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Philippines-Taiwan Spat Sees Hope of Early Resolution [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2013-5-27 09:35:48 |Display all floors
This post was edited by abramicus at 2013-5-27 09:39

News reports speculate that the Philippines own investigations have concluded that its coast guard failed to follow prescribed rules of engagement in dealing with the Taiwanese fisherman whom they found fishing in a shared EEZ region claimed by both sides.  This was denied by the spokesman of the Philippine Coast Guard.  The fact that the possibility of the Philippine Coast Guard being in the wrong is being discussed in the Philippine press is a good sign that cooler and more responsible heads are taking charge of the problem.

A fishery agreement between Taiwan and the Philippines is a good idea, to prevent future incidents of similar nature.  China would not mind it, actually, as long as the language does not invoke any sovereign state to state relations.  An agreement between the two coast guards or fishing authorities at a sufficiently low level is probably enough to not cause any waves.  Good relations between the Philippines and Taiwan is good for everybody, including China.

But the problem is bigger than this incident alone.  The Spratly islands have become a new hot spot of conflict.  China can promise to share the revenues of all fishing and mining activities within a specified radius from these disputed islands, but it cannot accept foreign sovereignty over its own territory.  The Philippines may be able fish around them as long as the sovereignty issue is settled by historical evidence, rather than geopolitical leveraging, which does not work with China today.  If anything, such geopolitical maneuvering only increases China's resolve to take them back at the earliest time.  Not only are the colonial outposts gone forever, the use of old colonial powers to influence sovereign boundaries are also over.  In the Far East, China has awakened and will accept no colonial threat or coercion on matters of sovereignty.  

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