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This post was edited by abramicus at 2012-12-2 17:45|
THE BACKGROUND OF THE PASSPORT MAP OF CHINA - PART I
It all began on March 14, 2009, when then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo passed the Republic of the Philippines Baseline Law which included Scarborough Shoal and the Kalayaan Islands (Spratley) within the sovereign territory of the Philippines.
Then, on April 11, 2012, the Philippines Navy ship, BRP Gregorio del Pilar, captured and boarded two Chinese fishing vessels it found at Scarborough Shoal, claimed also by China as part of its national territory. China sent two of its own marine surveillance ships to the area to block their seizure by the Philippines, which sent a second ship, from the Philippine Coast Guard, to the same area, beginning a months-long standoff between the two countries.
Philippines Tries to Negate China's Historical Basis for Sovereignty
On April 16, 2012, President Aquino echoed the opinion of Western powers that China's nine-dash line does not conform with the UNCLOS and violated Philippine sovereignty. Of course, the opposite is the truth, which Aquino was misinformed about, as sovereignty over the Scarborough Shoal can only be based on historical facts, and cannot be changed by UNCLOS which is based on terrotprial sovereignty of the island itself. While trying to prove that the Philippines had the prior historical claim to Scarborough, the Philippines was at the same time hewing to the Western lie that history is not a basis for claim of sovereignty, only UNCLOS, which in reality, merely bases its EEZ determination on sovereignty established by other means. So, the Philippine showed it was not really sincere about settling with China the historical question of ownership of the Scarborough Shoal after all. Some of its columnists even called China's overwhelming proof of historical ownership a "barrage" of maps and historical documents, as if this was not the crux of their dispute!? If historical proof is not enough, what is? This is the red flag that tells China that the Philippines was not negotiating on its own behalf, but was acting as a proxy to Western powers to cut down China's historical claims to its islands in the South China Sea. The Chinese position hardened.
On April 17, 2012, Foreign Affiairs Secretary del Rosario announced the Philippines will take China to the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) to settle the dispute.
On April 18, 2012, the Philippines publicly rejected China's historical claims to the Scarborough Shoal, insisting China's sovereignty is determined by the UNCLOS and the ITLOS, which any cursory reading of both organizations bylaws clearly tell you is not the case. In fact, under UNCLOS, China has the RIGHT to refuse arbitration by the ITLOS. China was not in violation of the UNCLOS, but the Philippines and the Western powers it was proxying for. They could not even produce one single line from the UNCLOS to prove that China's sovereignty is determined solely by UNCLOS and ITLOS up to the present. The argument that UNCLOS is not based on history is a non sequitur, because sovereignty is not based on UNCLOS to begin with, but on history. This argument was raised in 2009 by the lackeys of the Western powers in prior debates between China and Vietnam, and reinforces China's view that the Philippines is raising the issue of Scarborough Shoals as a proxy for Western powers intent on cutting off its islands and EEZ in the South China Sea, as already evidenced in the Sino-Vietnamese talks.
On April 19, 2012, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China officially exercised its RIGHT under the UNCLOS to reject arbitration by ITLOS, in accordance with the bylaws of the UNCLOS itself. This was followed the next day by the Philippines declaring China's actions on Scarborough Shoal would affect the entire South China Sea relations between China and its neighbors. China responded with a strong op-ed in a PLA newspaper warning the US not to be embroiled in this dispute, clearly showing China's understanding that the Philippines was serving, in its view, not as a self-interested party only, but as a proxy of another power.
On April 23, 2012, as if in answer to China, but actually previously scheduled, the Philippines-US joint military exercise was started, ending on April 27th, with a pledge by the Philippines that it will seek to get US military aid to defend its claim on Scarborough Shoal. Of course, while the exercise was pre-scheduled, and could not have taken place with the foreknowledge of the Scarborough Standoff, the opposite may still be true, which is that the Scarborough Standoff using a Philippine Navy vessel, instead of a Coast Guard ship, a little less than 2 weeks before, could have been pre-scheduled by design to precede the military exercise. No doubt, China did not take the message lightly, whether the "coincidence" was designed by the Philippines or the US. In the meantime, Philippine politicians known for their ties to the US military began suggesting that the US should be allowed to use the Philippines for military basing again, which President Aquino rejected off hand as not in his country's national interest.
Nevertheless, on May 1, 2012, the Philippines Secretary of Defense Voltaire Gazmin and Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert del Rosario met in Washington, DC, with US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, on a joint show of support obtaing a pledge from the US to help in building the armed forces of the Philippines. This resulted eventually in the sale of another cutter to the Philippines for some $9 million dollars, rather than an aid that the Philippines would get for free. Well, the US did give the Philippines some $30 million dollars toward that end, which greatly disappointed the deep pockets in Manila hoping to turn it into their personal capital flight money in short order.
On May 2, 2012, Taiwan joined the fray and declared Huangyan as part of China's sovereign territory (as part of the Republic of China).
On May 8, 2012, China's Defense Minister Wang Guanglie paid a visit to Secretary Panetta to make sure that their signals do not get crossed and end up engaging each other over unintended incidents.
On May 9, 2012, Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs del Rosario reaffirmed that the US reiterated its commitment to the Mutual Defense Treaty of 1951 if the Philippines came under attack. However, the US Secretary of State Clinton had already said the US is not taking sides on the Scarborough Shoal dispute, which implies it is excluded from the blanket protection of the treaty.
(to be continued)