 D 7# #
  • 65. groups in the country, the Philippines becomes familiar withChinese culture and tradition. This alone provides the twocountries some levels of mutual comfort necessary fordiplomatic relations. Economic activity. Economic considerations lure thePhilippines to constructively relate with China. Since itseconomic opening in 1979, China has been enjoying anaverage economic growth rate of 9 percent. This economicboom prompted analysts to argue that by 2020, it will be thesecond largest economy in the world, next to US, and mayeven surpass the economic status of the US by 2050. Thus, thePhilippines pursues a foreign and security policy tocomprehensively engage China and take advantage of itseconomic prosperity. There is a view in the Philippines that theeconomic rise of China may spillover to the Philippinesthrough bilateral trade and investments. After 9/11, their two-way trade expanded by tenfold from $3.14 billion in 2000.According to Chinese Embassy in Manila, the 2007 tradevolume surpassed the $30 billion goal for 2010 that was set in2005 when Chinese President Hu Jintao visited thePhilippines. 180 However, Philippines-China bilateral trade isstill small compared to the trade volume with other countries inSoutheast Asia.181 Political expediency. Post-9/11 Philippine foreign andsecurity policy towards China is dictated by politicalexpediency. The Philippines exerts efforts to be in goodpolitical terms with China not only because it is a rapidlygrowing power but the consideration that is more risky andcostly to the Philippines not to be in good terms with China.This can increase the prospects of better commercial ties andmore development assistance. It can also increase Philippineefforts to leverage with the US and manage its maritimeterritorial disputes with China. / 4 # 292% - ! 18 % ? 8 % 8 ?8 S- % <& 4 ! E *"(< (& <+ & 18 8 % 8 D 8 & &8 4 (& < (:8 S)9( <2& % % < 5 7 # G 5 ! % G = 5 5 *H D 1 5 ? (& + % (92% &
  • 66. Current Realities Though China is an integral part of Philippine foreignand security policy, there are realities of global politics thatprevent them to get closer. The first reality is the American factor. ThePhilippines continues to value it strategic alliance with the US,which was established after the Second World War. Thisrequires that Philippine comprehensive engagement with Chinashall not compromise its security relations with the US. More of China in Philippine foreign affairs shall notmean less of the US. In fact, Philippine alliance withWashington limits the scope and level of Manila’scomprehensive engagement with Beijing. As long there is atreaty alliance between Washington and Manila, Americantroops are bound to stay in the Philippines. President Obamaeven promises to maintain American presence in thePhilippines, to support the Philippine Defense Reform programand to assist the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) inbuilding its capability to address its multifaceted securitychallenges. According to US Ambassador to the Philippines,Kristie Kenney, the US does not have the intention ofwithdrawing its military forces in the Philippines under theObama presidency. It is the prerogative of the Philippinegovernment to request if it needs more or less Americanpresence in the Philippines. The Obama presidency alsopledges to continue its security assistance to the Philippines aspart of Washington’s commitment to support its allies in Asia. China views the presence of American troops in thePhilippines as part of the strategy of Pentagon to itscontainment. Officials in Beijing adopted this view as a resultof various studies in the US that the rise of China has profoundimplications for American security. Thus the need to check itsgrowing power.182 The Philippines continues to be an integral<( D4 G 5 1 # 6 !" # 7 % 9 % 99 *5 (& :+ % 9& 9(:% & 25 4 =% G 5 1# 6 !5 # # 0 *- 4(& :+ & Q C L D 54 % ? E # E% #0 ? E 7 5% ?5 " % 6* . # 1 5E 222+ %
  • 67. part of American web of bilateral security alliance in Asia,which originally aimed to deter communist expansionism. Thisreality creates a boundary in Philippines-China relations. The second reality is the South China Sea factor. ThePhilippines and China are languishing with unresolvedmaritime territorial disputes in the Spratlys. Though both aresignatories to the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in theSouth China Sea to uphold a peaceful management of disputesin the area, they continue to mistrust each other on the issue.The controversy surrounding the implementation of JointMarine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) is an indication thatSpratly dispute creates fragility in Philippines-China relations. The third reality is the Taiwan factor. Though thePhilippines pursues a “One-China” policy, which regardsTaiwan as the province of the People’s Republic of China(PRC), Manila still has active commercial and discreet politicaland security relations with Taipei. In 2006, trade betweenTaiwan and the Philippines increased by 1.97 percent to aboutUS$7.26 billion. The Taiwan’s Government Office (GIO)reported that Taipei imported from the Philippines (includingre-imports) goods worth $2.78 billion and exported to thePhilippines (including re-exports) commodities worth $4.48billion in 2006. Taiwan has become the Philippines’ 13thlargest trading partner in 2006, 11th largest destination ofTaiwanese exports with 2 percent of total outbound cargoesvalued at $224 billion, the 5th largest trade partner amongdeveloping countries after Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Thailandand Indonesia, and the 16th largest source of Taiwan’s import.183 Strategic relations with the US and common liberaldemocratic systems facilitate Philippines-Taiwan relations.Philippine relations with Taiwan are continuing sources ofirritants between Manila and Beijing. China is too sensitivewith the issue of Taiwan and this issue always generatesanimosities with its neighbors.<3 0## = 18 8 % % 7 8 0- 8 4 % 8 S %B J S S TE & U 4 S T 5 33&;U S T (;<9&%
  • 68. The fourth reality is their different political systems.The Philippines and China have two different domesticpolitical realities that affect the conduct of their foreignrelations. Their divergent political systems create two differentforeign-policy making processes that affect the enhancement oftheir bilateral relations. The ZTE scandal (the cancellation of anational broadband network project in the Philippines withChina-based company) is an example of how differences intheir bureaucratic systems can affect their economic ties.According to a ZTE official, the scandal “certainly bringsunforeseeable negative influence on bilateral economic co-operations between China and Philippines."184 The controversywould harm trade relations between China and thePhilippines.185 There is even the view that the ZTE scandal hasinterrupted the “golden age” of Philippines-China relationscelebrated in 2005.186Future Prospects While there are existing irritants in Philippines-Chinarelations, it is the policy of the Philippine government toconstructively and comprehensively engage China. Since 9/11,the Philippine government has been articulating a more benignview of China to cultivate warm relations with PRC. Duringthe commemoration of the 30th anniversary of Philippines-China diplomatic relations in 2005, President Hu Jintao saidthat both countries have reached the “golden-age” of theirbilateral ties. It was also during this year when they launchedthe First Philippines-China Defense and Security Dialogue,which elevated their bilateral relations to a higher plane.187 Though there are security challenges in Philippines-China relations, there are many rooms in the post-9/11 world<9 . 7 C 5# - # 7 !@ ?*(&- 4 (& <+ & %<: 4%<) 5 = 4 C 7 / /# !=.5 18 % 8 %78 8 )3)8 < C 7 # %<; % E# . 1 28 ! 5 % 93 * 1 # 7 5 " (& ;+ & %
  • 69. that create opportunities for the two countries to sustain theirfriendship and enhance cooperation. First is China’s use of “soft power” to establish andnurture constructive relations with its neighbors in SoutheastAsia.188 This “soft power” diplomacy ameliorates the fear of a“China threat” in the region and creates a more positive imageof the country in international affairs. 189 China firstdemonstrated its “soft power” diplomacy in Southeast Asia atthe height of the 1997 Asian financial crisis when it decidednot to revalue its currency to help the affected countries inSoutheast Asia to cope with the financial turmoil. Chinacontinues its “soft power” diplomacy in the aftermath of 9/11as part of its “charm offensive” in Southeast Asia by increasingtrade, investment and aid to the region. 190 This currentinternational behavior provides opportunities for Manila toenhance its cooperation with Beijing. Second, trade has become an important driver ofbilateral relationship between the Philippines and China. In2005 alone, their bilateral trade reached almost $18 billion, inwhich the Philippines enjoyed a surplus. The 2007 tradevolume surpassed the $30 billion goal for 2010 set in 2005.This makes China the 3rd largest trading partner of thePhilippines, next to US and Japan. Though the ZTE, NorthRail Project and JMSU controversies affected their bilateralties, improvement in their bilateral trade relations can integratetheir economies, increase people-to-people contacts andeventually create a conducive environment for theenhancement of their security relations. Third, the Philippines and China have signed since1975 more than 80 bilateral agreements that cover a wide arrayof issues: agricultural, air services, combating transnationalcrimes, cultural, consular, defense, investment, judicialcooperation, education, energy, infrastructure, media exchange,<< " # G # !@ " E 4 (2(& :% 5 & F @ .% . $ G # ! 5 ! # *9 " (& <+ & % <2 " E 4? GM # M 5* ? P @ G 5 & . (& )+ & %2& " L D? G 0# 7 # 5 ! , 4 (& )% &
  • 70. political cooperation, science, technology, tourism, trade andothers. These agreements show the depth and breadth of theirbilateral relations. These legal frameworks are positive driversof their current and future cooperation. Finally, Philippines-China relations are products ofseveral centuries of interactions and socializations. Their tiescan be traced 3,000 years ago. This is the basis of theirenduring relations. It is, therefore, in their common interest todeliberately engage for mutual benefits and prosperity. Asstated by Philippine Ambassador to the Philippines, Song Tao,“Friendship and cooperation between China and thePhilippines serve the fundamental interests of our two peoples.The Chinese government is determined to push forward theChina-Philippines strategic and cooperative relations, to workhard for further deepening of pragmatic cooperation in the areaof trade, investment, tourism and culture.”Summary and Conclusion The Philippines has a standing policy tocomprehensively engage China. After 9/11, Philippines-Chinarelations reached its peak when it celebrated in 2005 their 30thanniversary dubbed as “golden age” of their bilateral ties.Though relations between the two countries were affected bydomestic controversies in the Philippines involving projectswith China like the ZTE, JMSU and the North Rail Project, thePhilippines is committed to pursue a policy of comprehensiveengagement with China in the post-9/11 era. Common historical legacy, geographic proximity,cultural familiarity, economic activity and political expediencyare ties that bind the Philippines and China. However, there are current realities in their bilateral tiesthat they have to confront. Philippine security alliance with theUS, the Taiwan factor, the South China Sea disputes anddivergent political systems affect the dynamics of Philippines-China relations. Despite these, there are prospects for China and thePhilippines to sustain their friendship and enhance theircooperation. China’s use of soft power diplomacy, growingbilateral trade, existence of numerous bilateral agreements and
  • 71. 3,000 years of interactions provide both countries enormousopportunities to cooperate. As stressed by then AmbassadorTao of the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines, “China andPhilippines are close neighbors across the sea and the twopeoples enjoy long-standing traditional friendship. There aremany touching stories in the centuries of friendly exchangesbetween the two countries. The national cultures of ourrespective countries have been developed and enriched duringthe course of mutual learning and help of the two peoples. Ithas provided an important basis for developing China-Philippines friendly relations and cooperation.”1912 5 4 4 - 7 ." : (& <% &
  • 72. CHAPTER SIX Renewed Tensions and Continuing Maritime Security Dilemma in the South China Sea: Current and Emerging Concerns on Philippines-China Security Relations192Introduction On 10 March 2009, the Philippine government signedRepublic Act (RA) 9522 to comply with the requirements ofthe United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas(UNCLOS), which stipulates that all claims to be made for seabed or continental shelf extensions to Exclusive EconomicZones allowed under the treaty be filed by 13 May 2009.Otherwise known as the New Philippine Baselines Law, RA9522 reaffirms the Philippines’ claims to its territorial waters,including its extended continental shelf, economic zones andan area of the contested Spratlys archipelago known as theKalayaan Island Group (KIG).193 China, Taiwan and Vietnam immediately protested thepassage of the New Philippine Baselines Law, which is part ofa regional pattern of development that led to an upsurge ofsecurity tensions in the South China Sea. These developmentsinclude the China-Vietnam controversy over Sansha island inDecember 2007; 194 the China-Philippines hullaballoo on theJoint Marine Seismic Undertaking (JMSU) in early 2008;195 thediscovery of a major Chinese naval base on Hainan Island inmid-2008; 196 and a naval skirmish involving the US2( 0 7 # 4 % 1 # E7 *, 1 E5 #$ (& & % 93 :2% + 23 - # F 4 522(( 18 % 8 % 8 8 8 (& 28 S & 2:((S & (& 2% % 29 - # 7 4 # 1$ ! #7 % < % < * 9 5 (& <+& % 2: - 4 @ . G ! - 7 *" -4 (& <+ - # & % 4 # 1 ! #7 % < % < *(< 5 (& <+ & % 2) E7 F E @ 1 . ! = 4 5 7% 9 % ( * (& 2+ % :) ) % &
  • 73. surveillance ship Impeccable and five Chinese vessels offHainan Island in March 2009.197 This chapter argues that security tensions over thedisputed Spratly Islands have increased despite the adoption ofthe Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South ChinaSea (DOC) in 2002. While tensions in the South China has nodoubt de-escalated during and after the signing of the DOC,198security irritants pervaded as claimants continued to improvetheir civilian and military facilities in their occupied islands,islets, reefs and shoals. Taiwan protested the signing of theDOC as it only included Brunei, China, Malaysia, thePhilippines and Vietnam. It was believed that the exclusion ofTaiwan in the DOC made the declaration ineffective inmanaging tensions in the South China Sea. Though the DOC temporarily calmed the waters in theSouth China Sea by upholding the principle of amicablesettlement of maritime boundary disputes, its “non-binding”character made the DOC fragile and tenuous. Thus, disputes inthe South China Sea continue to be major sources of maritimesecurity dilemma in Asia. China’s growing naval power inrecent years exacerbated this regional maritime securitydilemma, leading other claimants to upgrade their naval assetsand modernize their maritime capabilities. The maritimesecurity dilemma in the South China Sea raises the possibilityof armed conflict in the Spratlys, something claimants andstakeholders alike are keen to avoid. These renewed tensionsand continuing maritime security dilemma in the South ChinaSea pose formidable challenges to the promotion of maritimesecurity in Asia.Security Dilemma: A Framework for Analyzing RenewedMaritime Security Tension in the South China Sea Security dilemma is an excellent framework to analyzethe renewed tensions in the South China Sea. It exists when the2; - A 4 5# # 7 ! #7 % 2 % 2 *3&5 (& 2+ & %2< - # # # # E # E 5 ! % B # @ ? % (2 *) "(& ;+ & %
  • 74. military preparations of one state create an un-resolvableuncertainty in the mind of another state as to whether thosepreparations are for “defensive” or “offensive” purposes. 199With this concept, states are always in a “guessing game,”speculating on each others’ strategic intention whether it isbenign or malignant. States’ perceptions of security dilemmacreate a paradox in which they believe that their securityrequires the insecurity of others. 200 This difficult situationoccurs because of the anarchic nature of the internationalsystem where there is the absence of an overarching authoritythat regulates the behavior of sovereign states. In an anarchic international environment, statesconstantly compete with each other to protect their sovereigntyand pursue their national interests. 201 Though the state ofanarchy can also encourage countries to cooperate by buildinginternational regimes or constructing international norms,mutual suspicions continue to reflect the reality of internationalpolitics. Thus, security dilemma is a tragedy because war canoccur between and among states though none of them desireit.202 Since each state is mandated to pursue its own nationalinterests, security uncertainties pervade creating securityanxieties that exacerbate their security dilemma. The principle of security dilemma describes therenewed tensions in the South China Sea.203 All claimants aredriven by their desire to protect their territorial integrity andadvance their national sovereignty in this contested water. Dueto of conflicting claims motivated by sovereignty issues,claimants in the South China Sea make unilateral moves to22 "@ % L E ! " %" % * +E #@ 1 @*0A 1 # 22(+ % (2 )&%(&& "? # E 2 9! 4 "7 F4 " = * + E * 1 ", ? 6 7 2<:+ % ::%(& - # 4 %5 4 "7 1 9 * > ? , 1 4 22)+ % 9<%(&( # D 4, 4 # %, 4 # , , *F 1 2: + % ) (&%(&3 - # 5 E # 5 * 1 # 5(& & % 33 ;(% &+
  • 75. strengthen their occupation of islands, islets, reefs, cays andshoals. Claimants also build and enhance their maritimecapability to protect their interests in the South China Sea.Strengthening Effective Occupation in the Spratlys The South China Sea is composed of two major island-chains: the Paracels and the Spratlys. The Paracels arecontested between China, Taiwan and Vietnam while theSpratlys are being claimed in whole or in part by Brunei,China, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam. This section focusesonly on the disputed islands, islets, reefs, shoals and cays in theSpratlys. Banlaoi (2009) noted in his Spratly’s study204 that allclaimants involved in the disputes, with the exemption ofBrunei, are strengthening their occupation of what theyconsider their territories in the Spratlys. China, Malaysia, thePhilippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have been seriouslyconsolidating their physical presence in the South China Seasince the adoption of the DOC. Photographic evidences indicate that claimants havebeen involved in various infrastructure projects to intensifytheir military and civilian presence in their occupied islands,islets, reefs and shoals with the intention to prove theiroccupation of these areas and thereby strengthen their claimsfor ownership. Proving that ownership has huge implicationsin the definition of their baselines and exclusive control andexploitation of rich maritime resources in the South China. Figure 2 shows the well-known overlapping claims inthe South China Sea. Figure 3, on the other hand, shows theoverlapping baselines of claimants. Since baselinescontroversies among claimants in the South China Sea have notbeen settled, there have also been overlapping fishing activitiesin the whole area as shown in Figure 4. Fishing activities in the South China have been majorsources of irritants among claimants as they accuse each otherof illegal fishing and poaching in their internal waters. To(&9 # 7 (3 (: 4 (& 2 & @ # 5 - # 4 7 4 # %
  • 76. justify the construction of facilities in their occupied territories,claimants even call these facilities “fishermen shelters.” Someclaimants erected some light posts and observation towers intheir controlled areas in aid of navigation. It is already knownthat there is an enormous navigational traffic in the SouthChina Sea making it one of the maritime superhighways of theworld. Figure 5 shows the large number of ships and tankerspassing through the South China Sea, which account for morethan 50 percent of the world’s annual navigational activities.Figure 2. Overlapping Claims in the South China SeaSource: Energy Information Administration, 2009.
  • 77. Figure 3. Overlapping Baselines in the South China Sea China EEZ EEZ Overlap Baseline Contiguous Zone Vietnam EEZ Philippine EEZSource: The Philippine Navy, 2009.Figure 4. Overlapping Fishing Activities in the South ChinaSeaSource: The Philippine Navy, 2009.
  • 78. Figure 5. Navigational Activities in the South China SeaSource: Global Ballast Water Management Program, 2005. Due to the strategic and economic value of the SouthChina Sea, all claimants, except Brunei, have invested theirresources in their occupied territories to maintain andconsolidate their physical presence and prove their occupation.Table 4 shows the number of territories occupied by claimantsand the estimated number of troops deployed by claimants.Since 2002, claimants have been engaged in a number ofconstruction activities to improve and fortify their military andcivilian presence in their occupied areas.Table 4. Presently Occupied Areas in the Spratlys andEstimated Number of Troops Claimants Islands Presently Estimated Troops Occupied Deployed in All Occupied Areas Vietnam 21 900-1000 China 7 900-1000 Taiwan 1 500-600 Malaysia 5 230-330 Philippines 9 60-70 Brunei 0 0Source: PIPVTR Center for Intelligence and National Security Studies,Philippines, 2009.
