WebClick Tracer

TURNING POINT: Needed: A Balance of Terror

Column Titles 2023 20230815 170141 0000

NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews / 30 March) — We may fault the ancient cartographer who named the sea that separates China from the Philippines as South China Sea. Look, the Chinese now believes they own it, notwithstanding the existence and operation of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). 

I hope India would not follow suit and also claim the Indian Ocean.

Per UNCLOS policy a large part of South China Sea, exactly 200 nautical miles (370 km) immediately offshore from the land coast of the Philippines is an exclusive economic zone of the country, the West Philippines Sea (WPS).

An exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is an area of the sea in which a sovereign state has exclusive rights regarding the exploration and use of marine resources, including energy production from water and wind.

The WPS, despite the sovereign right of the Philippines over it, is open and free to international navigation. China has never been stopped in navigating said Philippine waters. It is instead the one prohibiting the Philippines from doing so. Even our local fishermen are driven out of their traditional fishing grounds within WPS.

Very recently, Chinese coast guard vessels blasted with water cannon a Philippine ship that was ferrying supplies to the country’s maritime detachment in Ayungin Shoal, damaging it badly and injured three of its crew. The ship limped back to Palawan without accomplishing its mission.

The Chinese aggression is becoming more violent over time.

Instead of upholding and helping in enforcing the law of the sea, China, which is a party member of UNCLOS since 1996, is violating it. Such impunity is affecting us gravely and we have no way of stopping it by our lonesome.

Considering the repetitious provocative aggression which impinges on our national security, it is high time that we invoke our Mutual Defense Treaty with the US to stop once and for all this giant bully from trampling on our sovereignty.

A balance of terror appears the only way to keep peace in South China Sea.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental.)

Your perspective matters! Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We welcome diverse viewpoints and encourage respectful discussions. Don't hesitate to share your ideas or engage with others.

Search MindaNews

Share this MindaNews story
Send us Feedback