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SURE ENOUGH, KERRY TOLD DUTERTE EXACTLY WHAT ONE COULD HAVE EXPECTED -- "GO AHEAD WITH BILATERAL TALKS WITH CHINA ON THE PRECONDITION THAT THE PCA RULING IS FINAL AND BINDING."|
Dusty1 is a known China-hater in this forum, but like all bullies, he knows when he meets a softie, and thus his comment that Wang is sucking up to Kerry is an important and probably correct observation. But why, is the bigger question. Forget Huangyan and forget Spratly, the harder the Philippines makes it for China to pursue bilateral talks with her, the better it is for China, which can begin extracting the oil and gas, and continuing harvesting the marine resources of these islands and their EEZ's, with absolutely nothing to lose. But we really cannot forget the WANG MYSTERY STATEMENT to Kerry to "support bilateral talks" as if it needed Kerry's support or permission, belittling the independence and intelligence of Duterte as the elected President of the Philippines, or if not, then belittling China's ability to defend her territorial sovereignty, and thus the need to plead with its biggest critic to help guarantee its sovereignty, i.e., a hint to Kerry that China is actually incapable of defending her sovereign territory. Quite a serious, big hint, to say the least.
The fact that Kerry acted on it showed he understood that China is incapable of winning a war or winning a negotiation with the Philippines, backed by America, and therefore, brilliantly took the advice and told Duterte to reject China's precondition of invalidating the PCA rulinig.
What remains to be seen is whether the Philippines or China needs the bilateral talks more than the other.
If China is too weak to push through its development and exploitation of Huangyan, Spratly and other islands in the South China Sea, and cannot therefore harness time to favor its position, then the Philippines should follow Kerry's advice and stonewall the talks indefinitely.
But if China instead accelerates her extraction of oil, harvesting of fish, and militarizing her outposts while the Philippines is procrastinating and debating itself, then the Philippines will not follow Kerry's advice, and would initiate talks with China without any preconditions. Since China's next move depends on how Duterte positions his country, China has been reduced to a passive player, with its courses of action dependent on the moves first made by Manila. As such, it can be said that Wang gave Kerry the opportunity to neutralize China's gains in the ASEAN. It is unthinkable, but truth is often stranger than fiction.