  • 79. Vietnam Vietnam presently occupies 21 islands, reefs and cay inthe Spratlys. It has impressive facilities these. Its largestoccupied island, Lagos (or Spratly Island), is the most heavilyfortified with a solid runway, a pier, at least 35 buildings,around 20 storage tanks, at least 20 gun emplacements, at least5 battle tanks and some parabolic disk antennas and a spoonrest radar. In April 2009, Philippine aerial surveillance found atwo newly-constructed two-storey building in the Lagos Islandwith 12 newly-installed light posts and 12 wind mills. Figure 6shows the current status of Lagos Island, which looks like asmall community in the middle of the vast ocean.Figure 6. Lagos Island or Spratly Island (Vietnam) BAT TLE TAN KS GUN PARABOLI C GUN BATT LE E MPLA CE - BATTLE D I SC MA RKER EMP LACE- B ATT LE TA NK M ENTS TANK ANTENN AS BEACON MENTS TANK GUN GUN NAVAL GUN AI R RA ID GUN B ATT LE SH ELTE RS E MPLACE - GUN EM PLAC E- SHEL TER EMP LACE- TANK MENTS MENT MENTS PIERSource: Philippine Air Force, 2009. Aside from Lagos Island, Vietnam also maintainsfacilities at Pugad Island (Southwest Cay), which is less thantwo nautical miles away from the Philippine occupied island ofParola (Northeast Cay). Pugad Island has several gunemplacements, gun shelters, civilian buildings, militarybarracks, parabolic disc antennas, concrete bunkers, a lighthouse, a football field, a helipad, and many light posts. In April2009, the Philippine Air Force sighted a supply ship in the
  • 80. vicinity of Pugad Island with newly installed light posts,polarized dipole array antenna, and a broadband facility.Pugad Island also has a well-maintained lagoon suitable fortourists. The surrounding waters of Pugad Island are also goodfor scuba diving and other water-based sports. Figure 7 showsthe present status of Pugad Island.Figure 7. Pugad Island or Southwest Cay (Vietnam)Source: Philippine Air Force, 2009. Other facilities of Vietnam in at least 14 occupied reefsfollow a standard pattern of construction. South Reef, PentleyReef, Discovery Great Reef, Collins Reef, Pearson Reef,Lendao Reef, West Reef, Ladd Reef, Central London Reef,East Reef, Cornwallis Reef, Pigeon Reef, Allison Reef, andBarque Canada Reef have identical structures featuring agolden-painted three-storey concrete building with built-inlight house on top, gun emplacements on both sides, T-typepier, solar panels, parabolic disc antennas, and garden plots.Figure 8 shows the Pentley Reef, which is identical withVietnamese structures in other reefs mentioned above.
  • 81. Figure 8. Pentley Reef (Vietnam)Source: 570th Composite Tactical Wing, Philippine Air Force, 2009.The Philippines The Philippines ranks second in the most number ofoccupied areas in the Spratlys. It is presently in control of ninefacilities that are considered parts of the Municipality ofKalayaan. Its largest occupied facility is the Pag-Asa Island(Thitu Island), the closest island to the Chinese occupied SubiReef. Pag-Asa Island has an already deteriorating run-waymaintained by the 570th Composite Tactical Wing of thePhilippine Air Force. It also has a naval detachment maintainedby the Naval Forces West of the Philippine Navy. Pag-Asaisland has municipal hall called Kalayaan Hall, a village hallcalled Barangay Pag-Asa, a police station maintained by thePhilippine National Police (PNP), sports facilities, observationtower, a commercial mobile phone station, and several civilianhouses and military barracks. Pag-Asa Island is the only occupied island of thePhilippines with civilian residents. At least five families residehere. This island is the main seat of the Municipality ofKalayaan established by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 1596issued by then President Ferdinand Marcos on 11 June 1978.
  • 82. Registered voters of Kalayaan Municipality cast their votes inPag-Asa Island during local and national elections. TheCommission on Elections (COMELEC) maintains an office inPag-Asa Island. The Mayor of Kalayaan Municipality hasreleased the Kalayaan Medium Term Development Plan, 2006-2010 to civilianize the management of KIG. Figure 9 shows thecurrent status of Pag-Asa Island.Figure 9. Pag-Asa Island (Philippines)Source: 570th Composite Tactical Wing , Philippine Air Force, 2009. The Philippines maintains makeshift naval detachmentfacilities in five other islands, one reef and one shoal. Itsfacilities in the Rizal Reef (Commodore Reef) are just woodenstructures and two small single-storey hexagonal concretebuildings (Figure 10) manned by four personnel of thePhilippine Navy. The Philippines also maintains a navaldetachment in Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal)established out of a dilapidated Landing Ship Tank called LST57 (Figure 11). Ayungin Shoal is the closest structure of thePhilippines to the controversial Mischief Reef occupied byChina.
  • 83. Figure 10. Structure in the Rizal Reef (Philippines)Source: 570th Composite Tactical Wing, Philippine Air Force, 2009.Figure 11. ST 57 Docked at the Ayungin Shoal(Philippines)Source: Naval Forces West, Philippine Navy, 2009.China Though China does not occupy any island in theSpratlys, it has solid facilities in seven reefs and shoals withconcrete helipads and military structures. Its much publicizedstructure is in the Mischief Reef which currently has a three-
  • 84. storey concrete building and five octagonal concrete structuresin the vicinity. The three-storey building has a basketballcourt, dipole and parabolic disc antenna, search lights, solarpanels and cross-slot type radar. In April 2009, the PhilippineAir Force sighted three naval vessels in the vicinity of MischiefReef: Fulin Class Survey Ship, Shijian Class Survey Ship andYannan Class Survey Ship. Three fishing vessels were alsosighted in the lagoon of Mischief Reef.Figure 12. Mischief Reef (China)Source: Western Command, Armed Forces of the Philippines 2009. China maintains a very impressive helipad facility inthe Johnson Reef. This reef has three-storey concrete buildingarmed with high powered machine guns and naval guns.Johnson Reef has identical structures in Chigua Reef andGaven Reef. In April 2009, the Philippine Air Forces sighted inJohnson Reef a Huainan Jiangwei Class Frigate with bodynumber 560 and it was believed to be armed by surface tosurface missile, surface to air missile, 100mm guns, 32mmguns, anti-submarine mortars, and Harbin Z9A DauphinHelicopter. Figure 13 shows Chinese structure in JohnsonReef.
  • 85. Figure 13. Johnson Reef (China) NEW THREE- SING LE- ST OREY N EW S TO REY MACHINE CONC RETE CO N CR ETE B UILD ING H ELIPAD GUNS BUIL DING P ARAPET PAR AB OL IC NAVAL PARABOLIC NA AL V S TAIR DIS C GUN DISC GUN AN TEN NA AN ENNAS T S OLA R P ANE LSource: Western Command, Armed Forces of the Philippines, 2009.Malaysia Malaysia, which presently occupies five areas in theSpratlys, has well-maintained facilities in the Swallow Reef.This has a diving center called “Layang-Layang.” SwallowReef has a resort-type hotel, swimming pool, windmills,communication antennas, control communication tower,civilian houses, military barracks and a helipad (Figure 14). Malaysia also has a very good facility in the ArdasierReef with an excellent helipad, sepak takraw court, gunemplacements and control tower (Figure 15). The facilities inthis Reef are almost identical with the Malaysian facilities inErica Reef, Mariveles Reef and Erica Shoal. Malaysia alsomaintains a symbolic obelisk marker in the Louisa Reef.
  • 86. Figure 14. Swallow Reef (Malaysia) L AYANG- LAY ANG DIVE “JERONG CLASS ” FAST AT TACK CRAFT -GUN (P CF ) PARABOLI C CENTE R DI SC S WI MMI NG COM BAT ANTE NNAS YACHTS POOL BOAT 90E RAMP BUNKERS NAV AL GUNS HELI PAD RAMP CONTROL COM MO THRE E- WIND MI LL T OWE R ST OREY CONCRETE BLDGSource: Western Command, Armed Forces of the Philippines 2009Figure 15. Ardasier Reef (Malaysia)Source: Western Command, Armed Forces of the Philippines 2009.
  • 87. Taiwan Taiwan only occupies one island called Itu-Aba,officially named Taiping Island. It is the largest and the mostheavily fortified among the occupied islands in the Spratlys. Ithas more than 50 buildings used for military and civilianpurposes. Itu-Aba has excellent helipad and a very long run-way inaugurated by then President Chen Shuibian in March2008. The island is protected by at least 500 troops armed withat least 20 coastal guns, 20 gun emplacements andcommunication towers. Like other occupied islands in theSpratlys, Itu-Aba has several parabolic disc antennas, radars,solar panels and concrete bunkers. The island also has firingrange and sports facilities. Aerial surveillance of the PhilippineAir force in April 2009 indicated that Itu-Aba has newly-constructed three-storey building, new access ramp, and a newfiring range. Figure 16 shows the current status of Taiwan’sfacilities in Itu-Aba.Figure 16. Itu-Aba (Taiwan)Source: Western Command, Armed Forces of the Philippines 2009.
  • 88. Brunei Since Brunei does no occupy structure in the Spratlys, itis the most passive and benign claimant in the South ChinaSea. However, the South China Sea forms a significant part inthe strategic agenda of Brunei because of its claims in itsExclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) that creates some occasionalirritants with Malaysia. As a party to the DOC, Bruneipromotes regional security cooperation and development in theSouth China Sea.Summary of Infrastructure Improvements andConstruction Activities From the foregoing, China, Malaysia, Taiwan andVietnam have invested their resources to erect solid and morestable structures in their occupied areas. Philippine structuresin its nine occupied territories remain modest and in adismalstage of rapid deterioration. However, the Philippines occupythe most number of Islands (Kota, Lawak, Likas, Pag-Asa,Parola and Patag) that are vegetated and suitable for humanhabitation, if properly developed. Though Philippine facilitiesin the Spratlys are modest, they may be considered, however,as the most environmentally friendly facilities in the SouthChina Sea. China does not occupy any island in the Spratlys. Itsoccupied reefs have solid and highly cemented structures.Majority of the areas occupied by Vietnam are also reefs. LikeChina, Vietnam’s occupied reefs have solid three-storeybuildings that are identical. Though Taiwan only occupies oneisland, it is, however, the largest island in the Spratlys.Malaysia does not occupy any island like China. All Malaysianoccupied reefs are located in an area of huge oil and natural gasdeposits (Figure 15). Moreover, its Swallow Reef calledLayang-Layang is the most developed reef in the Spratlys fortourism purposes. Brunei does not occupy any island or islet inthe Spratlys. Its claims to EEZ overlap with other claimantsincluding conflict with Malaysia over the Louisa Reef.
  • 89. Figure 17. Oil and Natural Gas Fields in the South ChinaSeaSource: “Oil and Gas Resources in the South China Sea” at,%20Oil%20and%20Gas%20Resources.jpgRenewed Tensions in the South China Sea: Challenges forPhilippines-China Security Relations and MaritimeSecurity in Asia The South China Sea Disputes pose a major challengein maritime security Asia, particularly China’s securityrelations with the Philippines and other claimants in ASEAN.Though China and ASEAN countries have initiated varioussteps to build confidence for the peaceful management of their
  • 90. differences on many maritime security issues in Southeast Asiaand the wider Asia Pacific region, the complex maritimeboundary conflicts in the South China Sea make thecooperation of China and Southeast Asia in the maritimedomain difficult to pursue because of the security dilemma.Though the DOC expressed the intention of China and ASEANto peacefully manage territorial disputes in the South ChinaSea, the exclusion of Taiwan from the DOC made itincomplete and ineffective to reduce tensions. When China signed the DOC in 2002 with otherclaimants in the South China Sea (except Taiwan), there wasinternational jubilation that China has shifted its paradigm ofrelationship in Southeast Asia from bilateralism tomultilateralism. Since 2008, however, when China declaredthe Vietnamese-claimed Sansha City as an integral part ofHainan Province, there seems to be a retrogression of China’sattitude on the South China Sea. The view is that China isbecoming more and more unilateral in its behavior in the SouthChina Sea. The USS Impeccable incident in March 2009aggravated the fear of its Asian neighbors that China wasincreasingly being more unilaterally assertive in advancing itsclaims in the disputed water. Security anxieties of SoutheastAsian claimants and stakeholders were heightened whenChina’s Ambassador to ASEAN, Xue Hanqin, opined that theSouth China Sea Disputes would not be on ASEAN agenda.205ASEAN claimants have been wanting to put this, particularlythe Spratly Disputes, in the ASEAN agenda to increase itsbargaining position with China. Vietnam wanted the Paracelsto be included in the ASEAN agenda but other ASEANclaimants wanted to focus on the issue of the Spratlys. There is no doubt that China’s attitude on the SouthChina Sea is a major factor affecting the behavior of otherclaimants. These are more often than not, reactions on China’smove in the South China Sea. When the issue of Yulin (Sanya)Submarine Base in Hainan Province became controversial inmid-2008, it raised alarm in Southeast Asia that the SanyaSubmarine Base had a Jin Class type ballistic missile(&: B 1 E 5 5 5 ! *(2 0 4 (& 2+ & 18 8 % % 8 8 8 S 8 & & ((8 & & & (& 28 8 (& 2 ((& (9:% %
  • 91. submarine that could enhance China’s sea-based deterrentcapability. As a reaction, Southeast Asian claimants became moreserious in their programs to upgrade their naval capabilities.Malaysia, for example, acquired in October 2009 a ScorpeneClass submarine to bolster its capability to guard its waters.Vietnam, on the other hand, ordered in 2007 two Gepard Classfrigates from Russia. Vietnam explored the procurement of sixKilo Class submarines from Russia to increase its maritimecapabilities. The Philippines, though financially challenged toacquire modern naval ships, revised in March 2009 its Rules ofEngagement in the South China Sea. Taiwan, for its part,upgraded its military facilities in Itu-Aba and in April 2009, anew firing range was sighted to have been completed. In other words, other claimants Sea were reacting onChina’s increasing assertiveness in the South China. Thus, ameliorating maritime security dilemma in theSouth China Sea and maritime security cooperation betweenChina and Southeast Asia will largely depend on how Chinawill behave on the issue. China’s behavior on the South ChinaSea will be a litmus test of China’s peaceful development as arising regional and global power.Conclusion Based on photographic evidences from various officialand non-official open sources, all claimants, with theexemption of Brunei, have been consolidating their civilian andmilitary presence in the Spratlys to assert their territorialclaims. Though there seems to be a de-escalation of conflict inthe South China Sea with the adoption of DOC in 2002,renewed security tensions occurred in the late 2007 indicatingthe limitations of DOC in managing territorial disputes andperpetuating the maritime security dilemma in one of thecontested waters in the Asia Pacific. Renewed securitytensions in the South China Sea greatly affect the currentdirection and emerging status of Philippines-China securityrelations. Beyond doubt, the territorial disputes in the SouthChina continue to play a destabilizing role in the security of the
  • 92. Asia Pacific region. 206 There is therefore a great need toincrease transparency and to enhance confidence-buildingamong claimants and other stakeholders in the disputes toeffectively overcome the security dilemma in the South ChinaSea and decisively create a cooperative management regimenecessary for regional peace and stability.207(&) - A # 7 # E 4 1 # # . 57 ! % B #@ ? % <3 *3& 4 (& 2+ & %(&; # * + 1 7. * > ? F 1 (& <+ & %
  • 93. CHAPTER SEVENPhilippine Solution to the South China Sea Problem: More Problems, Less Solutions in Philippines-China Security Relations?208Introduction To provide an overarching solution to the territorialproblem in the South China Sea, the Philippine governmentlaunched the Zone of Peace, Freedom, Friendship andCooperation (ZoPFFC). Planned to be discussed at the 19thSummit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations(ASEAN) and 6th East Asia Summit (EAS) in Bali, Indonesiaon 17-19 November 2011, it failed to get into the conferencetable because of China’s vehement rejection. Though Vietnam endorsed it, China argued that theSummits were not the proper forums to discuss the SouthChina Sea issue. 209 Even Malaysia said that the Philippineproposal would "only complicate the matter further". 210Cambodia, the next ASEAN Summit Chair and known to beclose with China, stressed that while it was not against the idea,"the problem is how to avoid duplication." 211 Though othermembers of ASEAN and EAS chose to be silent on the issueafter China made its strong point, the United States supportedthe Philippine initiative to promote regional stability andfreedom of navigation in the South China Sea.212 This chapter describes the current security situation inthe South China Sea focusing on major incidents occurring in(&< 0 7 # # 7 # 5 1- # ! D 4 0 - *0 -+ - % B # * +. . , (< (2 - 4 (& (%(&2 %" % 5I G , 6 A> !E I *(& 7 4 (& + %( & E 5 5 ?5 # . 5 !E * : 7 4 (& + %( 4%( ( 5 E 1 = 6 ! *(& 7 4(& + %
  • 94. 2011 to the present. 213 It also presents the “Philippinesolution” to the South China Sea problem, examines the meritsof this solution, and describes the limitations of Philippineproposal. It concludes with a policy recommendation tomanage, if not to totally resolve, the current problem.Current Security Situation in the South China Sea The year 2011 saw the escalation of tensions in theSouth China Sea prompting Robert D. Kaplan to describe theSouth China Sea as “the future of conflict.” 214 Increasingassertiveness of claimants manifested through resolutediplomacy, naval capability development, and increasedunilateral patrols and surveillance ship activities in disputedwaters was the main source of increased security tensions. Ifsecurity tensions continue, the South China Sea will be “ripefor rivalry.”215 Resolute Diplomacy in the Spratlys. All claimantshave become more resolute in their foreign policy positions inthe South China Sea. They claim that the South China Sea ispart of their sovereignty guaranteed by international laws.Claimants use all possible diplomatic means to assert theseclaims. Clash of sovereignties makes the resolution ofconflicts very difficult.216 It is even argued that these disputes( 3 - A # (&6 . ? . # 1 # E !5 3) *E 4 (& &+ 7 # E 1 ?*@ E 1 " - 7 4 (& 2+ 5 & % % . 7 ! * # . 7 5@ D 4 0 - *0 -+ ? " ) ; -4 (& + %( 9 4 E% L - # # !-* 4 8 4 (& + 0 %( : # 7 ! 45 F% - 4 M # 7 1 # . 5 M $ % < %3*@ 223829+ % : 33%( ) % # 7 ! *3& "(& + % 5 18 % 8 % 85 % AJ T;& 3(9U 4 4 T(&%&
  • 95. will not be resolved in the foreseeable future if sovereigntyissues will be continuously raised.217 Using various diplomatic channels, China stronglyreiterated its “indisputable sovereignty” of all the waters andfeatures. In its latest Defense White Paper released in March2011, China renewed its commitment to defend its “vastterritories and territorial seas.”218 Taiwan has identical sovereignty claim with China. InAugust 2011, the Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairsreleased an official statement asserting that their claim in theSouth China Sea is non-negotiable. Taiwan re-affirmed that allfeatures in the South China Sea “without a doubt fall under thesovereignty of the government of the Republic of China(Taiwan).”219 The Philippines asserted its sovereignty claim when thePhilippine Mission to the United Nations submitted a NoteVerbale on 5 April 2011 restating its claim to sovereignty overthe Kalayaan Island Group (KIG). President Benigno SimeonAquino III ordered in June 2011 the naming of “WestPhilippine Sea” (WPS) to refer to its claimed waters in theSpratlys, particularly around the KIG. The Philippines hostedthe Manila Conference on the South China Sea on 5-6 July2011 in an attempt to internationalize the South China SeaDisputes. In Vietnam, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung re-affirmed on 9 June 2011 its “incontestable sovereignty” over inthe South China Sea. He indicated, “We are ready to sacrificeeverything to protect our homeland, our sea, and our islandsovereignty.”220 To raise Vietnam’s international profile on theissue, the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam organized in Hanoion 26 April 2011 the Second National Conference on South( ; . 1 7 ! *(2 4 (& + %( < # 0# # # G E# (& & *3 .(& + %( 2 . # . #- 5# # # 4 #* + ! *(3 5 (& + 18 8 #% % 7 8 % 4F - 8 &% AJ T & (U T& & & &&&& ):% &((& $ G F 5 - E ! E5 *2 " (& + %
  • 96. China Sea with the title “The Sovereignty Disputes in theSouth China Sea: History, Geopolitics and International Law”. Malaysia’s claim to sovereignty in the Spratly is basedon the continental reef principle outlined by UNCLOS. Duringthe ASEAN Bali Summit in November 2011, the MalaysianMinister of Foreign Affairs reiterated the need to implementthe Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South ChinaSea (DOC) and to eventually adopt the regional Code ofConduct in the South China Sea (COC). Brunei does not occupy any feature in the Spratlys.However, in January 2011, the Sultanate of Brunei re-assertedits position that the Louisa Reef being claimed by Malaysia ispart of Brunei’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Naval Capability Development. All claimants in theSouth China Sea strongly uphold the peaceful resolution ofdisputes in the South China Sea. They are also developing andenhancing their naval capabilities to assert their respectiveclaims. Among the claimants, China’s naval capabilitydevelopment is the most controversial and much talked about.In August 2011, its first aircraft carrier, Varyag, started its seatrial and navigated the waters near the disputed South ChinaSea. It also started in 2011 the construction of its indigenousaircraft carrier to be finished in 2015. 221 The People’sLiberation Army (PLA) Navy deployed in 2011 some of its 60new HOUBEI-class (Type 022) wave-piercing catamaran hullmissile patrol boats in its coastal waters near the South ChinaSea. 222 The PLA Navy also expanded in 2011 its force ofnuclear-powered attack submarines (SSN). Its two second-generation SHANG-class (Type 093) SSNs started itsoperations in 2011 and it has been reported that as many as fivethird-generation Type 095 SSNs will be added in the comingyears.223 In Vietnam, the Defense Ministry confirmed in August2011 that the country would get its six Kilo Class submarines(( 0# # # #E # . E7 77 G 4 # (& 15 E#5 D 5 # - > (& & *@ & E 1E #E # (& + %((( 4 % % 9%((3 4%
  • 97. from Russia “within six years.” 224 On 7 December 2011, theRosoboronexport and the Zelenodolsk Gorky Plant finished theshipping of Vietnam’s first two Gepard Class corvettes andhave just signed a contract for additional two units.225 Unlikethe first two corvettes, which are armed with surface attackweapons, the additional two corvettes will concentrate on anti-submarine warfare.226 It also received on 5 March 2011 its FirstGepard class frigate from Russia, naming it the Dinh TienHoang, in honor of the first Vietnamese emperor. In June 2011, the Philippines and the U.S. navies heldtheir 11-day Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Train(CARAT) in the Sulu Sea, a water less than 100 nautical milesaway from the South China Sea. On 17 August 2011, thePhilippine Navy (PN) received the second-hand HamiltonClass Cutter (named BRP Gregorio del Pilar) from the UnitedStates. The PN announced that it planned to acquire eight moreof this kind “within five years” to patrol its vast maritimewaters.227 President Aquino III even announced on 23 August2011 his dream of acquiring a submarine.228 In October 2011,the Philippine Marine Corps and the U.S. Marine Corps heldtheir Amphibious Landing Exercise (Phiblex) in the watersWest of Palawan, a maritime area close to the South China Sea. The Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) announced inSeptember 2011 the deployment of its Scorpene Classsubmarines in Sabah, an island very close to the Spratlys.229The RMN also held its annual Operation Sea Training Exercise((9 $ = 4- )> 1 . !E# *9 5 (& + 18 % # 8 % 8 8(& & 98 - <& E & & 9& 38 98 <& 3& $= 4- ) > . %((: $ G ? ! E# E * E 4 (& + 18 % # 8 % 8 $ L 4& :32)8(() 4%((; 4 A, 07 -7 > !E# *( " (& + 18 # % 7 4 % 8 8 4 A 7 #7 ;::3399 %((< 5 A 4 # 71 5- F !*(9 5 (& +%((2 . G 4 7 4$ ? ! 18 %2 4% 8 A 8 % 8 7 8 9& ()
  • 98. (OSTEX) on 15 July 2011 in the East Malaysian portion of theSouth China Sea, close to the disputed Spratly Islands.230 Meanwhile, Taiwan announced in October 2011 itswillingness to deploy missiles in Itu Aba Island to assert itssovereignty in the South China Sea. The Taiwan Navy hasfour Kidd class destroyers, eight Oliver Hazard Perry classfrigates, eight Knox class frigates, six La Fayette class frigates,two Zwaardvis class submarines and two older Tench classsubmarines.231 Finally, Brunei, though the most benign and low profileamong the claimants, also joined the region in navaldevelopment. In January 2011, the Royal Brunei Navy (RBN)received two new Darussalam class Offshore Patrol Vessels(OPVs) from Germany. 232 In November 2011, the RBNcommissioned a new fast interceptor boat (FIB 25-012) calledKDB Mustaed.233 The RBN also has in its Muara Naval Basefour Itjihad Class corvettes, two Serasa Class AmphibiousWarfare Craft (LCM), three Bendeharu Class patrol boats,personnel launchers and patrol boats among others.234 Increased Unilateral Patrols and Surveillance ShipActivities in the South China Sea. In an attempt to protecttheir territorial waters and assert their sovereignty in theirclaimed features in the South China Sea, claimants increasedtheir maritime patrols and enhanced their surveillance shipactivities in the disputed area in 2011. These maritime patrolsand surveillance ship activities led to some serious events thatraised security tensions in the South China Sea. One major event was the 26 May 2011 Cable CuttingIncident involving three Chinese surveillance ships andVietnamese state-owned Binh Minh 02 seismic survey ship.(3& . , 5 E ! " GE # @ ? * :"(& + %(3 - ?$ F ? 7 # 1 != # * ( . (& + 18 8 % 8 A 8 % 8 2& 7 4 #(3( @ E. # ! - 4 *< " (& + 18 8 %# 4% 8 8 # # 8 ():39( 8(33 LE # L E B * . + % . 7 E ! 18 8 % 7 % 8 B 8 7 4 8(39 4%
  • 99. Reports said that the China Maritime Surveillance Ship 84,escorted by two other ships, cut a cable towing seismicmonitoring equipment belonging to Binh Minh 02, which atthat time was conducting drilling and seismic survey activitiesin an oil-rich area called Block 48. The Chinese governmentargued that the three Chinese ships were just conducting their“maritime law enforcement activities” in their “jurisdictionalarea” where Vietnam ship was “illegally operating.”235 But theVietnamese government protested that the Binh Minh 02 wasoperating in Vietnam’s continental shelf and was not a disputedarea. Another Cable Cutting Incident occurred on 9 June2011 involving Chinese fishing vessel Number 62226 andPetroVietnam’s Viking 2 seismic survey ship. The VietnamMinistry of Foreign Affairs narrated: At 6 a.m. on 9th June 2011, when the Viking 2 vessel, chartered by PetroVietnam (PVN), was conducting seismic explosion survey at lot 136/03: 6o47,5’ North – 109o17,5’ East in the continental shelf of Vietnam, the fishing boats from China No. 62226 supported by two Chinese fishing enforcement vessels No. 311 and 303 traveled the Viking vessel at the front and then turned direction and accelerated. Despite the warning flare of the Vietnamese side, the fishing boat No. 62226 intentionally ran into the exploration cable of the Viking 2 vessel and the specialized cable- cutting device of the fishing boat No. 62226 got trapped into the cable net of the Viking 2 vessel, making the Viking 2 vessel not operate normally.236 The Chinese government explained that the cablecutting took place when Vietnamese ships chased Chinesefishing boats in the waters near the Vanguard Bank (Wan An).While moving away, the Chinese fishing boat No. 62226(3: $ 07 0# # 0 A ! $ *3&. (& + 18 8 7 % % 8(& 8 :8 8 & 3&7 7 ## A 8 %(3) 5 4 # $G $ ! G5 0 *2" (& + 18 %I %78 8 I 8 8 ;(8 <38 ) 8 )38 :& ;:8 )3)8 # % A E
  • 100. reached the cable of Viking 2. In order to escape Vietnam’s hotpursuit, the Chinese fishermen cut the cable. According toChinese Foreign Ministry, “The Vietnamese ship put the livesand safety of the Chinese fishermen in serious danger.”237 Aside from Vietnam-China cable cutting incidents inthe South China Sea, the Philippines and China also got intoseveral incidents in 2011 that raised the security tensions in theSpratlys. These were the following: • 25 February 2011. The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) reported that the Chinese Jianhu V Class missile frigate Number 560 fired three shots at three Filipino fishing vessels (Jaime DLS, Mama Lydia DLS and Maricris 12) operating the waters near the Quirino (Jackson) Atoll. The Atoll is only 140 nautical miles west of Palawan Island. But the Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines denied the firing incidents.238 • 2 March 2011: Two Chinese maritime patrol vessels (Number 71 and Number 75) threatened to ram MV Veritas Voyager, an energy research vessel of Forum Energy commissioned by the Philippine government. The research vessel was conducting a seismic survey in the Reed Bank, just 85 nautical miles north of Palawan Island. The MV Veritas Voyager called for help prompting the AFP to send two units of OV10 jets to the Reed Bank to look into the incident. But the Chinese government said that Patrol Vessels 71 and 75 were just doing their jobs.239 • 6 May 2011. The AFP reported a sighting of a Chinese maritime research vessel in Abad Santos (Bombay) Shoal. This shoal, which surrounds a lagoon, is still unoccupied but is under the control of the Philippines. Though the Chinese government denied the incident, it stressed that there was nothing wrong for Chinese(3; - A # 4 5%5 7 5 !" # 5 5# $ # 3& 4 ( *(& + % ;; &9%(3< " # - # "? !$ - *(" (& + 18 # % 8 87 (& 8 )8 (8 & & 2:3:8 %(32 - A # ? 1 # ? ! #$ 4 < *) . (& +%
  • 101. vessels to navigate in Chinese territorial waters. • 19 May 2011: Two unidentified fighter jets, alleged to be Chinese, are sighted near Palawan Island. The AFP reported that these two fighter jets, believed to be MIG- 29, harassed an Air Force OV-10 “Bronco” while patrolling the Philippines territory in Palawan. 240 The Chinese Embassy in Manila denied the incident. • 21 May 2011. The AFP reported another sighting of Chinese Maritime Patrol Vessel 75 navigating near Southern Bank together with Salvage Research Ship 707. • 24 May 2011: While Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie was conducting his “goodwill” visit to the Philippines on May 21-25 to “improve” Philippines- China relations, the Philippine military discovered in the same period some Chinese ships unloading construction materials near the unoccupied, but still Philippine controlled, Amy Douglas Bank.241 Based on the report of the Philippine military, China has erected an undetermined number of posts, and placed a buoy near the breaker of the Amy Douglas Bank. The AFP reported that Filipino fishermen saw a Chinese Marine Surveillance Vessel aided by ships of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy laying steel posts and a buoy in the Iroquois Reef Amy Douglas Bank, 100 nautical miles off Palawan. The AFP considered the presence of PLA Navy ships in the waters of Amy Douglas Bank as an incursion. The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) brought this incident to the attention of the Chinese Embassy in Manila. The Chinese Embassy denied any incursion of Chinese ships and argued that the ship sighted was just a Chinese Marine Research Vessel “conducting normal maritime research activities in the South China Sea.”242(9& 5 04 E , #5 - 4 -" ! . * 2 . (& +%(9 - # 5 E ? % 5. # # . ? J! 4 ? *( " (& + 18 8 7% 4 ?? % 8(& 8 )8 (8 & & # # ? 8(9( @ ! *3 " (& + %
  • 102. • 6 June 2011. The Naval Forces West of the Philippine Navy based in Palawan, reported that its naval troops dismantled a foreign marker, suspected to be Chinese, that was erected in the Boxall Reef, 105 nautical miles from mainland Palawan and only 20 nautical miles from Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal). 243 The Chinese Embassy in Manila denied Chinese ownership of the marker. China asserted that the Boxall Reef belonged to China arguing that the reef was very close to Mischief Reef. • 18 October 2011. The Philippine Navy Patrol Ship 74 collided with a Chinese fishing vessel that was towing 25 smaller boats in the contested Spratlys waters near the Reed Bank. The Philippine Navy said that the collision was an “accident” and “not a hostile act.” China justified Chinese fishing activities near the Reed Bank and claimed that the actions of the Philippines had harmed the “lawful right and interests of fishermen.”244 • 11-12 December 2011. The AFP reported the sightings of two Chinese vessels and a navy ship intruding the waters of Escoda (Sabina) Shoal, 70 nautical miles off Palawan. The DFA conveyed its “serious concerns” to the Chinese embassy in Manila. The Chinese embassy replied that it saw nothing wrong with the passage of three Chinese vessels and insisted that the Escoda Shoal “is within China’s territorial waters.”245Philippine Solution to the Spratly Problem Amidst rising security tensions in the South China Sea(SCS) or WPS, the Philippine government proposed theZoPFFC. It recommended the adoption of a regionalmechanism to separate disputed and non-disputed areas in theSCS pursuant to applicable international laws, particularly the(93 E D4 D 7 E - . ? ! E I * : " (& + %(99 5 A 5- 6 #D 4 ! *(<0 4 (& + %(9: 1 = ! E I * &" (& (+ %
  • 103. United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas(UNCLOS). The Philippine government further explained the ideaof ZoPFFC in its official paper entitled, “Philippine Paper onASEAN-CHINA Zone of Peace, Freedom, Friendship andCooperation (ZoPFF/C) in the WPS/SCS”. This paperidentified what the Philippine government calls as “10 ways toZoPFFC,” to wit: 1. Not the whole of the WPS (SCS) is disputed; 2. The area of dispute in the WPS (SCS) is specific,determinable and measurable; 3. The area of dispute can be determined and measured byclarifying the nature of, and distinction between “territorialdisputes” and “maritime claims” in the WPS (SCS); 4. The nature of and distinction between “territorial disputes”and “maritime claims” in the WPS (SCS) can be clarified by:first, recognizing the distinction between geological features(i.e. islands, rocks, low-tide elevations) and waters (includingcontinental shelf); and second, by applying the rules governingeach of these elements in accordance with the United NationsConvention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 5. The dispute in the WPS (SCS) is principally on therelevant features (i.e., islands, rocks, and low-tide elevations).If ever there is a dispute on the water, this is basically causedby the dispute on the features. Under the principle of “la terredomine la mer”, or “the land dominates the sea,” he who ownsthe land also owns the sea around it. Therefore, if the owner ofthe land is disputed, then the sea around it could also beassumed disputed; 6. However, the extent of adjacent waters projected from theisland is limited, finite, determinable, definite, and measurableunder UNCLOS (1.e., Article 121, Regime of Islands); 7. Once the extent of adjacent waters is determined andmeasured in accordance with international law, specificallyUNCLOS, then the extent of dispute both on the relevantfeatures [“territorial dispute”] and maritime zones [“maritimeclaims dispute”] generated from the said features, can alreadybe determined; 8. Once the extent or limit of the disputed area (relevantfeatures + adjacent waters) is determined; the same can be
  • 104. segregated from the rest of the non-disputed waters of the WPS(SCS); 9. The disputed area (relevant features + adjacent waters) canbe segregated from non-disputed waters (and continental shelf)of WPS (SCS) by enclaving the said disputed area. Enclavingwill literally operationalize the “shelving of territorial disputes”and pave the way for effective and meaningful cooperationamong the claimant countries in the WPS (SCS). 10. Therefore, joint cooperation in the Enclave (as JointCooperation Area) could be conducted among the claimantcountries. Outside of the Enclave, the littoral states in thesemi—enclosed sea can also engage in appropriate cooperativeactivities under Part IX of UNCLOS, while exercising theirsovereign rights over these bodies of waters under Articles 3,4,55, 57, and 76 of UNCLOS.246 11.Figure 18. Joint Cooperation Area Since not the whole of the WPS/SCS is disputed, the(9) 5 5 , 5 C # - - *C --8 + @ *@ + 8 * + 18 4 % 8 % 8 J TU T U T # U T U4 UI T T 1 A S D " 18 H H 1 8 4 %78 4 8 S 83)9 D # # # VD V # V V# V# V V V*D # + T ? # U 8
  • 105. Philippine government recommended the separation ofdisputed and non-disputed areas to manage the conflict in theSCS. Non-disputed areas are waters and continental shelves,which are “beyond the disputed relevant features.”247 In non-disputed areas, claimants can develop them unilaterally basedon the principle of sovereign rights in accordance with theapplication of EEZ, continental shelf, and other maritime zonesprovided for by UNCLOS. Disputed areas are the Spratlys and the Paracels. ThePhilippine government explained that “disputed relevantfeatures (and their adjacent waters) could be segregated fromthe rest of the waters of the SCS by enclaving the said features.The adjacent waters of the relevant features could bedetermined by applying Article 121 of UNCLOS.” 248 Topromote cooperation and avoid conflict in the disputed areas,the Philippine government recommends the pursuance of jointdevelopment by converting all disputed territorial features as“enclaves” and declare these “enclaves” as “Joint CooperationAreas” (JCA) that could be demilitarized. In the JCA, the Philippine government said that thefollowing joint cooperative activities can be pursued: 1) Jointdevelopment. 2) Marine scientific research; 3) Protection of themarine environment; 4) Safety of navigation andcommunication at sea; 5) Search and rescue operation; 6)Humane treatment of all persons in danger or distress at sea; 7)Fight against transnational crimes.249 President Benigno Simeon Aquino III summarized thewisdom of ZoPFFC in the following words: “What is ours isours, and with what is disputed, we can work towards jointcooperation.” DFA Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario expoundedthe idea of ZoPFFC by saying, “There is a need to segregatethe disputed area and echoed President Aquino’s statementfrom non-disputed area and echoed. What is ours and is ours,and what is disputed can be shared.”250(9; 4%(9< 4%(92 4%(:& 4%
  • 106. More Problems in the South China Sea It is unfortunate that the ZoPFFC as the Philippinesolution to the South China Sea Dispute is problematic forother claimants. Though Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnamexpressed its support to the Philippine proposal, someclaimants and ASEAN members rejected it. China expressed strong opposition to ZoPFFC as itchallenged “China’s 9-dash line claim.” The Philippine paperon ZoPFFC underscored that the 9-dash line claim of China “isbereft of any legal basis under international law.”251 PhilippineForeign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario describedChina’s 9-dash line claim as “the core of the problem” thatmust be “subjected to rules-based regime of UNCLOS.” 252Though the Philippine government argued that the ZoPFFCproposal was consistent with the rules based framework ofmanaging international disputes, China vehemently opposedManila’s proposal because Beijing is not ready to bring theSouth China Sea Disputes before international adjudication.253 In fact, China hijacked the agenda of the 2011ASEAN/EAS Summits in Bali when it warned participants notto discuss ZoPFFC and the South China Sea Dispute. Thus,participants failed to discuss ZoPFFC at the 2011 BaliSummits. Secretary del Rosario admitted, “ZoPFFC was notbrought up at all. We’re the only one who brought up theZoPFFC. All the interventions were on maritime security in theWest Philippine Sea.”254 The Philippine government plannedto raise ZoPFFC again in the next ASEAN/EAS Summits.Without the concurrence of China, it is utterly difficult for thePhilippines to move the ZoPFFC proposal forward. Malaysia expressed its “fundamental concerns” onZoPFFC. Dato’ Sri Anifah Aman, Malaysia’s Minister of(: 4%(:( 5 4 -% 0 @ ! *E 7 5 5 -. G . 7 4 : (& + 18 % 7 8 8 % (& 8 8 :8 ## # # 7 4 : (& 8(:3 5 % % 7 E 1 5I @5 5 @ J *: " (& (+ %(:9 %" % 5I G , 6 A> !E I *(& 7 4 (& +%
  • 107. Foreign Affairs, issued an official statement arguing that thePhilippine concept of disputed and non-disputed areas in theSouth China Sea could be a source of disputes, particularly inthe context of the Sabah Problem.255 Minister Aman raised thefollowing points against ZoPFFC: 1. Malaysia has fundamental concerns with the Philippine’s proposal on the Zone of Peace, Freedom, Friendship and Cooperation (ZOPFF/C); 2. The Philippines’ proposal is premised on the need to segregate the disputed area from the non-disputed area. The issue is, what may be considered as being disputed by one party, is considered as an established fact by another. Therein lies the source of the dispute to begin with. This is especially true in the case of the Philippines’s claim over Sabah, whose integrity and sovereignty is recognized by the international community as being part of Malaysia. For this reason, this proposal cannot be used as a basis to address the South China Sea issue. To Malaysia, this is non-negotiable; 3. Malaysia emphasized that ASEAN’s attention should instead be directed towards the effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and the eventual realization of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC). We should not be distracted from this effort; and, 4. Malaysia strongly felt that it is not opportune for ASEAN to embark on such an ambitious endeavor, which is a non- starter and will be counter-productive to our genuine effort to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.256 Cambodia joined China and Malaysia in rejecting theZoPFFC. When media asked the Cambodian Foreign Ministeron his take on the issue, he reportedly laughed and raised the(:: E G 5 # 5 C # - -*C0 --8 + * ! 5 5 . . *5..+ : 7 4 (& +% 18 % 7 8 4 8? % 8 8 JS S T & S 5 S & > )U S S #T& S S T U U S S T7 U S S S T(U S S S T U S S S T:U S & S 5 S &> )S S TW(- S 4 W(-7 S U S & S 5 S &> )S T 4 ## # #7 U S & S 5 S &> )S T U TW(- 4W(- W(-(:) 4%
  • 108. issue of duplication. Though the Cambodia Foreign Ministerexplained that his government was not totally against ZoPFFC,he, however, stressed to avoid the problem of duplication.257 Cambodia is the next Chair of ASEAN. With thereputation of Cambodia of being a “China’s ally in ASEAN,”putting ZoPFFC into the official ASEAN agenda will be agreat challenge to the Philippine government. ASEANSecretary General Surin Pitsuwan lamented that ZOPFFC wasalready put in the diplomatic back burner and that it "remainsto be discussed further.” 258 In diplomatic parlance, it meansthat the ZoPFFC has already been "shelved."259Summary and Conclusion The year 2011 saw the escalation of security tensions inthe South China Sea. Increasing assertiveness of claimantsthrough resolute diplomacy, naval capability development, andincreased unilateral patrols and surveillance ship activities indisputed waters contributed immensely to the current securitysituation. The Philippine government proposed ZoPFFC as thesolution to the South China Sea problem. But the Philippineproposal raised more problems than solutions to the conflict.Though it had the backing of some ASEAN members inpursuing ZoPFFC, major claimants, particularly China andMalaysia, opposed the idea. The Philippine government evenfailed to bring ZoPFFC in the official agenda of the 2011ASEAN/EAS Summits in Bali. Despite this set-back, there is a need to point out thatthe ZoPFFC has its merits in managing territorial disputes inthe South China Sea, particularly the general idea of jointdevelopment that China and other claimants support. Thoughthe Philippine government “failed to gain support at the lastASEAN Summit in Bali,” the ZoPFFC could still “be aneffective way to address the core problems” in the South China(:; 0% 5 ? 5 ! . *(( 7 4 (& + 18 8 % % % 8 7 ((8 %(:< 4%(:2 4%
  • 109. Sea. 260 ZoPFFC failed to get enough support from ASEANand EAS participants because the devil was in the details. There is no doubt that the problems in the South ChinaSea are complex and complicated. But there is no shortage ofidea to solve these problems. 261 What is needed is a strongpolitical will for all parties to “compromise and abide by allagreements” and to acknowledge regional interests as integralpart of national interests.262()& - . 4 5 ? 5 5 G E0 ! "? *;-4 (& (+ %() E# # - 7 E5 #$ * # . # 1 #. : ) " (& + % 2%()( 4%
  • 110. CHAPTER EIGHT Standoff in the Scarborough Shoal: A Difficult Challenge in Philippines-China Security Relations263 Excerpts of Banlaoi’s article in Newsweek, June 15, 2011 This chapter provides scholarly insights on the on-going standoff with China in Panatag Shoal or Bajo deMasinloc, which the international community callsScarborough Shoal. The concept of West Philippine Sea and bills onPhilippine Maritime Zones and Archipelagic Sea Lanes are notonly domestic issues but they are international concerns withprofound national and regional security implications. Unlessthere is a broad understanding of the international politicssurrounding these issues and concerns, using a new name andpassing domestic laws can just be moot and academic, if not anexercise in futility. The Philippine government has adopted the WestPhilippine Sea (WPS) to refer to the body of waters that isdeemed part of Philippine territory, which is located West ofour Archipelago. Its main intention in using WPS is to assertterritorial claim in disputed maritime zones. The use of theSouth China Sea (SCS), the government asserts, has subliminalmessage that this body of waters belongs to China; thus there isa need to change the name to convey the stand of thePhilippines. Vietnam calls it East Sea (ES). 264 The use of WPS, SCS or ES is just a geographicdescription. While it has psychological and propaganda valuefor states using these names, they are just labels devoid of anylegal meaning that can be used for any form of ownership.()3 7 4 # - , ( - # = % - (; 5 (& (%()9 - ? % @ 1@ G J 4 ?* : " (& + ! %
  • 111. The use of the Indian Ocean does not mean that this waterbelongs to India. The passage of Philippine Archipelagic Baselines Lawin 2009 and the proposed Maritime Zones bills and theArchipelagic Sea Lanes bills are part of the Philippinegovernment’s legal offensives to assert territorial claims in thisdisputed body of waters in accordance with international law.With limited military capability to assert this claim, the mostlogical and pragmatic option for the country is to go legal.Even if, for the sake argument, there is sufficient militarycapability to defend this claim, going to war to settle this kindof territorial disputes is counter-productive for national andregional security. Laws passed domestically only have domesticapplications for internal law enforcement purposes. They haveinternational applications only if they are consistent withinternational laws and are recognized by the internationalcommunity. If domestic laws of one sovereign state compete withand even being challenged by domestic laws of other sovereignstates, particularly if it pertains to territorial ownership, thenthere is an inter-state problem. In this case, the problem can besolved either through bilateral negotiations (multilateral if itinvolves more than two states), international arbitration, or, asa last resort, war. The last option is definitely out of Philippine agenda. Ifthe Philippines is attacked militarily because of territorialdisputes with our neighbors, then it can invoke the MutualDefense Treaty (MDT) with the United States. This is an uglyscenario that everyone does not want to happen. Even if theMDT is invoked, retaliation from the U.S. is not automatic, asit needs to pass through the constitutional processes of the U.S.Congress. The first option apparently puts the Philippines in avery disadvantaged position if the negotiation is donebilaterally with China because of the asymmetry of theirrelations. This is a pragmatic, albeit difficult, option. ThePhilippines wants to multilateralize the problem through theAssociation of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The grim
  • 112. reality is that ASEAN does not have a common position on theSouth China Sea problem, particularly in the context ofregional power dynamics and intra-ASEAN territorial disputes. The Philippine government regards the second optionas the best - international arbitration. This can only occur if theother party is willing to put the issue to this process. Sinceinternational arbitration is a creature of a “contract” thatinvolves all parties concerned, doing it unilaterally is agargantuan mission. As a sovereign state, the country is entitled to pass anydomestic laws pertaining to territorial waters, maritime zonesand archipelagic sea lanes that are deemed necessary topromote national interests. China passed its own domestic lawin 1992 declaring almost 80 percent of the South China Sea aspart of its territorial waters and contiguous zones. The Philippines already passed its ArchipelagicBaselines Law in 2009 and is not prevented to pass into law theMaritime Zones and Archipelagic Sea Lanes bills. It is now itscall, however, if it has the means and wherewithal to enforceits laws and make violators accountable to these. What begs the question at than in the light of thestandoff in the Scarborough Shoal is why Chinese and othernationalities continue to fish in what is called Philippinewaters? Other nationalities are not fishing but poaching in itswaters. It has laws to make poachers accountable. However, these waters have been traditional fishinggrounds of many people of various nationalities for centuries.Thus, preventing them to fish on the bases of its domestic lawsis really a tall order – it requires adequate resources and astrong political will. The situation is complicated by the fact that othernations claim that the waters that belong to the Philippines alsobelong to them. That is why there are disputes in the WPS,which we are to be settled through international laws. To understand the complex territorial disputes in theSouth China Sea, particularly in the context of the on-goingstandoff between China and the Philippines in the ScarboroughShoal (and how to deal with the situation and peacefully
  • 113. resolve the standoff), there is a need to understand therelevance of fishing in the maritime territorial disputes. Fishermen of various national origins are attracted tothe South China Sea because of its very rich marine resources.A recent study showed that fish stocks in the South China Sea“are a multi-billion-dollar industry,” which accounted for “asmuch as one-tenth of the global catch.”265 Since fish proteinrepresents 22 percent of the average Asian dietary needs (muchhigher to the global average of 16 percent), fish demands fromlittoral states in the South China Sea grow.266 China, particularly, has already demonstrated itsincreased demands for fish.267 The increased demand for fish isdirectly proportional to the increased income of Chinesecitizens resulting from its phenomenal economic growth. The World Bank (WB) declared China in 2011 as theworld’s second largest economy, next to the United States. Ifits current growth of at least 8 percent annually continues, theInternational Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasted that it could bethe world’s largest economy by 2016. 268 Thus, its currentfishing behavior in the South China Sea is dictated by itsgrowing demand for these resources resulting from theincreased purchasing power of its consumers. It is also increasing its naval and maritime lawenforcement capabilities to protect its “maritime defense”(haifang) and “maritime rights and interests” (haiyang quanyior haiquan) in the South China Sea and other waters in Asia(such as Senkaku/Diaoyu Island in the East China Sea inconflict with Japan and the Yellow Sea in conflict with SouthKorea). China regards these waters as part its territory. The People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has flirtedwith the idea of a new type of naval campaign that encourages(): ? .% % # 1 6 *@ E% %1 # 5 "(& (+ % ::%()) 4 % % 2&% (); ? .% G= 4 H # #6 ! * 4# 6% % 7 () " (& (+ %()< .- 1 @ 4 F 4 (& )! *(: 5 (& + 18 % 8 ? % 8 84 8 # 4(& )%
  • 114. “attacks against coral islands and reefs” (dui shanhu daojiaojingong zhanyi). Naval experts say that this campaign scenario“appears to be tailored to the South China Sea disputes whereChina might consider attacking islands and reefs held by otherclaimants.”269 It is not year clear, however, whether this ideahas been adopted as an official military campaign strategy ofthe PLA. The idea has crossed their minds. Chinese fishermen in the South China and theScarborough Shoal do more than fishing. Observers say thatfishing activities “are civilian instruments of power that helpstake out legal claims and establish national maritimerights.” 270 Thus, the Chinese government protects theirfishermen to promote its concept of maritime rights and stakeout its legal maritime claims. Its current behavior in theScarborough Shoal is part of this overall power projection.According to a report: Chinese officials are deliberately using civilian maritime law-enforcement vessels, rather than the People’s Liberation Army Navy—to enforce China’s maritime rights and fishing laws. Whereas China resorted to using warships over Mischief Reef territorial disputes in the 1990s, the recent assertiveness of China in these waters has been prosecuted largely with civilian instruments of power.271 Aside from fish, China is also convinced to assert itsposition in the South China Sea because of its increasing andincessant demand for oil. It is estimated that the potential oil resources of theSouth China Sea is 213 Bbbl. There are conflicting claims,however, about the size of natural gas and oil deposits in thearea. According to US Geological Survey, about 60 to 70()2 % > . 5 ED > % 71 A 4 77 *@ E 1 # # . 5## # # E# 6 7 (& + % :&%(;& G= 4 H # # 6 ! %(%(; 4 % % 3%
  • 115. percent of the hydrocarbon resources in the South China Seaare gas.272 A research conducted by Chinese experts revealed thatthat the total gas resources of the South China Sea can reach900 Tcf (Total Cubic Feet) with an annual production of 1.8Tcf.273 Chinese geologists have recently detected super-thickoil and gas-rich strata in the South China Sea and alsoidentified 38 offshore oil and gas basins in the area.274 Due to reported oil and gas resources, all claimants inthe South China Sea have existing gas and oil explorationactivities in the area.275 China has an exploration project in Vanguard Bank,which is proximate to Indonesia’s Natuna Gas Field. Vietnamhas projects Dai Hung and Blue Dragon Fields that are adjacentto disputed territories in the South China Sea. The Philippineshas natural gas power project in Malampaya, which is close todisputed Spratly group of islands. The Philippines also has oildevelopment plans in the Reed Bank that is being contested byChina. Malaysia, which controls disputed reefs located in oilrich portion of the South China Sea, has begun its natural gasproduction from Angsi Field that is expected to produce 65,000b/d of oil and 450 MMscfd of gas. Brunei has explorationprojects in Louisa Reef that is also being claimed by Malaysia.To avoid conflicts and create a relationship of amity, Bruneiand Malaysia decided to enter into joint oil exploration projectsin Louisa Reef. Brunei also explored the possibility of joint oilexploration with China considering that the latter buys anaverage of 20,000 barrels of oil daily from Brunei.276(;( = 4 0 = ! 18 % 4 8 % 8 8 8 8 % N 9"(& O%(;3 4%(;9 , # = - 0 # ! * ;" (& + 18 % #% 8 8 8 ## 4? 4 % N ; -4 (& O%(;: # , 4 E7 ! 18 8# % % 4% 8 8 % N < -4 (& O%(;) = 0 " A ! *3-4 (& + %
  • 116. China has, in fact, recently announced its plan to stepup oil and natural gas exploration in the South China Sea byspending an average of 500 million Yuan ($75 million) a yearin the next two decades to meet the country’s growingimported energy needs, which in 2010 already reached 55 percent of total domestic consumption.277 It is forecasted that 60percent of China’s oil consumption will be imported by 2020making gas and oil exploration in the South China Seanecessary to reduce dependence on oil imports. Fishy and oily issues currently propel the assertivebehavior of China in the South China Sea. Now, how can othercountries respond to a more assertive China? Passing bills on maritime zones and archipelagic sealanes will not alter China’s assertive behavior. The belief that passing bills will strengthen territorialclaims will not solve the problems in the WPS becauseoverlapping claims remain. While laws can be executed by thePhilippines in its “non-disputed territories,” executing them in“disputed territories” will be a huge challenge. Even if theselaws are consistent with existing international laws, nointernational law is self-executing. International law is not like domestic law. It “differsdramatically in enforcement and adjudication. On enforcement,there is no executive to make a state accept a court decision.International politics is a self-help system. In the classic waysof international law, enforcement was sometimes provided bythe great powers.”278 In other words, international politics is still in the stateof anarchy where there is no supreme authority above thesovereign state. Conflicts among states are settled eitherthrough war or diplomacy. In the Philippine’s conflict withChina on the WSP and Scarborough Shoal, its only option is topursue the diplomatic track and settle this peacefully. The pursuit of diplomacy with China can only work ifthe Philippines refrains from using words that hurt feelings(;; A 0 = A ! *(: "(& + 18 8 % 8 4 4 38 8 8(:;9(% N ;-4 (& O%(;< " % 6 # 15, ; * F (& <+ & %
  • 117. such as “bully”, “aggressive”, “provocateur,” and the like. Itcan stand firm in its claims by using more constructive wordsbecause conflicts and cooperation in international politics arealso products of social constructions. Friends and foes in international politics are what statesmake of it. If China is called a bully, then it will be a bully. IfChina is called a responsible power, it will be pressured to actthat way. This is not naiveté. This is handling the situationconstructively. Dragging the U.S. into the Philippines’ bilateralconflicts with China can only complicate matters. ThePhilippines can enlarge its voice in ASEAN if ASEAN cancome out with a common position. It can use the international community to get thesympathy of other states. It can invoke international laws toprove its case before the community of nations. At the end of the day, the reality of internationalpolitics still prevails. The reality dictates that in presentcircumstances, the only pragmatic option is to patientlyconvince China that peaceful cooperation in the South ChinaSea is more beneficial than prolonging the standoff anddragging the Philippines and other claimants into costlyconflict. For example, China can be encouraged to enter intojoint maritime patrols of the disputed waters in order topromote sustainable fishing practices in the South China Sea. China may have the military and economic powers toassert its claims in the Spratlys. The Philippines can use thepower of ideas to tame China and find just and lasting solutionto the South China Sea problem. The on-going dispute with China on WPS is just oneaspect of its relations with China. Beyond these disputes, itsrelation with China is productive. China is the Philippines’second largest source of official development assistance, thirdlargest trading partner and fourth largest source of foreigntourists. The years 2012 and 2013 have been declared as yearsof friendly exchanges between the Philippines and China.Disputes in the WPS and the standoff in the Scarborough Shoalshould not destroy this friendship.
  • 118. CHAPTER NINE The Philippines and U.S. Pivot to Asia: Implications for Philippines-China Security Relations279 As an American ally, the Philippines has always beensupportive of United States’ military presence in Asia. Thus, itis no longer surprising to see it warmly welcoming the U.S.pivot strategy to Asia. The U.S.-Philippines security alliance has been thecornerstone of Philippine defense and security policy. 280Though this alliance was rendered dormant after thetermination of Military Bases Agreement (MBA) in 1991, theaftermath of the September 11, 2001 (9/11) terrorist attacksreinvigorated it. The strategy of U.S. pivot to Asia makes thestrengthening of this alliance even more significant. To demonstrate the two countries’ firm commitment totheir alliance, the U.S. and the Philippines held their 2-plus-2meeting in Washington DC on 30 April 2012. This meetingallowed the two countries’ foreign affairs and defense officialsto exchange strategic perspectives on various security issues ofmutual interest. The 2-plus-2 meeting is the first of its kind in thehistory of special relations between the U.S. and thePhilippines. The meeting aims to intensify the habit ofconsultation and cooperation on defense, security, political,economic and foreign policies between the two allies.Moreover, the meeting intends to solidify their existing allianceto respond effectively to current and emerging securitychallenges in the Asia Pacific. In the 2-plus-2 meeting, both reaffirmed the importanceof security alliance and decided to level it up to meet the many(;2 # # 5 * 5 + D 4 # E# 5* E5+ 4 # * + E , ?? ( . (& (%(<& - # 6% % 7 . ? %. % % 7 #1 04 5 G 4 ! 5 *@ E 1 7 (< . (& (+ %
  • 119. security challenges facing both countries. The Philippines,particularly, highlighted the need for the U.S. to continuouslyassist the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in building itscapacity for territorial defense, counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism, and nation building. It meant to ask the U.S. moreaccess to Excess Defense Articles (EDA), greater priority toInternational Military Education and Training (IMET), andmore grants from Foreign Military Financing (FMF). ThePhilippines cannot be a useful ally in U.S. pivot to Asiastrategy without adequate military capacity. The Philippines’ support to U.S. Pivot to Asia strategywas officially articulated on 16 November 2011 during the 60thAnniversary of the U.S-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty(MDT). Signed in 1951, the MDT continues to serve as thesolid legal foundation of U.S.-Philippines security alliance.During this momentous event, both countries issued the ManilaDeclaration on U.S.-Philippines alliance where they stressedthe continuing relevance of their security relations “for peace,security, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.”281 Readingbetween the lines, the Manila Declaration strongly endorsesU.S. pivot to Asia and the Pacific. In the Manila Declaration of 2011, the U.S. and thePhilippines reaffirmed their shared obligations for mutualdefense and stressed the need “to maintain a robust, balanced,and responsive security partnership including cooperating toenhance the defense, interdiction, and apprehensioncapabilities” of the Philippine military. 282 More importantly,both countries declared the following important points: Their determination to continue “their bilateral cooperation in addressing broader regional and global challenges, including maritime security and threats to security such as climate change, nuclear proliferation, terrorism, and transnational crime.” They also expressed their commitment to continue their “close and effective cooperation to counter al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups in the Southern Philippines”;(< . E 6% % 5 ) 7 4 (& %(<( 4%
  • 120. The sharing of common interest in “maintaining freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful commerce, and transit of people across the seas and subscribe to a rules- based approach in resolving competing claims in maritime areas through peaceful, collaborative, multilateral, and diplomatic processes within the framework of international law;” and, Their commitment to advance their “nations’ mutual security interests through continuing a high-level strategic dialogue.” They also committed to support “increasing regional cooperation in the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting-Plus (ADMM+), the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and the East Asia Summit (EAS).” In other words, the Manila Declaration of 2011 not onlyrenewed U.S.-Philippines security alliance. It also stressed theneed to raise the level of their alliance to a higher plane. TheManila Declaration identified broader goals in order to makethis alliance more relevant and more mutually beneficial. Toimplement the Manila Declaration, the two allies instituted theBilateral Strategic Dialogues to provide opportunities for bothcountries “to consult and exchange views on a broad range ofbilateral, regional, and global issues” reflecting their “commonvalues and interests.”283 The U.S. and the Philippines, therefore, commit to sticktogether as important allies in 21st century. The recentlyconcluded 2-plus-2 meeting reiterated that point. There is no doubt that this alliance plays an important rolein U.S. pivot to Asia. Through the MDT of 1951, the VisitingForces Agreement (VFA) of 1999 and the Mutual LogisticSupport Agreement (MLSA) of 2007, American militarypresence in the Philippines is justified. Both countries evenagreed to enhance American military presence in the country toaddress current threats and prevent emerging securitychallenges to escalate into actual military problems.(<3 - E . 7 4 (& % E @ E " (& (% #( ( 5 (& ( 4 # %
  • 121. To indicate continuing American military presence in thePhilippines, at least 600 American troops belonging to the JointSpecial Operations Task Force Philippines (JSOTFP) arecurrently deployed in Mindanao on rotational basis.Established in 2002 as part of the Operation EnduringFreedom-Philippines (OEF-P), the JSOTFP has been providinghumanitarian, technical and logistical assistance and training tothe AFP in the fight against terrorism and other threats to thecountry’s internal security. Since 2000, American and Filipinotroops have been conducting combined and joint militaryexercises in Philippine territories. On 27 April 2012, the U.S. and the Philippines finishedtheir 12-day Balikatan exercises. This was the 28th BalikatanExercise conducted by both countries. It is the largest militaryexercise involving at least 6,000 American and Filipino troops.Compared with past Balikatan exercises, this year’s event wasa milestone as it involved other American allies from AustraliaJapan, and South Korea as well as partners from Indonesia andMalaysia. The U.S. is indeed pivoting to Asia. The Philippines playsa significant part in it. For the Philippines, it is not difficult to embraceAmerican pivot strategy having been a long-standing securityally. Armed forces of both countries fought together during theSecond World War (1945), the Korean War (1950-1953),Vietnam War (1964-973), the Persian Gulf War (1991), and theGlobal War on Terror (2001-2011). They fought common warsthrough the years to defend democracy, promote rule of lawand pursue free trade. Their shared history and common values in liberaldemocracy, rule of law and free market make the Philippinesan integral part of US pivot strategy towards Asia. Thebilateral security relationship between the U.S. and thePhilippines has, in fact, “gained prominence as a key link in theevolving U.S. foreign policy ‘pivot’ or ‘rebalancing’ towardAsia.”284 U.S. Alliance with the Philippines – weaved togetherwith Australia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand –(<9 F 4 # 6% % *@ E 1 7 :5 (& (+ %
  • 122. makes the U.S. presence really felt in Asia and the Pacific.President Barrack Obama’s strategy of U.S. pivot to Asia is,therefore, just a reassertion of American presence andleadership in this very dynamic region. As an American ally, the Philippines finds U.S. pivot toAsia strategy as essential to ameliorate its growing securitydilemma. The ongoing standoff between China and thePhilippines in the Scarborough Shoal makes the U.S. pivot toAsia all the more significant for the Philippines. ThePhilippines expects the U.S. to provide assistance in preventingChina to behave “aggressively” and in convincing China toaccept rules-based approach in managing maritime andterritorial disputes in the South China Sea. U.S. Pivot to Asia strategy is also important to thePhilippines in focusing more attention to the domestic needs ofits allies The Philippines needs more U.S. assistance inbuilding national capacity to deal with internal security threatsemanating from remaining members of the Abu Sayyaf Group(ASG), operatives of Jemaah Islamiya (JI) hiding in Mindanao,lawless personalities associated with the Moro IslamicLiberation Front (MILF), rouge members of the Moro NationalLiberation Front (MNLF), Muslim-convert cohorts of theRajah Solaiman Islamic Movement (RSIM), and combatants ofthe New People’s Army (NPA). The Philippines expects the U.S. to provide assistancein building national capacity to address non-traditional securitythreats such as natural disasters, environmental degradation,maritime piracy and smuggling of arms, drugs and humans.But more importantly, the Philippines expects the U.S. to assistthe country on how to respond to a more assertive China,particularly in the context of the renewed security tensions inthe South China Sea. The Philippines expects the U.S. to help the countrybuild its national capacity to meet the objectives of PhilippineNational Security Policy covering the presidential term 2011-2016. The U.S. is now rebalancing its global posture andpresence after fulfilling its commitment in Iraq andAfghanistan. In its objective to strengthen its presence in theAsia Pacific by increasing “the institutional weight,” “power
  • 123. projection”, and “deterrence capacity” of U.S. armed forces inthe region, the country is willing to serve as a key strategichub, if not spoke, for this purpose. The 2-plus-2 meeting ofboth countries’ defense and foreign affairs officials inWashington DC this week further operationalized how thePhilippines can fit into the U.S. pivot strategy toward Asia. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stressed in anarticle in Foreign Policy that “the future of politics will bedecided in Asia, not Afghanistan or Iraq, and the United Stateswill be right at the centre of the action.” The invigorated U.S.-Philippine alliance can presently facilitate the U.S to pivoteffectively to Asia as it prepares to meet this future. In conclusion, there is a need to highlight the results ofthe 2-plus-2 meeting in Washington DC on 30 April 2012. Inthe Joint Statement signed after the meeting, both countriesrecognize that “The U.S.-Philippines alliance is stronger thanever, reflecting the deep and abiding ties linking our twonations and forged through a history of shared sacrifice andcommon purpose.”285 They also acknowledge that “Americansand Filipinos are inextricably bound by common values andshared aspirations, including a commitment to democracy andthe rule of law, building a robust economic partnership, anddeepening people-to-people ties.” Having said this, the U.S.and the Philippines stress that their alliance “remains an anchorfor peace, stability, and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.”(<: " # 6 . E *3&5 (& (+ %
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  • 136. Banlaoi, Rommel C. “Philippine-China Defense Relations:Sustaining Friendship, Enhancing Cooperation?.” Paperpresented at the Centre of Asian Studies, University of HongKong, 19 April 2004.Baviera, Aileen S.P. “Maritime Security in Southeast Asia andthe South China Sea: A View from the Philippines.” Paperpresented at the International Conference organized by theInstitute for Strategic and Development Studies at the ManilaHotel on 17-18 October 1997.Beeson, Mark. “Resisting hegemony: The sources and limitsof anti-Americanism in Southeast Asia”. Paper for theworkshop on Globalization, Conflict and Political Regimes inEast and Southeast Asia, Fremantle, WA, 15-16 August, 2003.Carlos, Clarita R. “Ecological Connectivity in the South ChinaSea.” National Defense College of the Philippines, unpublishedpaper, 2001.Cronin, Patrick M. “China’s Global Quest for Resources andImplications for the United States.” Testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission on 26January 2012.Fortes, Miguel D. “The Role of Marine Environmental Sciencein the Western Philippine Seas,” University of the PhilippinesMarine Science Institute. Unpublished, 1999.Garcia, Thomas J. Garci. The Potential Role of the Philippinesin U.S. Naval Forward Presence.” Unpublished Thesis: NavalPostgraduate School, December 2001.Guingona, Teofisto T. Jr. “Philippines-China-United StatesRelations: Foreign Policy Issues and Economic Implications.”Lecture delivered during the 4th FVR-RPDEV Lecture Serieson 3 July 2002.Johnson, Alastair Ian. “Trends in Theory and Method in theStudy of Chinese Foreign Policy.” Paper prepared for the
  • 137. conference on China Studies on the occasion of the 50thAnniversary of the Fairbank Center for East Asian Research,December 2005.Khemakorn, Pakjuta “Sustainable Management of PelagicFisheries in the South China Sea Region”. Manuscript,November 2006.Khong Yuen Foong. “Coping with Strategic Uncertainty: TheRole of Institutions and Soft Balancing in Southeast Asia’sPost-Cold War Strategy.” Paper prepared for the IDSS-HarvardWorkshop on Southeast Asian International Relations andSecurity, March 15, 2004.Lim, Benito. “The Political Economy of the Philippines-ChinaRelations”. Paper prepared for the Conference on China’sEconomic Growth and Its Implications to the ASEAN held atAteneo de Manila University, 16 November 1999.Miller, Benjamin. "Hard Power and Soft Power: the Effects of9/11 on US Hegemony in the International System." Paperpresented at the annual meeting of the American PoliticalScience Association, Marriott, Loews Philadelphia, and thePennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia, PA, 2008.Paltiel, Jeremy. “The Rise of China as a Challenge toInternational Relations Theory.” Paper presented at theinternational conference of the International StudiesAssociation, Honolulu, Hawai, March 2005.Romulo, Alberto G. “Philippine Foreign Policy Realities.”Speech delivered at the Manila Overseas Press ClubDiplomatic Night at Philippine Plaza Hotel on 17 September2004.Romulo, Alberto G. “Let us Work for Peace.” InauguralSpeech as Foreign Affairs Secretary delivered on 23 August2004.
  • 138. Rosario, Albert F. del. “On West Philippine Sea.”Delivered atthe ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Bali, Indonesia onNovember 15, 2011.Schmidt, Johannes Dragsbaek. “China’s "soft power" re-emergence in Southeast Asia.” Paper presented at theinaugural international workshop ‘China World’ at AsiaResearch Centre, Copenhagen Business School, on 10-11March 2006.Schofield, Clive “Sea of Plenty: The Oil Factor in the SouthChina Sea and Prospects for Joint Development.” Paperprepared for the Panel on the South China Sea in honour ofProfessor Michael Leifer at the Third International Conferenceof the European Association of Southeast Asian Studies,London, 6-8 September 2001.Schmidt, Johannes Dragsbaek China’s "Soft Power" Re-emergence in Southeast Asia. Paper presented at the inauguralinternational workshop ‘China World’ at Asia Research Centre,Copenhagen Business School on 10-11 March 2006.Sukma, Rizal. “US-Southeast Asia Relations After the Crisis:The Security Dimension.” Background Paper Prepared for TheAsia Foundation’s Workshop on America’s Role in AsiaBangkok, 22-24 March 2000.Internet SourcesJisi, Wang. “International Relations Studies in China Today:Achievements, Trends and Conditions” (A Report to the FordFoundation) at, Alastair I. “The State of International RelationsResearch in China” (2002)
  • 139. Wang, Yiwei . “The End of International Relations Theory andthe Rise of Chinese School” at, Qin. “Why is there no Chinese International RelationsTheory?”at
  • 140. ANNEX I ESSAYS ON PHILIPPINES-CHINA SECURITY RELATIONS AND THE SOUTH CHINA SEA DISPUTESA. West Philippine Sea: What’s in a Name? ∗ To assert its sovereignty over some body of waters inthe South China Sea, the Philippine government started to use“West Philippine Sea” to describe a maritime area that isdeemed to be an integral part of Philippine maritime territory. Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda announced,“All the other nations call the South China Sea based on howthey perceive it. Vietnam calls it East Sea so it is but natural forus to call it West Philippine Sea.” The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is the maingovernment agency championing the use of West PhilippineSea in its official communication. The Department of NationalDefense (DND) has, in fact, been practically using this term formany years already through the Palawan-based WesternCommand (Wescom) of the Armed Forces of the Philippines(AFP) in charge of protecting the Kalayaan Group of Islands(KIG). In weather reporting, the Department of Science andTechnology (DOST) has instructed the PhilippineAtmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical ServicesAdministration (PAGASA) to officially use West PhilippineSea in the monitoring, forecasting and warning of tropicalsituation in the area. What’s the coverage of West Philippine Sea? What’s init for the Philippines? What’s in a name? The whole of South China Sea covers around 3.56million square kilometers of waters consisting of more than250 disputed land features in the form of islands, islets, reefs,shoals, atolls and rock formations. While China claims the whole South China Sea area∗ 4 4 ?* : " (& +
  • 141. (with Taiwan having identical claims), other claimants such asBrunei, Malaysia, the Philippine and Vietnam only claim partof it. The part being claimed by the Philippines is only the KIGthat belongs to what the Philippine government calls WestPhilippine Sea Unclear laws. Existing Philippine laws, however,remain unclear on the maritime area covered by the so-calledWest Philippine Sea. The 1987 Philippine Constitution provides a generalstatement on the extent of Philippine territories. But thespecific coverage of Philippine territories has not been clearlydefined by existing laws.Republic Act 9522, otherwise known as the PhilippineArchipelagic Baselines Law, which was passed in March 2009,specifies the extent of Philippine baselines to make itcompliant to the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Lawof the Sea (UNCLOS). The enactment of RA 9522 is considered essential forthe Philippines to establish its maritime boundaries vis a visneighboring coastal states. From these baselines, thePhilippines can draw its maritime zones under UNCLOS suchas the archipelagic or internal water of 572,307 squarekilometers, 12 nautical miles (NM) of territorial sea locallyknown as municipal waters, 24 NM of contiguous zones, 200NM of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and 200 NM ofjuridical continental shelf. However, RA 9522 is controversial, highly contestedand viewed by others as unconstitutional for havingdeliberately excluded the KIG in the archipelagic baseline. RA 9522 regards the KIG as part of the “regime ofislands” of the Philippines, which requires a separate legalcover. Moreover, RA 9522 has not yet fully defined Philippinemaritime zones including the coverage of West Philippine Sea,which China regards as part of its “internal waters.” So, which part of the Philippine maritime zone is theWest Philippine Sea then? Is it part Philippine territorial sea,contiguous zone, or EEZ? If the KIG is a “regime of islands” that is entitled tohave its maritime zones, will the West Philippine Sea cover the
  • 142. maritime zones of KIG? To define the extent of Philippinemaritime zone, there are pending bills in the Philippine Senateand the House of Representatives called the “The PhilippineMaritime Zone” bills. There are two versions in the Senate: theSenate Bill 2737 and the Senate Bill 2723. There is only oneversion in the House called HB 4185. All these bills aim to specify the extent of Philippineinternal waters, territorial sea, contiguous zone, EEZ andcontinental shelf in accordance with UNCLOS. All these versions, however, have no specific provisionon the extent of West Philippine Sea. Moreover, all maritime zone bills in the PhilippineCongress are still being deliberated and have not been passedinto laws that can provide juridical meaning to West PhilippineSea. No basis. In short, the use of the term West PhilippineSea still has no basis under Philippine laws. It has yet to receive international recognition. EvenDeputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte candidlyadmits that the Office of the President (OP) has not issued anyofficial directive, to date, on the use of West Philippine Sea. While the use of West Philippine Sea expresses thesovereign prerogative of the Philippines to describe itsmaritime territory and symbolizes the strategic intention of thePhilippines to bolster its ownership of the KIG and itssurrounding waters, it is still utterly devoid of legal meaning. Unless a Philippine maritime zone law is passed thatcan describe the extent of West Philippine Sea pursuant toUNCLOS and applicable international laws, the term WestPhilippine Sea will remain an empty label that could notwithstand the harsh reality of international politics.B. West Philippine Sea: An American Lake? ∗ To demonstrate the United States’ commitment toPhilippine defense pursuant to the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty(MDT), the Philippines and the US have been conducting jointand combined military exercises in Philippine territories.∗ 4 *9 " (& +
  • 143. The 1999 Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) furtherjustified the holding of these exercises, particularly after thetermination in 1991 of the 1947 Military Bases Agreement(MBA). The joint naval exercises launched on 28 June 2011 bythe Philippines and US forces in Sulu and Palawan seas areconsidered part of routine military exercises between the twoarmed forces as security allies. The purposes of theseexercises are not only to increase the capabilities of the ArmedForce of the Philippines (AFP) for self-defense and to makethese capabilities interoperable with the American counterpartsbut also to make the alliance “alive and kicking” for regionalsecurity. However, holding the current exercises near thecontested West Philippine Sea is being interpreted in Beijing as“anti-China exercises.” It is viewed that the on-going PH-USnaval exercises near the West Philippine Sea is a systematiceffort “to check and balance” China’s increased visibility in thedisputed water that is internationally referred to as the SouthChina Sea. For China, the South China Sea is part of its internallake. For the US, however, the South China Sea is aninternational water where all passing ships, commercial andmilitary, should have freedom of navigation. In fact, since the US replaced Great Britain with the riseof Pax Americana after the Second World War, Americannaval power dominated the Pacific Ocean and all its connectingwaters from the South China Sea to the Straits ofMalacca. During the cold war, these waters became practicallyan “American lake”. US presence in Subic Bay aimed toprotect this lake from rival powers. The end of the cold war, however, which coincidedwith the termination of the MBA, led to the withdrawal ofAmerican troops and facilities from Subic. The South ChinaSea, which was part of American lake in the Asia-Pacific, wasregrettably relegated into the backwater of American foreignand security policy in the post-cold war era. The power vacuum left by the US in Southeast Asiaencouraged China to fill-in by declaring the whole South China
  • 144. Sea as an “indisputable” part of its territorial integrity. The increased strategic significance of the South ChinaSea in the 21st century as a result of oil and natural gasdiscoveries in the area, not to mention its rich marinebiodiversity and efficient maritime superhighway, promptedthe US to return to Southeast Asia by strengthening itsalliances in the region. As an American ally, the Philippines provides USforces access to its land and water territories to conduct jointmilitary exercises and to implement defense capacity-buildingprojects. American troops are now seen not only in Sulu andPalawan but also in Zamboanga del Sur, Maguindanao, Tawi-Tawi, North Cotabato and Lanao del Sur. Some ordinary Filipino citizens are now asking forexplanations on the sudden increase of American troops in thePhilippines, particularly in Minsupala (Mindanao, Sulo andPalawan) areas? Are American troops here to counter-terrorism inMindanao or to counter-China in West Philippine Sea? Arethey in the Philippines to increase Philippine defense or tointensity Philippine dependence on the US? Answers to these questions are now subjects for publicdebate. But with the increasing access of American troops inPhilippine territories needing defense amidst the perceivedthreats associated with the ascendant China, is the Philippinesopening the gate for the US to re-make West Philippine Sea an“American lake?” That begs the question.C. PH’s Problematic Protest vs China Over Spratlys∗ On April 5, 2011, amid renewed security tensions in theSouth China Sea, the Permanent Mission of the Republic of thePhilippines to the United Nations lodged a formal protest to theUN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea tochallenge China’s position in this contested body of waters. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) responded on∗ 4 4 ?*(< 5 (& +
  • 145. April 14, and accused the Philippines of invading Chineseterritories in Nansha Island or what Manila calls as theKalayaan Island Group (KIG). China regards the whole South China Sea area asintegral part of its territory. This so-called territory iscontained in its “nine-dotted line” that covers practically allwaters that are considered part of the Exclusive EconomicZone (EEZ) of other claimants. China has been very vocal inasserting “undisputable” claim in the South China Sea andregards claims of Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines andVietnam as “invalid” and “illegal”. In fact, there were reportsof China declaring the South China Sea as part of its “coreinterest” on par with Taiwan and Tibet, a new statement thatgot the ire of the US, Japan, India and Australia. Taiwan also lays claim on the Itu-Aba Island. SinceSoutheast Asian countries uphold a One-China policy, Taiwanclaim is deemed part of the PRC claim In the protest letter, the Philippines raised three majorpoints. First, that it has sovereignty and jurisdiction of the KIGincluding all its geological features. It regards KIG asan “integral part of the Philippines.” Second, the Philippines strengthens its claim using theRoman principle of “dominium maris” and the internationallaw principle of “la terre domine la mer,” which means thatland dominates the sea. Under this principle, the Philippines argues that it isexercising sovereignty and jurisdiction over the waters aroundthe KIG or adjacent to each relevant geological features of theKalayaan Island, which is under the local government controlof the Municipality of Kalayaan. The Philippines contends thatthis position is provided for under the United NationsConvention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in which Chinais also a signatory. Third, the Philippines regards all relevant waters,seabed and subsoil in KIG as part of Philippine territory beinga coastal and archipelagic state. The Philippines states that theArchipelagic Doctrine is recognized and protected by pertinentprovisions of UNCLOS. Apparent from these points is a new diplomatic
  • 146. offensive of the Philippines in the South China Sea. Withpractically no military muscle to assert its claim, thePhilippines has to resort to the convincing power of diplomacyto redeem its honor in the international community ofsovereign nations. Compared with China, which has deployed severalmodern patrol ships in the South China Sea and established anaval base in Hainan to house its nuclear-powered submarinesnot to mention its construction of its first air craft carrier, thePhilippines has no naval power to brag about. Most of its naval assets are World War II vintage whileits few newer assets are used not for territorial defense but forcounter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations. Thoughthe Philippine Navy has recently acquired from the US andHamilton-Class Cutter to be deployed in the KIG, the ship isvintage 1960s, which is no match to the newly acquiredScorpene Class submarines of Malaysia and the Geppard-Classfrigate of Vietnam. In fact, Vietnam already ordered six Kilo-Class submarines from Russia and developing Cam Ranh Bayas its new naval base. Brunei, the smallest country among theclaimants, has acquired several modern Offshore Patrol Vesselsfrom Germany to protect its waters. In order words, diplomacy is the only means left for thePhilippines to protect its claims in the KIF. But did the April 5protest earn for the Philippines a diplomatic advantage? The Philippines submitted the protest during the lowestmoment of Philippines-China diplomatic relations alreadymarred by several controversies: the August 2010 Manilahostage crisis, the execution of suspected Filipino drugtraffickers, the ZTE scandal and North-South Rail issue, amongothers. Submitting the protest during these rough times inbilateral relations is not prudent. It gives a wrong signal toChina about Philippine interests in bilateral relations. The protest was likewise submitted during thelaunching day of Philippines-American Balikatan Exercises2011. This opens a lot of speculations on the Americans’ rolein setting the directions of Philippines-China relations in theSouth China Sea. The US already declared that it has nationalsecurity interests in the South China Sea. Lastly, the world already knows the long-standing
  • 147. Philippine position on the KIG. This position is not onlyarticulated in domestic and international laws but is alreadydebated like a broken record in many academic journals andpolicy studies. While the April 5 protest strongly reaffirms our positionon the KIG, it aggravates our worsening ties with China, thefastest growing major power in the world. It was filed a monthbefore the proposed visit of President Aquino to Beijing, aplanned visit that is now on uncertain ground. There is a saying in international relations thatdiplomacy is the first line of defense. In the case of thePhilippines in the South China Sea disputes, diplomacy is ourmain line of defense. While the Philippines needs to pursue diplomaticoffensives to assert its claim in the KIG, proper timing isnecessary to accomplish not only the country’s short-termtactical goals but also its long-term strategic objectives.The Philippines, though a security ally of the US, has a long-term strategic interest in maintaining friendly and constructiverelations with China being a rapidly emerging super power. The submission of the Philippine protest on April 5 tothe UN during the lowest moment of Philippines-Chinarelations makes the improvement of Philippine diplomaticrelations with China not only difficult but also problematic.D. A Mischief Reef in the Making?∗ While Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie wasenjoying his “goodwill” visit to the Philippines on May 21-25to “improve” Philippines-China relations, the Philippinemilitary discovered in the same period some Chinese shipsunloading construction materials near the unoccupied, but stillPhilippine controlled, Amy Douglas Bank. Based on the report of the Philippine military, Chinaerected an undetermined number of posts, and placed a buoynear the breaker of the Amy Douglas Bank. To date, the Chinese government has not yet verifiedthe said incident. But it continues to claim sovereignty of all∗ 4 4 ?*( " (& +
  • 148. the islands, islets, reefs, shoals, banks and even rocks in theSouth China Sea. The Philippine government asserts that AmyDouglas Bank falls within its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin expresseddisappointment that the incident in the Amy Douglas Bankoccurred at the time of the official visit of his Chinesecounterpart. The visit aimed to repair Philippines-Chinabilateral ties that has been recently damaged by renewedsecurity tension in the South China Sea. In a press conference, Defense Secretary Gazminlamented, “Somehow I’m really affected because we haveshown them our hospitality and we were talking properly. Weagreed that all problems could be resolved. And yet whilewe’re talking, something was afoot elsewhere.” The Department of Foreign Affairs has already releasedan official statement expressing “its serious concerns overrecent actions of the People’s Republic of China in the WestPhilippine Sea (South China Sea) .” This is a landmarkstatement for having described that part of the sea as WestPhilippine Sea. The concept of West Philippine Sea, however,has yet to receive international recognition. The Amy Douglas Bank incident is just part of therenewed security tension in the South China Sea. The tensionstarted in 2008 when China declared the Vietnamese-claimedSansha City as an integral part of the Hainan Province. It wasalso during this year when the Yulin (Sanya) Submarine Baseof China was discovered in Hainan Province. Tensionsescalated in March 2009 when Chinese ships allegedlyharassed the USS Impeccable conducting surveillance activitiesin the Spratly. Since then, China has deployed several patrol ships inthe South China Sea to defend what it calls an integral part ofits “internal waters.” This claim is based on the Nine-DashLine Map that China submitted to the United Nations on May7, 2009. Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam have alreadysubmitted to the UN their protest to the Chinese claim. But with several Chinese ships patrolling the SouthChina Sea on rotation basis, China has already developed itsmuscle to be more assertive in “reclaiming” its “lost
  • 149. territories.” With its growing blue water capability andincreasing military power supported by sustained economicgrowth of at least 9 percent annually since 1989, China nowhas all the means to assert its foreign and security policy in theSouth China Sea. For China, the South China Sea is part of its internallake and an integral aspect of is “ancestoral property.” ButChina laments this property has been taken away from them atthe time of its weakness. Now that China has regained itsstrength as the traditional “Middle Kingdom” in Asia, it nowhas the wherewithal to be more decisive in its claim in theSouth China Sea. Last year, the South China Sea was declaredas part of China’s “core interests” at par with Taiwan andTibet. While there is no doubt that China is stronger now thanbefore, its current behavior in the South China Sea is a litmustest of China’s self-proclaimed policy of “peacefuldevelopment.” As an ascendant power, China is trying to convince theworld that its rise to global power status will be peaceful andbenign. As a rising power, China is telling the whole worldthat it is a “status quo power,” benign and peaceful andsatisfied with its current status. But its growing assertive behavior in the South ChinaSea is giving the world a message that China is becoming moreof a “revisionist power.” This concept states that major poweraspires for more power as it grows stronger. If China continues to display its growing assertivebehavior, its neighbors will view it not as a strong sign ofassertiveness but as an utter expression of aggressiveness.Thus, its claim for a benign status will put be in a very strongdoubt. The reported incident in the May Douglas Bank, ifproven accurate, is not only an assault against thePhilippines. It is also an assault against the Association ofSoutheast Asian Nations (ASEAN). China and ASEAN signedin 2002 a Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the SouthChina Sea (DOC). The DOC urges claimants not only tomanage their existing disputes peacefully but also to preventfuture disputes by not occupying additional features in the
  • 150. contested water. The delivery of construction materials near the MayDouglas Bank by Chinese ships at the same time whenChinese Defense Minister was visiting the Philippines haschallenged the sincerity of China as a reliable partner for“peace, freedom, friendship and cooperation” in the SouthChina Sea. The incident has created an impression that whileChina is talking “sweet” in its neighbors’ house, it is acting“bitter” at the backyard. If China wants to correct this impression, it has to makeits own people accountable for the Douglas Bank Incident as itwas a clear violation of the DOC. Otherwise, the DouglasBank Incident can be a Mischief Reef in the making. This is ascenario that can worsen the rising tension in the South ChinaSea, which can attract other major powers to become inevitablyinvolved.E. Anarchy in the South China Sea∗ To peacefully manage the complex territorial disputesin the South China Sea (SCS), Foreign Affairs Secretary AlbertF. Del Rosario urgently calls for the promotion of a “rules-based regime” that can transform SCS “from an area of disputeto a Zone of Peace, Freedom, Friendship, and Cooperation(ZoPFF/C).” This concept of a “rules-based regime” aims to upholdthe strict implementation of international law, which in thecontext of the SCS disputes, refers primarily to the UnitedNations Convention on the Law of the Sea(UNCLOS). Creation of this type of regime also necessitatesthe urgent adoption of a binding Code of Conduct (COC),which is considered to be the next logical step after theDeclaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea(DOC). In other words, the proposal of Del Rosario all boilsdown to the need to uphold the rule of law, rather than the useof force, to peacefully settle the territorial disputes in the SCS. While there is no doubt that the idea of a rule of law hasbecome a maxim in any civilized society where “no one is∗ 4 4 ?*; " (& +
  • 151. above the law,” its meaning varies among nations withdifferent political traditions. There is no precise definition of arule of law even in a mature democracy where conflicts aremanaged without the use of force. The application of a rule of law is all the moreproblematic when applied in inter-state politics where there isthe utter absence of a government that can enforce laws andpeacefully manage disputes among sovereign states in amanner found in domestic politics. In short, there is anarchy in international relations—agrim reality also found in the SCS. Anarchy in the SCS does not mean total chaos or sheerdisorder marred by violence, although that canhappen. Anarchy is a mirror of a type of order in internationalpolitics where there is no central or “sovereign” authorityabove sovereign states. Under international anarchy, the sovereign is the state,which is independent and autonomous pursuing its own selfishinterests.But how can we manage the SCS disputes in the condition ofinternational anarchy? The proposal of Del Rosario represents a school ofthought in international relations that sovereign states can, infact, cooperate in the condition of anarchy. Throughcooperation, sovereign states can prevent war among themdespite their existing differences. Cooperation promises peacedividends which sovereign states can benefit from. Called a “Regime Theory in International Relations,” itposits that sovereign states can establish the habit cooperationby creating a regime, which Stephen Krasner (an internationalrelations theorist) describes as “a set of explicit or implicitprinciples, norms, rules, and decision making proceduresaround which actor expectations converge in a given issue-area.” Regime creates a standard of behavior that facilitatesinter-state cooperation. Regime guarantees states to cooperateand co-exist peacefully in the condition of anarchy. Key to the application of a regime theory in peacefullymanaging the SCS dispute is the issue on whether theexpectations of all relevant players in the conflict are in factconverging. Disagreements of claimants on some important
  • 152. details of the proposed COC strongly indicate that there is stilla great divergence rather than convergence of expectationsamong parties to the conflict. While a regime theory provides a benign solution tointernational conflicts, which is found in the condition ofanarchy, it is advanced more seriously by states with limitedmilitary means to advance their national interests. States withgreater military wherewithal to advance their national interestswould hesitate to be bound by a “regime” if it would affect itsadvantageous position in the relative distribution of power ininternational politics. Regime does not have independent power oversovereign states, particularly those considered as major powers.Powerful states are motivated to be part of the regime if itwould serve their economic, political, and security interests.Major powers would opt out of the regime if it starts to limittheir powers and alter their status in international politics. In case of the SCS dispute, a rules-based regime willonly be viable if it will not be used against a major power—China, the only major power among the claimants in the SCS.If a proposed “rules-based regime” in the SCS has the intentionof “containing” China and “bind” China by the “rules of theweak,” China will enormously go against the creation of thatregime. But if that rules-based regime recognizes China’speaceful rise as a major power and acknowledges China’simportant role in maintaining peace and stability in the SCSwithout necessarily “constricting” its power ascendancy, Chinawill in fact the major champion of that regime. If truth be known, the issue of war and peace in theSCS largely depends on China’s current and future behavior.The promotion of a rules-based regime in the SCS must bepresented in a way that it will not be misconstrued as “anti-China” so that the problem anarchy in the SCS will provide theprospects for peace, stability and prosperity for all.
  • 153. F. Emerging Cold War in the Spratlys∗ In an official meeting with Philippine Foreign AffairsSecretary Albert Del Rosario on 23 June 2011, US Secretary ofState Hillary Clinton assured that the US is committed todefend the Philippines amidst rising security tensions in theSouth China Sea, which the Philippine government now callsas West Philippine Sea. To operationalize this commitment, Secretary Clintonstressed that the US would provide the Philippines affordableand reliable military equipment in order to enhance the externaldefense capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Philippines(AFP), particularly in defending its territories in WestPhilippines Sea. The AFP is now preparing a “shopping list” ofmilitary hardware it wants from the US. So far, these words of Secretary Clinton are the mostreassuring statements ever expressed by a top US official onthe state of Philippines-American security relations. Since 1951, the Philippines and the US have beenmilitary allies through the Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT). Thisplaced the Philippines on the side of the US in the cold waragainst the former Soviet Union. But their strong military relations became practicallymoribund with the termination in 1991 of the 1947 MilitaryBases Agreement (MBA). The termination of MBA coincidedwith end of the cold war between the US and the former SovietUnion. When the US withdrew its last remaining troops fromClark and Subic in 1992, their military relations reached itslowest moment leading to the rapid deterioration not only ofPhilippines-American alliance but also of Philippine militarycapabilities. China took advantage of this moment when it passed alaw in 1992 declaring the whole of South China Sea as part ofits internal waters. US reaction was ambiguous andunderscored that it would remain neutral on the Spratly issue. However, Chinese occupation of the Panganiban(Mischief) Reef in 1995 prompted the US and the Philippinesto fashion a new type of military relationship in order to∗ 4 *(9 " (& +
  • 154. respond to a China challenge in the Spratlys. In 1999, thePhilippine Senate ratified the Philippines-American VisitingForces Agreement (VFA) to justify the presence of Americantroops conducting joint and combined military exercises withthe AFP in Philippine territories. The VFA is said to haveprovided operational substance to the MDT, which serves asthe cornerstone of Philippines-American security alliance. Despite the signing of the VFA, the US maintained its“strategic ambiguities” on the Spratly issue and declared its“hands off” position on the maritime disputes in the SouthChina Sea. While the VFA renewed Philippines-American securityrelations, it failed to actually revive their military alliance. TheChina challenge in the Panganiban Reef at that time was notenough justification for US troops to become visibly involvedin Philippine security. Things changed in 2001 when the US used the VFA tojustify American presence in the Philippines as part of theglobal war on terrorism (GWOT). The GWOT reinvigorated the once dormantPhilippines-American alliance. The GWOT even led to thesigning of the Mutual Logistic Support Agreement (MLSA) in2002 and the establishment of US Joint Special OperationsTask Force Philippines (JSOTFP) Headquarters in ZamboangaCity thereafter. The threat of terrorism, therefore, encouragedthe Philippines and the US to work closely together. China’s growing assertiveness in the South China Sea isnow being viewed in the Philippines and the US not only as asecurity challenge, but more of a military threat. This is thecontext on why Secretary Clinton strongly expressed UScommitment to defend the Philippines amidst tensions in theSpratlys. Secretary Clinton’s statement indicates the emergingcold war between the US and China in the Spratlys. A cold war is a situation where at least two majorpowers are involved in a security tension and subdued militaryhostility short of an actual military battle. Conflicts areexpressed through proxy wars, military coalitions, propaganda,espionage, and even trade competitions. This situation is nowemerging between the US and China in the contested Spratly
  • 155. group of islands. Indications of an emerging cold war in the Spratlystarted to manifest in March 2009 when five Chinese ships“harassed” USS Impeccable, a US Navy minesweeper. TheChinese government claimed that the US ship was intruding inChina’s internal water, which was regarded by the USgovernment as an international water where all ships can enjoyfree or innocent passage. The emerging cold war between the US and China onthe Spratly issue is also manifested in the exchange of wordsbetween the two powers in various international forums likethe Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the ShangrilaDialogue, and various meetings of the Association of SoutheastAsian Nations (ASEAN) involving the two powers. The US exclaims that the US has a national securityinterest in the South China Sea. China, on the other hand,asserts that the South China Sea forms part of its core interestsat par with Taiwan and Tibet. China, which says that it remainscommitted to the peaceful resolution of territorial conflicts,wants the US out of the South China Sea Disputes. But the USreiterates its willingness to get involved in the peacefulmanagement of disputes in the Spratly while assuring its alliesin the region of US military assistance. The Philippines is now inevitably involved in anemerging cold war between the US and China in theSpratly. As an American ally, the Philippines is apparently onthe side of the US in this emerging situation. But will the Philippine government allows itself to getinvolved in a proxy war between the US and China when thecold war in the Spratly reaches its peak? This situation is something that all sovereign stateshave to prevent to happen.G. Risk of War in the Spratlys∗ While the Philippines and the US were launching theirnaval exercises on June 28, 2011 in the waters of Sulu andPalawan, which are very close to the disputed Spratly Islands∗ 4 4 ?*(2 " (& +
  • 156. in the West Philippine Sea, an Australian-based think-tank, theLowy Institute, warned of a growing risk of war in the EastChina and South China Seas. In its report entitled Crisis and Confidence: MajorPowers and Maritime Security in Indo-Pacific Asia authoredby Rory Medcalf, Raoul Heinrichs and Justin Jones, the LowyInstitute asserts that China’s growing military and risingresource needs from the disputed waters of East China andSouth China Seas have developed into a “risk-taking behavior”of Beijing. This behavior makes the country in friction not onlywith the claimants in the Spratlys, namely Brunei, Malaysia,the Philippines and Vietnam but also with other major powers,particularly with the United States, Japan and India. The report underscores, “China’s frictions with theUnited States, Japan and India are likely to persist andintensify. As the number and tempo of incidents increases, sodoes the likelihood that an episode will escalate to armedconfrontation, diplomatic crisis or possibly even conflict.” The report also exclaims, “The sea lanes of Indo-PacificAsia are becoming more crowded, contested and vulnerable toarmed strife. Naval and air forces are being strengthened amidshifting balances of economic and strategic weight. Thechanging deterrence and warfighting strategies of China, theUnited States and Japan involve expanded maritime patrollingand intrusive surveillance, bringing an uncertain mix ofstabilising and destabilising effects.” Coinciding with the release of this report is the pressstatement delivered a few days earlier by Chinese ForeignMinistry spokesperson Hong Lei who says that China hasa foreign policy that “sticks to the path of peacefuldevelopment, upholds the defense policy that is defensive innature and commits itself to actively developing friendship andcooperation with countries around the world, especiallyneighboring countries.” However, China’s neighbors in Southeast Asia,particularly the claimants in the Spratlys, strongly doubt thesincerity of Beijing to implement its policy of peacefuldevelopment considering the unprecedented rise of its militarypower that is believed to have already acquired a blue water
  • 157. capability. China has scheduled sea trials of its first AircraftCarrier on July 1. It is expected that this aircraft carrier willcruise the waters near the Spratlys. The growing visibility of Chinese ships patrolling thecontested waters of the Spratlys has, in fact, made itsneighbors terribly uneasy. This has prompted the US to reaffirm its commitmentto defend its allies and partners in Asia amidst the risk of warin the region. Apparently, the prospects of war and peace in theSpratlys largely depend now on the current and future behaviorof China. As the traditional “Middle Kingdom” in Asia, China iscurrently at the middle of various suspicions because of themany uncertainties associated with its military rise. These uncertainties create security anxieties of itsneighbors who will inevitably gang-up against China if Chinafails to assuage the fear of its neighbors. Major power competitors like the US, Japan and Indiawill take advantage of this situation to form a loose coalition ofdemocratic states to check China’s growing might. The fear of China will also encourage the Philippinesand other members of the Association of Southeast AsianNations (ASEAN) to bandwagon with the US, Japan and Indiain order to hedge against the ascendant China. There is no doubt that China has to do a lot ofenormous explaining to effectively convince its neighbors thatits growing military power and increasing visibility in theSpratlys will not pose risks of war. Otherwise, China will create an internationalenvironment not conducive for its peaceful development.H. Clash of Sovereignties in the Spratlys∗ When the United States assured its friends and allies inSoutheast Asia that it is committed to defend and assist themon rising tensions in the Spratlys, China just warned the US to∗ 4 *3&" (& +
  • 158. back off and stay out of the South China Sea disputes. China’s Vice foreign minister, Cui Tiankai, evenstressed that “the United States is not a claimant state to thedispute. So, it is better for the United States to leave the disputeto be sorted out between the claimant states.” With exemption of Taiwan, all claimants in the Spratlysare all sovereign states with a defined territory in which theyshould exercise full control. However, they have clash ofsovereignties over some territories in the South China Seacalled by Vietnam as East Sea and by the Philippines as WestPhilippine Sea. China’s Indisputable Sovereignty. China claims“indisputable sovereignty” of all the waters and features in theSouth China covered within its so-called “nine-dashed lines”map submitted to the United Nations. However, China onlyoccupies seven features in the Spratlys – Chigua Reef,Cuarteron Reef, Fiery Cross Reef, Gaven Reef, JohnsonReef, Mischief Reef, and Subi Reef. All these reefs occupied by China have highlycemented structures. China maintains very impressive helipadfacilities in Chigua Reef, Gaven Reef, and Johnson Reef. It hasthree-storey concrete building in Mischief Reef. All itsfacilities in the nine occupied features have dipole andparabolic disc antenna, search lights, solar panels, varioustypes of radars and gun emplacements. Taiwan’s Identical Sovereignty Claims with China.Taiwan has identical claims to sovereignty withChina. Countries adopting a one-China policy regards Taiwanas a mere province of China. Thus, Taiwan’s sovereign claimin the South China Sea disputes is complicated. But it occupiesthe largest island in the Spratlys: the Itu Aba or Taiping Islandthat has an excellent helipad and a very long and highlycemented runway. Vietnam’s Incontestable Sovereignty. Vietnam claims“incontestable sovereignty” of two island-groups in the SouthChina Sea: the Paracels and the Spratlys. Clash of sovereigntiesin the Paracels only involved China and Vietnam (and to acertain extent Taiwan). In Spratlys, it involved Brunei, China,Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam. Vietnam presently occupies 21 islands, reefs and cay in
  • 159. the Spratlys with impressive facilities. Its largest occupiedisland, Lagos (or Spratly Island), is the most heavily fortifiedwith a solid runway, a pier, at least 35 building structures,around 20 storage tanks, at least 20 gun emplacements, at least5 battle tanks and some parabolic disk antennas and a spoonrest radar. Aside from Lagos Island, Vietnam also maintainsfacilities at Pugad Island (Southwest Cay), which is just lessthan two nautical miles away from the Philippine occupiedisland of Parola (Northeast Cay). Pugad Island has several gunemplacements, gun shelters, civilian buildings, militarybarracks, parabolic disc antennas, concrete bunkers, a lighthouse, a football field, a helipad, and many light posts. Other facilities of Vietnam in at least 14 occupied reefsseem to follow a standard pattern of construction. South Reef,Pentley Reef, Discovery Great Reef, Collins Reef, PearsonReef, Lendao Reef, West Reef, Ladd Reef, Central LondonReef, East Reef, Cornwallis Reef, Pigeon Reef, Allison Reef,and Barque Canada Reef have identical structures featuring agolden-painted three-storey concrete building with built-inlight house on top, gun emplacements on both sides, T-typepier, solar panels, parabolic disc antennas, and garden plots. The Philippines’ Sovereignty Claim Basedon “dominium maris” and “la terre domine la mer.” ThePhilippines claims sovereignty and jurisdiction in the Spratlyswithin its Kalayaan Island Group (KIG). It regards KIG asan “integral part of the Philippines.” The Philippines strengthens its sovereignty claim usingthe Roman principle of “dominium maris” and the internationallaw principle of “la terre domine la mer,” which means thatland dominates the sea. Under this principle, the Philippines argues that it isexercising sovereignty and jurisdiction over the waters aroundthe KIG or adjacent to each relevant geological features of theKalayaan Island, which is under the local government controlof the Municipality of Kalayaan. The Philippines contends thatthis position is provided for under the United NationsConvention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). The Philippines ranks second in the most number ofoccupied areas in the Spratlys. It is presently in control of nine
  • 160. facilities that are considered parts of the Municipality ofKalayaan: Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal, Kota (Loaita)Island, Lawak (Nanshan) Island, Likas (West York) Island,Pag-Asa (Thitu) Island, Panata Island (Lankiam) Cay, ParolaIsland (Northeast Cay) Patag (Flat) Reef, and Rizal(Commodore) Reef. Its largest occupied facility is the Pag-Asa Island, theclosest island to the Chinese occupied Subi Reef. Pag-AsaIsland has an already deteriorating run-way maintained by the570th Composite Tactical Wing of the Philippine Air Force. Italso has a naval detachment maintained by the Naval ForcesWest of the Philippine Navy. Pag-Asa island has municipalhall called Kalayaan Hall, a village hall called Barangay Pag-Asa, a police station maintained by the Philippine NationalPolice (PNP), sports facilities, observation tower, a commercialmobile phone station, and several civilian houses and militarybarracks. The Philippines also maintains makeshift navaldetachment facilities in five other islands, one reef and oneshoal. Its facilities in the Rizal Reef are just woodenstructures and two small single-storey hexagonal concretebuildings manned by four personnel of the Philippine Navy. The Philippines also maintains a naval detachment inAyungin Shoal established out of a dilapidated Landing ShipTank called LST 57. Ayungin Shoal is the closest structure ofthe Philippines to the controversial Mischief Reef occupied byChina. Malaysia’s Sovereignty Claim Based on ContinentalReef Principle. Malaysia’s claim to sovereignty in the Spratlyis based on the continental reef principle outlined byUNCLOS. As such, Malaysia claims 12 features in theSpratlys. But it only presently occupies six features: ArdasierReef, Dallas Reef, Erica Reef, Investigator Shoal, MarivelesReef, and Swallow Reef. Malaysia has well-maintained facilities in the SwallowReef. This reef has a diving center called “Layang-Layang”. Swallow Reef has a resort-type hotel, swimmingpool, windmills, communication antennas, controlcommunication tower, civilian houses, military barracks and ahelipad.
  • 161. Malaysia also has a very good facility in the ArdasierReef with an excellent helipad, sepak takraw court, gunemplacements and control tower. The facilities in the ArdasierReef are almost identical with the Malaysian facilities in EricaReef, Mariveles Reef and Investigator Shoal. Malaysia alsomaintains a symbolic obelisk marker in the Louisa Reef beingclaimed by Brunei. Brunei Sovereignty Claim Based on EEZ. Brunei’sclaim to sovereignty in the Spratlys is based on the principle ofExclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) provided for by UNCLOS. Itprovides coastal states 200 nautical miles EEZ in which coastalstates have sovereign right to exploit resources of the area. Brunei does not occupy any feature in the Spratlys. Butit asserts that the Louisa Reef being claimed by Malaysia ispart of Brunei’s EEZ. Managing Contested Sovereignty Claims in theSpratlys. The Spratly dispute is a complex case of contestedsovereignty claims. Because of the strategic value of theSpratlys, which is proven to have enormous oil and natural gasresources not to mention its very rich marine resources, it isvery unlikely for all claimants to surrender their sovereigntyclaims. All claimants rule out the use of force to resolve theirmaritime disputes in the Spratlys. But they continue to upgradetheir military capabilities to assert their respective claims. They also use UNCLOS as the basis of their claims.But they seldom use UNCLOS to manage theirdifferences. China prefers to manage the Spratly disputesbilaterally. But other claimants want to internationalize theissue. With the Spratly disputes now upped the ante,tensions can further escalate if claimants remains intransigentin their sovereignty claims. To manage disputes in the Spratlys peacefully,claimants may consider anew the shelving of sovereigntyissues and be more pragmatic in exploring the possibilities ofjoint development. This is an option that can put claimants in awin-win situation.
  • 162. I. Word War in South China Sea: A Diplomatic Crisis inPhilippines-China Relations∗ While commemorating the 36th anniversary of theestablishment of Philippines-China Relations signed on 9 June1975, China Ambassador to the Philippines, Liu Jianchao,exclaimed that the Philippines’ protests against China on theReed Bank and Iroquois Reef-May Douglas Bank incidentswere all based on “bad rumors. ” Referring particularly to the Iroquois Reef-MayDouglas Bank incident, the Chinese Ambassador stressed, “It’sa bad rumor because we have no intention of occupying one ofthe islands. We clarified the reaction which was aimed atseismic survey that was done there so this is something thatshould not be played up because after all it’s just a survey notby military vessels but vessels for the survey.” The ambassador has also reiterated the long-standingposition of China that the South China Sea belongs to Chinaand its “ownership” of the said water is “indisputable.” Heeven tells other claimants to the disputes, particularly thePhilippines and Vietnam, “to stop searching the possibility ofexploiting resources in the area where China has claims.” Theambassador also underscores that if the countries with claimsin the South China want to explore and exploit any resources inthe disputed water, “you can talk to China about the possibilityof having a joint cooperation development and exploitation ofnatural resources.” The Philippines, however, maintains its “firm stand”that the Reed Bank and the Iroquois Reef-May Douglas Bankbelong to its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) where thecountry has all the exclusive rights to explore and exploit thenatural resources of the area. Presidential spokesman EdwinLacierda said that the Philippines was only protesting“incursions into Philippine territorial waters by Chinesevessels.” Despite the strong statement of the Chineseambassador against the Philippines protests, Lacierda statedthat the Philippines will continue its activities in its EEZ,especially the oil exploration activities in the Reed Bank.∗ 4 * &" (& +
  • 163. These exchanges of strong words between thePhilippines and China over the South China Sea Disputeindicate the seemingly irreconcilable difference between thetwo countries on the issue. Both countries are now engaged in aword war, which poses a great diplomatic challenge inPhilippines-China Relations. If not carefully managed, thisword war can deteriorate into a diplomatic crisis that bothcountries do not want to happen. The word war between the Philippines and China on theSouth China Sea Dispute is happening at the time when bothcountries should be joyfully celebrating the 36th year of theirbilateral relation, which in 2005 was just declared to havereached the “golden age of partnership”. This year, however, sees the sudden deterioration ofPhilippines-China relation as a result of conflicting claims inthe South China Sea. The word war between the Philippinesand China over the South China Sea Dispute has createdunnecessary ill-feelings on both sides that if not assuagedproperly can make both countries at odd with each other. Since 1975, when the Philippines and China normalizedtheir diplomatic relations, their partnership has becomecomprehensive spanning cultural, economic, political and evenmilitary areas. This comprehensive partnership even led to thesigning of the Joint Action Plan for Strategic Cooperation in2009 as a living testament of their deepening friendship andgrowing partnership for mutual benefits. The Philippines evencelebrated the 35th anniversary of Philippines-China Relationsin Nanning, China in 2010 on the occasion of 7th China-ASEAN Expo. The year 2011, however, is one of the worst years inPhilippines-China Relations after the Mischief Reefcontroversy in 1995 and the Scarborough Shoal incident in1997. It looks very impossible for China and the Philippinesto give up their respective claims in the South China Seabecause of the growing demand from both countries to accessand exploit the valuable resources, particularly oil/gas and fish,in the disputed water. But if both governments will continue toexchange harsh words against each other on the issue, it willnot only harm state-to-state relations, it will also affect people-
  • 164. to-people contacts. If both countries are really serious in pursuing peacefulmeans to settle their differences, they have to mutually exerciseself-restraint in publicly criticizing each other by exchangingharsh words so that government-level “misunderstanding” willnot spill-over to the misunderstanding of their people. Blog sites and networking sites are now filled withcomments from citizens of their countries lambasting oneanother. If this trend continues, government-level differencescan trigger racial outrage that will further inflict harm onPhilippines-China relations. The Philippines and China have already madetremendous accomplishments in their bilateral relations overthe past 36 years. The South China Sea Dispute shall not be thereason why both countries have to retrogress in their ties. While there is no doubt that the Philippines and Chinahave conflicting stand on the South China Sea Dispute, theircommitment to settle their territorial disputes by peacefulmeans shall be strongly emphasized in public discourse. Ratherthan focus on their differences, both countries shall concentratein discussing issues of mutual interests and make sure thatissues of mutual interests will redound to their citizens. In thiscase, the positive aspects of Philippines-China relations canestablish social ownership. As an interim measure, the Philippines and China shallseriously start talking about joint development in the SouthChina Sea. Rather than determining which countries haveownership or rights to the disputed territories in the SouthChina Sea, the Philippines and China should open theirchannels of communication to candidly consider the idea ofjoint development so that when they celebrate the annualanniversary of their ties in the future, they will share commonaccomplishments ratherJ. Philippine, China Row on Spratlys: Time for GoodManners and Right Conduct∗ Amidst rising tensions in the Spratlys, Philippine∗ 4 *< " (& +
  • 165. Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario went to thePeople’s Republic of China (PRC) for a two-day official visit(July 7-8) in order to “advance” Philippines-China relationsthat have been recently damaged by the contested sovereigntyclaims in the West Philippine Sea, internationally known as theSouth China Sea. The official visit aimed not only to tackle Philippines-China differences on the Spratly disputes but also to set aconducive environment for the forthcoming visit to Chinawithin this year of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III. Secretary del Rosario visited China after two importantpreceding events that happened in Manila: the celebration ofthe 113th founding anniversary of the Department of ForeignAffairs (DFA) on July 5 and the holding of the ManilaConference on the South China Sea on July 5-6. The celebration of the 113th anniversary of DFA shouldhave provided the Philippines the right opportunities to takestock of its achievements and challenges in the conduct of itsforeign relations, particularly with two important globalpowers: the United States and China, which at present areinvolved in an emerging cold war in the South China Sea. The DFA celebration of its 113th founding anniversaryalso occurred at a time with US forces were conducting jointnaval exercises with the Philippines, which has been engagedin a word war with China over the issue of the Spratlys. Theword war in the Spratlys between Manila and Beijing evenresulted in the banning of a Chinese diplomat from attendingmeetings in the Philippines for “rude” behavior. On the other hand, the Manila Conference on the SouthChina Sea organized by the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), theNational Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP) and theDiplomatic Academy of Vietnam brought together variousinternational experts on the issue to discuss the currentdifficulties in the Spratlys. The conference highlighted the needadopt a binding agreement in order to prevent disputes in theSouth China Sea to escalate into an armed conflict. Inputs from these two events should have given theDFA Secretary adequate knowledge on how to deal withChinese counterparts wisely and prudently during his visits. There is no doubt that the visit of Secretary Del Rosario
  • 166. followed the right tract of diplomacy to address Manila’sdifficult relations with Beijing on the Spratlys. The visit alsore-opened important channels of communication for bothcountries to air and settles their differences as well asovercome their quarrels peacefully not only to advance theirrespective national interests but also to promote their mutualinterests. There is no illusion that Secretary Del Rosario’s two-day visit to China will automatically resolve their quarrels overthe Spratlys. But the visit was very important to rebuildconfidence necessary for the repair of Philippines-Chinarelations, which have become so comprehensive encompassingdiplomatic, cultural, economic, political, social and evenmilitary areas. The visit was also necessary to uphold good manners ofall claimants involved in the disputes and to promote rightconduct of parties by seriously considering the adoption of abinding Code of Conduct in the South China Sea. Secretary Del Rosario would return home to Manilahopefully with pragmatic options for the Philippinegovernment on how to handle its bilateral relations with Chinaon the Spratly disputes. In fact, this process pleases China as itwants to resolve the Spratly disputes bilaterally with claimants. However, no pragmatic solution will be achieved ifboth countries, and for that matter all claimants, will continueto raise ownership and sovereignty issues. It is very unlikely for all claimants to surrender theirsovereignty claims. If the Philippines and China would remainintransigent in their sovereignty positions and continue topursue a hard line stand on their claims, there is no way for theSpratly disputes to be resolved peacefully. But if the Philippines and China can demonstrate someflexibilities in their claims and “sweep” the issue ofsovereignty “under the rug”, until such time that sovereigntyissue is no longer an issue because both countries have alreadyreached the level of mutual understanding necessary forproductive cooperation like “joint development”, bothcountries will set the trend of promoting good manners andright conduct in the Spratlys that other claimants can follow.
  • 167. It is only when all claimants would be willing to“eschew” sovereignty issues that the peaceful management ofthe Spratly disputes will be achieved.K. What’s Needed: More Dialogues among SpratlysClaimants∗ On Oct. 16-17, 2011, the Carlos P. Romulo Foundation(CPRF), in collaboration with the Institute of Southeast AsianStudies (ISEAS) in Singapore, organized the InternationalForum on the South China Sea at the Manila Polo Club, MakatiCity. This Forum (attended by retired and active governmentofficials, academics, members of the diplomatic corps andprivate sector leaders) brought together a number of well-known international scholars and experts studying the SouthChina Sea dispute and how to effectively manage it. The main objective of the Forum was “to give clarity tonational positions, surface the underlying issues that animatethese positions, and identify areas of common interest.” Indeed, conflicting national positions on the SouthChina Sea dispute were articulated during the Forum. But these positions were not totally clarified becausesome speakers, who claimed to be scholars, spoke more likepropagandists of their respective governments. Thus, insteadof identifying areas of common interests, the Forumhighlighted more areas of differences in sovereignty claims,which was necessary to clear the air. Taiwan’s inclusion. Since this International Forumwas a track-two, non-official process, the event includedTaiwan scholars. This was, in fact, one of the strengths of this Forum –the inclusion of Taiwan in the dialogue process. Taiwan is never part of official internationaldiscussions on the South China Sea because claimant states(Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam) have a One-China Policy that recognizes Taiwan as a mere province of thePeople’s Republic of China (PRC).∗ 4 4 ?* 2 0 4 (& +
  • 168. Inviting Taiwan to the Forum was essential to have aholistic understanding of the South China Sea disputes. Taiwan is an important stakeholder in this complexterritorial conflict. Its continued exclusion from officialdiscussions and dialogues will not complete the process ofconflict management in the South China Sea. Unless a reunification takes place between China andTaiwan, which have identical claims in the South China Sea,managing the South China Sea disputes without Taiwan isutterly difficult. The situation becomes harder with the recentannouncement of the Taipei government of its readiness todeploy missile in its occupied island, the Itu-Aba or TaipingIsland. The Itu-Aba is the largest island in the Spratlys with thelongest and highly cemented runway. It is one of the highlystrategic islands in the Spratlys because of its location andisland features. In fact, Itu-Aba is suitable for a submarinebase. During the Second World, Japan used Itu-Aba as asubmarine base to support its imperial ambition to establish theso-called East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Thus, if Taiwan decides to re-build a submarine base inItu-Aba, it can strategically alter the existing balance of powerin the South China Sea. In other words, Taiwan may be out of the officialdiscourse in the territorial claims but is deeply enmeshed in theterritorial dispute.The Forum also included an Indonesian speaker (AmbassadorHasjim Djalal) who talked about lessons learned in managingthe conflicts in the South China Sea. Though Indonesia is not officially a claimant state inthe Spratlys dispute, its gas field in the Natuna Island belongsto the nine-dash lines being claimed by China and Taiwan.Being a de-facto leader of the Association of Southeast AsianNations (ASEAN), Indonesian role in conflict management inthe South China Sea dispute is essential. Speakers from the Philippines and Vietnam havearticulated very well the official and non-official views of theirrespective countries in the South China Sea
  • 169. disputes. Surprisingly, however, the Forum did not includeMalaysian and Brunei speakers. A Brunei participant from theprivate sector only served as a session chair. Claims of Malaysia and Brunei have tremendousbearing on Philippine claims because of geographic proximity,particularly in maritime areas West of Palawan where thePhilippine government has existing oil exploration activities.Thus, the absence of Malaysian and Brunei speakers during theForum made this track-two process wanting. Vague plan. The main issue that surfaced repeatedly inthe Forum was the controversial issue of joint development. China is the main champion of joint development topromote cooperation rather than conflict in the South ChinaSea. But the idea of joint development at present remainsvague and general. The specific area where joint developmentwill be pursued has not been really identified by claimants, andmore so by China. The Vietnam speaker has interpreted China’s conceptof joint development to mean “all claimants developing thearea together but the ownership belongs to China.” But the Chinese government has repeatedly stressedthat joint development means “all claimants developing thearea together for mutual benefits and the issue of ownershipshould be set-aside for the time being.” However, other claimants regard the South China Seadispute as a sovereignty issue, an issue so vital that it could notbe set aside. Thus, the issue of ownership is the crux of disputes inthe South China Sea. There is no doubt that the South China Sea dispute is anexpression of clash of sovereignties. In international politics,nations go to war because of sovereignty. If the sovereignty issue will be always be raised in anydiscussions on the South China Sea, there is no way that thisconflict will be solved in the foreseeable future. But a forum like the one organized by CPRF andISEAS will help prevent this territorial conflict to escalate intoan actual shooting war.
  • 170. More dialogues and discussions among claimants canopen channels of communications that are necessary forconflict management in the South China Sea.L. Peace and Stability: Way Ahead in the Spratlys∗ Despite the current security tensions that can increasethe risks of war due to clash of sovereignties in the Spratlys,peace and stability is still the way ahead in this contested bodywater. There are four major reasons why. First, all claimants, namely Brunei, China, Malaysia,the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam have all agreed tomanage the disputes in the Spratlys peacefully. Though allsovereign states have the right to use force when their vitalnational interests are threatened, the use of force to settleinternational disputes is no longer the norm in internationalpolitics. The principle of peaceful settlement of inter-stateconflicts is embodied in the Charter of the United Nations(UN), in which all sovereign states are members of. The UNhas also provided various mechanisms for the peacefulsettlement of international disputes in order to ameliorate thesecurity dilemma of states in the condition of internationalanarchy. The 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in theSouth China Sea or DOC also articulates the maxim of pacificsettlement of disputes. Although the DOC is non-binding forjust being a declaration, all claimants refer to it when problemsarise in the South China Sea. Second, we now live in the era of globalization whereall sovereign states have become so interconnected throughcommerce, trade, and tourism. This interconnectedness isevident in the South China Sea through internationalnavigation. It is already well known that the South China Sea is oneof the busiest sea routes in the world. In fact, the South ChinaSea is a maritime superhighway with at least 50,000 ships∗ 4 * 3 " (& +
  • 171. passing through its sea-lanes annually. Thus, waging a war inthe Spratlys is costly for claimants and counter-productive forall states depending on the freedom of navigation in the area. Third, though claimants are presently upgrading theirmilitary capabilities, they are not designed to invade otherstates or to occupy already occupied features in theSpratlys. They are designed to increase their capabilities toprotect their occupied features and to patrol the waterscovering them. They are also designed to deter otherclaimants to make new occupations as required by the DOC. If claimants have overlapping waters to patrol, they cansort our their differences through negotiations, either bilaterallyor multilaterally. Acquisition of submarines, frigates, corvettes, andoffshore patrol vessels by claimants are not meant to support an“invasion” force. They are being acquired to primarily confrontthe growing non-traditional security threats in the maritimedomain such as piracy and armed robbery against ships, drugtrafficking, arms smuggling, human trafficking andinternational terrorism. Without those naval assets, “internalwaters” and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) of claimantswill be prone to abuse by non-traditional sources of securitythreats. The current tensions in the Spratlys gave claimants astrong justification before their taxpayers to increase nationalbudget for naval acquisitions. Finally, the current tensions in the Spratlys are in factblessings in disguise. Through the current tensions, claimantsare able to express their strategic intentions, something thatwere not expressed before. The current tensions gave all claimants a betterunderstanding of the disputes and their respective nationalpositions on the issue. With this understanding, claimantswill be more circumspect and nuanced in dealing with eachother in order to avoid a war in the Spratlys. If there are claimants anticipating an inter-state war inthe Spratlys, they have not come to grips with the reality ofglobalization and complex interdependence of nations. Theywill become a pariah state whose behavior is not in sync withinternational norms of peaceful behavior.
  • 172. ANNEX II LIST OF PHILIPPINES-CHINA BILATERAL AGREEMENTS 1975 – 1 September 2011Political• Joint Communiqué of the Government of the Philippines and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China. Signed in Beijing on 09 June 1975.• Joint Statement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China on the Framework of Bilateral Cooperation in the Twenty-First Century. Signed in Beijing on 16 May 2000.• Memorandum of Understanding between the Philippine Council of Young Political Leaders (PCYPL) Foundation, Inc. and Chinese Association for International Understanding (CAFIU). Signed in Beijing on 5 July 2005.• Joint Action Plan for Strategic Cooperation between the Republic of the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China. Signed in Manila on 29 October 2009.• Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China on Strengthening Cooperation, 31 August 2011• Joint Statement of the Republic of the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China, 1 September 2011.Defense• Agreement Between the Department of National Defense of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of National Defense of the Peoples Republic of China on the Establishment of the Offices of the Defense and Armed Forces Attachés. Signed in Beijing on 29 July 1996.• Agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the Utilization of the Military Engineering Equipment Assistance Loan Provided by
  • 173. China to the Philippines. Signed in Beijing on 29 July 1996.• Memorandum of Understanding on Defense Cooperation between the Department of National Defense of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of National Defense of the Peoples Republic of China. Signed in Beijing on 8 November 2004.• Agreement between the Department of National Defense of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of National Defense of the People’s Republic of China on China’s Provision of Military Aid Gratis to the Philippines. Signed in Beijing on 8 November 2004.• Agreement between the Department of National Defense of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of National Defense of the Peoples Republic of China on Chinas Provision of Military Aid Gratis to the Philippines. Signed in Beijing on 10 October 2006.• Agreement between the Department of National Defense of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of National Defense of the Peoples Republic of China on Chinas Provision of Military Aid Gratis to the Philippines. Signed in Beijing on 08 December 2009.Transnational Crimes• Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China on Cooperation against Illicit Traffic and Abuse of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Precursor Chemicals. Signed in Beijing in October 2001.• Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China on Cooperation in Combating Transnational Crime. Signed in Beijing in October 2001.Judicial• Agreement on Cooperation Between the National Prosecution Service of the Department of Justice of the Republic of the Philippines and the Supreme People’s
  • 174. Procuratorate of the People’s Republic of China. Signed in Beijing in October 2000.• Treaty on Extradition between the Republic of the Philippines and the Peoples Republic of China. Signed on 30 October 2001.Energy Cooperation• Letter of Intent between the Philippine National Oil CO. Exploration Corp. and the China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC). 10 November 2003.• An Agreement for Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking on Certain Areas in the South China Sea By and Between Philippine National Oil Company and China National Offshore Oil Corporation. Signed in Beijing on 1 September 2004.• An Agreement for Joint Marine Seismic Survey in certain areas in the South China Sea by the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC), the China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC), and the Vietnam Oil and Gas Corporation (PETROVIETNAM). Signed on 14 March 2005.Trade/ Investments/ Finance• Trade Agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China. Signed in Beijing on 09 June 1975.• Agreement on Long-Term Trade between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the People’s Republic of China. Signed in Beijing on 08 July 1979.• Agreement between the Republic of the Philippines and Peoples Republic of China Concerning the Encouragement and Reciprocal Protection of Investments. Signed in Manila, 20 July 1992.• Agreement Between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with Respect to Taxes on Income. Signed in Beijing on 18 November 1999.
  • 175. • Memorandum of Understanding between Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the People’s Bank of China on the establishment of Banking Institutions in each other’s territories. Signed on 17 May 2000.• Cooperation Agreement between the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) and China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT). Signed in October 2001.• Bilateral Swap Agreement between the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the Peoples Bank of China. Signed in Manila on 30 August 2003.• Memorandum of Understanding on Mining Cooperation between the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Chinas Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM). Signed in 18 January 2005.• Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Philippines and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the Promotion of Trade and Investment Cooperation. Signed in Manila on 27 April 2005.• Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the People’s Republic of China. Signed in Manila on 27 April 2005.• Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the Early Harvest Program under the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation between the Association of South East Asian Nations and the People’s Republic of China. Signed in Manila on 27 April 2005.• Framework Agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on Provision of Concessional Loan by China to the Philippines. Signed in Manila on 27 April 2005.• Framework Agreement on Expanding and Deepening Bilateral Economic and Trade Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the
  • 176. Government of the Peoples Republic of China. Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.• Memorandum of Understanding between the National Economic and Development Authority and the Department of trade and Industry of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Commerce of the Peoples Republic of China on Establishing the Economic Working Group. signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.• Memorandum of Understanding between China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation and Philippine Government Agencies. Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.• Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China. Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.• Framework Agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China on Provision of Concessional Loan by China to the Philippines. Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.• Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Trade and Industry of the Republic of the Philippines and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the Peoples Republic of China on Cooperation on Industrial Products Safety and TBT Measures. Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.• Memorandum of Understanding regarding the Utilization of US$500 million Preferential Buyers Credit Between the Department of Finance of the Republic of the Philippines and the Export and Import Bank of China. Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.• Five-Year Development Program for Trade and Economic Cooperation between the Republic of the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China, 31 August 2011• Exchange of Letters on the Provision of Grant Assistance by the Government of the People’s Republic of China to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines
  • 177. • Memorandum of Understanding between the Board of Investments-Department of Trade and Industry of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China on the Designation of a Chinese Investment AdvisorAgriculture• Agreement on the Cooperation in the Field of Agriculture and other Related Areas Between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China. Signed in Beijing, 18 November 1978.• Memorandum of Understanding on Scientific and Technical Cooperation in Agriculture. Signed in Beijing on 24 April 1990.• Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in Hybrid Rice Technology. Signed on 13 July 1999.• Agreement on Cooperation in Agriculture and Related Fields. Signed on 13 September 1999.• Understanding on the Cooperation in the Fields of Agriculture, Irrigation and Other Related Areas between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the People’s Republic of China. Signed on 16 May 2000.• Agreement between the Department of Finance and the China National Construction and Agricultural Machinery Import and Export Corporation on a US$100-million credit facility to finance agricultural development projects in the Philippines. Signed on 20 December 2000.• Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Agriculture of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Agriculture of the Peoples Republic of China on Fisheries Cooperation. Signed in Beijing on 1 September 2004.• Memorandum of Understanding on the Special Treatment for Rice between the Governments of the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of the Philippines. Signed in Manila on 27 April 2005.• Memorandum of Understanding on Expanding and
  • 178. Deepening Agriculture and Fisheries Cooperation. Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.• Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Agriculture of the Republic of the Philippines and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine of the Peoples Republic of China in the field of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures. Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.• Agreement on the Development of 1 million Hectares of Land for Hybrid Corn, Hybrid Rice and Hybrid Sorghum Farming. Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.• Agreement on the Leasing of 40,000 Hectares of Agri- Business Lands for Sugarcane and Cassava Plantation. Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.• Agreement on the Provision of a 5,000-Square Meter Space for Philippine Tropical Fruits in the Jiangnan Fruit and Vegetable Wholesale Market. Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.• Agreement for the Establishment of a 150,000 Liter Per Day- Capacity Bio-Ethanol Plant in Palawan. Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.• Joint Venture Agreement for the Manufacture of Bio-Ethanol (B.M.S.B). Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.• Joint Venture Agreement for the Manufacture of Bio-Ethanol (Negros Southern). Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.• Joint Venture Agreement for the Establishment of a 150,000 Liter per Day-Capacity Bio-Ethanol Plant. Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.• Memorandum of Agreement on the Provision of Small Mobile Ice Plant and Transport Facilities to Municipal Fishery Cooperatives and Associations. Signed in Manila on 16 January 2007.• Memorandum of Agreement on the Establishment of a 35- Hectare Demonstration Farm for Sweet Corn. Signed in Manila on 16 January 2007.• Memorandum of Agreement on the Construction of Ship Yard, Establishment of a Cold Storage Facility and Upgrading/Rehabilitation of Certain Facilities at the
  • 179. Navotas Fish Port Complex (NFPC). Signed in Manila on 16 January 2007.• Agreement on the Development of Candaba Swamp Resource Project as a Source of Water for Irrigation. Signed in Manila on 16 January 2007.• Memorandum of Agreement on Cooperation By and Between the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Guandong Ocean Fisheries Adminsitration (GDOFA). Signed in Manila on 16 January 2007.• Memorandum of Agreement on the Breeding and Culture of Grouper and Other High Value Species. Signed in Manila on 16 January 2007.• Joint Venture Agreement on Fisheries. Signed in Manila on 16 January 2007.• Agreement on Breeding and Culture of Abalone, Sea Cucumbers, Sea Urchins and Scallops. Signed in Manila on 16 January 2007.Consular• Visa Agreement allowing Filipino diplomatic and consular personnel to receive multiple-entry entry visas from the Chinese Government for a maximum validity period of five years. Signed on 03 July 2002 and entered into force on 19 December 2002.• Agreement Between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China on Mutual Visa Exemption for Holders of Diplomatic and Official (Service) Passports. Signed in Beijing on 1 September 2004.• Consular Agreement between the Republic of the Philippines and People’s Republic of China in Manila on 29 October 2009.Air Services• Agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China Relating to Civil Air Transport. Signed in Beijing on 08 July 1979 and took effect upon its signing.
  • 180. • Memorandum of Understanding on air services. Signed in Beijing on 02 March 2004.• Memorandum of Understanding supplementing the traffic rights granted under the 2004 MOU, 24 November 2010.Infrastructure• Memorandum of Understanding Between the Philippine National Railways and China National Technical Import Export Corporation and China National Machinery and Import & Export Corp. Signed in Manila on 15 November 2002.• Memorandum of Understanding Regarding the Utilization of the US$400-million Preferential Buyers Credit from China to the Philippine s between the Export- Import Bank of China and the Department of Finance of the Philippines. Signed in Manila on 30 August 2003.• Supplemental Memorandum of Understanding between North Luzon Railways Corporation and China National Machinery and Equipment Corporation (Group). Signed in Beijing on 1 September 2004.• Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Trade and Industry of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China on Infrastructure Cooperation. Signed in Manila on 27 April 2005.• Memorandum of Understanding Regarding the Utilization of US$500 Million Preferential Buyer’s Credit from the Government of the People’s Republic of China to the Government of the Republic of the Philippines between the Export-Import Bank of China and the Department of Finance of the Republic of the Philippines. Signed in Manila on 27 April 2005.• Loan Agreement on the Provision of US$500 million Preferential Buyers Credit Loan for the Northrail Project Phase 1, Section 2. Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.• Concessional Loan Agreement on Non-Intrusive Container Inspection System Project Phase 2. Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.
  • 181. • Contract Agreement between North Luzon Railways Corporation and China National Machinery Industry Corporation for the Northrail Project Phase 1, Section 2. Signed in Manila on 15 April 2007. (originally signed in Beijing on 15 November 2006)• Engineering, Procurement and Construction Contract for the Rehabilitation and Upgrading of the Philippine Mainline South Railway Project Phase 1, Section 1. Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007. (originally signed in Manila on 5 December 2006)Tourism• Memorandum of Understanding on Tourism Cooperation between the Department of Tourism of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Tourism Administration of the People’s Republic of China. Signed in Manila on 21 April 1989.• Agreement on Tourism Cooperation between the Republic of the Philippines and the Peoples Republic of China. Signed in Beijing on 10 May 1990.• Memorandum of Understanding concerning Tourism Cooperation. Signed in Beijing on 11 September 2002.• Implementation Program of the Memorandum on Tourism Cooperation between the Department of Tourism and the China National Tourism Administration. Signed in Beijing on 1 September 2004.• Implementation Program of the Memorandum of Understanding on Tourism Cooperation between the Department of Tourism of the Philippines and the National Tourism Administration of the People’s Republic of China, 31 August 2011Scientific and Technical• Agreement on Scientific and Technical Cooperation between the Republic of the Philippines and the Peoples Republic of China. Signed in Manila, 14 March 1978.Maritime• Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of
  • 182. Transportation and Communications of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Communications of the People’s Republic of China on Maritime Cooperation. Signed in Manila on 27 April 2005.Education• Memorandum of Agreement between the Commission on Higher Education of the Republic of the Philippines and the National Office for Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language of the People’s Republic of China signed in Manila on 12 March 2003.• Memorandum of Understanding between the Commission on Higher Education of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. Signed in Manila in March 2007.• Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation Program for Cultivating Local Pre-Service Chinese Language Teachers of the Philippines between the Commission on Higher Education of the Republic of the Philippines and the Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters of the People’s Republic of China. Signed in Beijing on 27 October 2009.• Agreement on Mutual Recognition of Academic Degrees in Higher Education (MRA) between the Commission on Higher Education of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. Signed in Manila on 19 November 2009.Cultural• Cultural Agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China. Signed in Beijing on 08 July 1979 and took effect upon its signing.• Agreement on the Protection of Cultural Heritage. Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.• Agreement on the Prevention of Theft, Clandestine Excavation, Illicit Import and Export of Cultural Property between the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China. Signed in Manila on 15 January 2007.
  • 183. Health• Memorandum of Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Health between the Department of Health of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Health of the People’s Republic of China. Signed in Manila on 09 October 2008.Sports• Memorandum of Understanding on Sports Cooperation. Signed in October 2001 Supplemental Memorandum of Understanding between the Philippine Sports Commission and the General Administration of Sports of the Peoples Republic of China. Signed on 8 April 2005.• Agreement on Mutual Sports Exchanges and Cooperation between the Philippine Sports Commission and the Tianjin Municipal Sports Bureau of China. Signed in Manila on 10 September 2009.• Memorandum of Understanding between the Philippine Sports Commission and the General Administration of Sport of China on Sports Cooperation, 31 August 2011Youth• Agreement between the National Youth Commission of the Republic of the Philippines and the All-China Youth Federation of the People’s Republic of China on Youth Affairs Cooperation. Signed in Manila on 27 April 2005.• Memorandum of Understanding on Further Development of Sino-Filipino Youth Exchange between the All-China Youth Federation and the National Youth Commission of the Philippines. Signed in Beijing on 13 July 2005.Communications• Postal Parcels Agreement between the Bureau of Posts of the Republic of the Philippines and the Directorate General of Posts of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of the People’s Republic of China. Signed in Beijing on 18 November 1978.
  • 184. Media and Information• Letter of Intent on Friendly Exchanges and Cooperation between the Office of the Press Secretary of the Republic of the Philippines and the State Council Information Office of the Peoples Republic of China. Signed in Beijing on 3 September 2004.• Memorandum of Understanding between the Presidential Communications Operations Office of the Philippines and the State Council Information Office of China on Friendly Exchanges and Cooperation Agreement of Cooperation by and between the People’s Television Network, Inc. of the Philippines and the China Central Television, 31 August 2011.Source: Philippine Embassy in Beijing.See
  • 185. POSTSCRIPT On 31 August 2011, President Benigno Simeon AquinoIII held his first official state visit to China since he assumedoffice in June 2010. President Aquino III met his Chinesecounterpart, President Hu Jintao, amidst rising tensions in theSouth China Sea. During his three-day official visit, PresidentAquino III also met Wu Bangguo, Chairman of the StandingCommittee of the National Peoples Congress, and Wen Jiabao,Premier of the State Council. On 1 September 2011, thePresident Aquino III and President Hu issued a Joint Statement,which states the following: • The two leaders shared a positive assessment of the development of Philippines-China relations in the last 36 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations on 9 June 1975; • They reiterated their commitment to jointly pursue a long-term and stable relationship of strategic cooperation on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit; • They also agreed that the Joint Action Plan for Strategic Cooperation signed by the two sides on 29 October 2009 will continue to guide cooperation in all fields; and, • The Philippines reaffirmed its adherence to the one China policy In the Joint Statement, both countries “agreed to furtherexpand the volume of bilateral trade and accordingly set atarget of US$60 billion in total two-way trade by 2016.” Theymade a commitment “to improve the trade structure, promote amore vigorous exchange of investments and explore new areasof economic cooperation in the fields of, among others, newand renewable energy, shipping and ports.” President Aquino III and President Hu also affirmed inthe Joint Statement “that the Philippines-China Five-YearDevelopment Program for Trade and Economic Cooperation(2012-2016) serves as the blueprint for future efforts in thefollowing sectors: agriculture and fishery, infrastructure andpublic works, mining, energy, information and
  • 186. communications technology (ICT), processing andmanufacturing, tourism, engineering services and forestry.” To further improve their bilateral ties through tourismvisits and people-to-people contacts, both countries declared“2012-2013” as the "Philippines-China Years of FriendlyExchanges." More importantly, the countries stressed in theJoint Statement “not to let the maritime disputes affect thebroader picture of friendship and cooperation between the twocountries.” They reiterated their commitment to address theirexisting maritime disputes “through peaceful dialogue” inorder to “maintain continued regional peace, security, stabilityand an environment conducive to economic progress.” Theyalso reaffirmed “their commitments to respect and abide by theDeclaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Seasigned by China and the ASEAN member countries in 2002.” Though the state visit of President Aquino III to Chinawas cordial and full of enthusiasm, the President went back toManila with the continuing problem in the South China Sea. Toprovide an overarching solution to the territorial problem in theSouth China Sea, the Philippine government launched the ideaof the Zone of Peace, Freedom, Friendship and Cooperation(ZoPFFC). Planned to be discussed at the 19th Summit of theAssociation of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and 6th EastAsia Summit (EAS) in Bali, Indonesia on 17-19 November2011, the idea failed to get into the conference table because ofChina’s vehement rejection. China has expressed strong opposition to ZoPFFC as itchallenges “China’s 9-dash line claim.” The Philippine paperon ZoPFFC even underscores that the 9-dash line claim ofChina “is bereft of any legal basis under international law.”286Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Del Rosarioeven described China’s 9-dash line claim as “the core of theproblem” that must be “subjected to rules-based regime of(<) 5 5 , 5 C # - - *C --8 + @ *@ + 8 * + 18 4 % 8 % 8 J TU T U T # U T U4 UI T T 1 A S D " 18 H H 1 8 4 %78 4 8 S 83)9 D # # # VD V # V V# V# V V V*D # + T ? # U 8
  • 187. UNCLOS.”287 Though the Philippine government argues thatthe ZoPFFC proposal is consistent with the rules basedframework of managing international disputes, Chinavehemently opposes Manila’s proposal because Beijing is notready to bring the South China Sea Disputes beforeinternational adjudication.288 In fact, China hijacked the agenda of the 2011ASEAN/EAS Summits in Bali when it warned participants notto discuss ZoPFFC and the South China Sea Dispute. Thus,participants failed to discuss ZoPFFC at the 2011 BaliSummits. Secretary del Rosario admitted, “ZoPFFC was notbrought up at all. We are the only one who brought up theZoPFFC. All the interventions were on maritime security in theWest Philippine Sea.”289 The Philippine government plannedto raise ZoPFFC again in the 2012 ASEAN/EAS Summits.But without the concurrence of China, it is utterly difficult forthe Philippines to move the ZoPFFC proposal forward. At present, Philippines-China security relations stillface an uncertain direction because of the thorny issue of theSouth China Sea. The standoff in the Scarborough Shoal thatstarted in April 2012 demonstrated the uncertainty inPhilippines-China security relations. Despite some uncertainties, both countries haverecognized not to let the South China Sea Dispute affects otheraspects of their comprehensive bilateral ties, which are morerobust, constructive and productive. By focusing theirattention on other areas of their relations beyond thesovereignty disputes in the South China Sea, there will be morecooperation rather than competition in their bilateral ties.(<; 5 4 -% 0 @ ! *E 7 5 5 -. G . 7 4 : (& + 18 % 7 8 8 % (& 8 8 :8 ## # # 7 4 : (& 8(<< 5 % % 7 E 1 5I @5 5 @ J *: " (& (+ %(<2 %" % 5I G , 6 A> !E I *(& 7 4 (& +%
  • 188. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Rommel C. Banlaoi is a Senior Fellow of the YuchengoCenter. He is also the Chairman of the Board and ExecutiveDirector of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence andTerrorism Research (PIPVTR) and Head of its Center forIntelligence and National Security Studies (CINSS). He is arecipient of the Albani Philippine Peace Prize Award in 2011for peace education. He currently serves as Member of the Board ofDirectors of the Philippine Association of Chinese Studies(PACS) and a Senior Lecturer at the Department ofInternational Studies at Miriam College. He also served as aprofessor of political science and international relations at theNational Defense College of the Philippines (NDCP), AssistantProfessor in International Studies at De La Salle University(DLSU), Manila, Instructor in Political Science at theUniversity of the Philippines, Los Ba os, and UniversityResearch Associate at the University of the Philippines,Diliman. A frequent commentator on local and internationalnewspapers, television and radio talk shows, Banlaoi hassingle-authored eight books and seven monographs, co-authored four books, and single-authored at least 70 bookchapters and international journal articles on various issues ofregional security, foreign and defense policy, local governance,civil-military relations, security sector reforms, peace process,and international terrorism. He is married to Grace QuilitorioBanlaoi. He has three children: Rome Melchizedek Q.Banlaoi, Ronaih Gail Q. Banlaoi, and Rommel Gian Q.Banlaoi, Jr.