Did China Win the Day in Navy Standoff?

China and the Philippines appear to have diffused a crisis in the South China Sea.

Sailors aboard the Chinese navy destroyer Qingdao prepare to depart Pearl Harbor, September 10, 2006 (US Navy/David Rush)
Sailors aboard the Chinese navy destroyer Qingdao prepare to depart Pearl Harbor, September 10, 2006 (US Navy/David Rush)

The Chinese fishermen who were engaged in a standoff at sea with Philippine navy ships simply sailed away on Saturday and so did the main Philippine warship. Crisis averted? Not quite.

Tensions flared anew after China deployed a second surveillance ship, along with an aircraft that briefly flew over a Philippine coast guard vessel at the disputed shoal where the Chinese say their fishermen sought refuge from a storm.

Manila accused the Chinese of illegally entering its waters and collecting endangered coral, clams and live sharks near the Scarborough Shoal on Tuesday, northwest of the Philippine islands. Two Chinese navy ships arrived at the scene within a matter of days to prevent the arrest of the fishermen.

According to the Philippines, “The stalemate remains,” even if neither the fishing crew nor the surface combatant BRP Gregorio del Pilar are evidently present at the scene anymore.

Although China may appear to have won the day, its neighbors, certainly the Philippines, will have only more reason to pull the United States into the South China Sea area to balance against what they perceive to be China’s bullying tactics.

China couldn’t give in without undermining its borders claims — allowing its citizens to be arrested by the Philippines for fishing in “their” waters — but it could have negotiated their release rather than giving the Philippines no alternative to either losing face or risking a skirmish.

Since the Philippines have lost face, there is an impetus for them to seek a more powerful American engagement in the region.

Some six hundred Special Forces are currently stationed in the Philippines in assistance of local counterinsurgency efforts. United States Navy ships regularly call at Philippine ports but the Americans haven’t had a permanent base in the island nation since they were kicked out of Subic Bay in 1992. Don’t be surprised if that soon changes.

Comments

  1. Philippines can not compete with Chinese how to steal. They had been
    good at that. Even at sea on SEA sea, or software, intellect properties
    etc… Lands like Tibet, Inner Mongolia, Uighur, The world can’t
    compete with China. They had been well train how to make “yours are my
    Chinese”

  2. I need to be vocal as an aboriginal of the Island nation Philippines. I think I have the rights to voice out what is good for my country standing as the tribe member, an aboriginal, and native of the land.

    I understand that Filipinos are in mixed of Filipino-Chinese blood, Filipino-Americans, Filipino Europeans, Filipino-Japanese, Filipino-Spanish, and so on… Me, as a pure Filipino in blood from my native foreparents; may I have the honor to speak.

    The invasion of china is my country the Philippines is a very provocative and most aggressive act that violates the Law of the Philippines and the International Convention in the Laws of Seas or UNCLOS.

    The Standoff in the Panatag Shoal or Scarborough Shoal signifies that china is willing to violate the international law just to suffice their personal interest and pride harming the international community to ask if the international law is still powerful to be followed by any country or not.

    Though my poor and weak country is already embarrassed by this standoff as we are weak and toothless to implement the law to protect our national sovereignty, I may ask your understanding that it is not because the Philippines is poorly equipped militarily but because my country the Philippines is already matured in dealing with conflicts.

    I will not consider the standoff in Panatag Shoal or Scarborough Shoal as embarrassment of the Philippines in failing to implement the rule of law of the territory but a Pride to the international community that the Philippines is a Model of Peace and Stability.

    The Philippines is the land of educated people and knew the value of life. Basically, the Philippine warship present in the standoff is more powerful to drive away the Chinas patrol vessel in any means but they did not do it as Filipino valued the life of not just for Filipinos but also for China’s soldier present in the standoff. Their soldier is there just to obey the order of their government so the best way to solve the issue is to negotiate directly to their government.

    With all these regard, I am calling the United Nations and the international community to take their part and call for a peaceful end of the standoff. China used their weakness & pride to stay in the Philippine territory while the Philippines used their brain, maturity and try to resolve the conflict in a peaceful way. The fact is that the Philippines is already matured compare to China in terms of Diplomacy so we will let it be as the DFA could handle this.

    The United Nations and the international community’s participation is needed so the China could have a reason without hurting their pride to go back to their land. May I remind you, if the ant is stepped by a dog, it will really bite. So I may call all concern to be part of the peaceful process because if the war will broke in this disputed seas then the world would be hurt.

    Have a nice day.. and let there be peace on earth and let it begin with you.

  3. JAW to JAW? NOT WAR TO CHINA ? WHY? HOW SHOULD THE PHILIPPINE DEFEND ITS TERRITORY THEN?

    Brain of Filipinos is even mightier than weapons.

    People of the Philippines and around the world let our brain works.. War is a game of loser and Brainless because both are losers so stand for peaceful process than accepting the challenge of China.

    The Philippines could still defend its territory by showing it’s presence in the Panatag Scarborough Shoal and raise the Philippine Flag.. but never leave the area. Do not let the incident in Mischief reef to happen again that the Philippine allowed Chinese fake fishermen to use the place for shelter as alibi of invading tactics and controlled the place.

    By China’s own aggression, let see how their economy and military budget will collapse by letting them spend more and more sending their troops from Hainan that would takes 3 days to reach the Philippine territory. In that sense it will hurt the china’s pocket. This is the best way to defeat china not war against them. They are just lack of care and surprised of their temporary riches but soon they will still fall down.

    The china’s economy starts collapsing now as their economic growth keep thinning every month.. so let’s watch how china will collapse.

    It is a PRIDE for the Philippines to face jaw to Jaw with China as the world see how the Philippines stand to defend its territory against the mighty dragon but it could be a big SHAME FOR CHINA to show aggression to a very small country. Count it as the best action of the Philippines.

    We must NOT ALLOW THE WAR to happen because it’s a big stupidity. You knew already that China is mightier than the Philippines. They rank as the world super power while the Philippines is nothing then why should we will accept their provocation? We could not afford to lose the very precious life of our Soldier, We love our soldier, we value life because we are Christians, our Soldiers have their family that cared for them; while for China; majority of their soldiers are single and without family; they are not Christians and they never value life of their soldiers because they have so much. They even eat their fetus..

    Look if the war will broke; the Philippines could not sustain the war and it is not the best choice because the Philippines is ill-equipped. Though it could be a Pride for the Philippines to fight the hungry giants but still to lose the war and China will win double because they will officially occupy the Philippines territory as a reward of winning a battle. So Think this logic before asserting a war.

    Best way is Never leave the territory.. hard stance for Standoff and let them spend sending troops..

    Look! Even Russia were not able to sustain war against china when Chinese invaded Siberia. Compare Russia and Philippines. So do not be embarrassed that the Philippines is bullied by China.. let them bully us.. and be Proud that the Philippines is standing off against china.. even small and “No Sting” but China could not really resist… reason why Russia start searching for a good ally that will not betray them.

    Think of the recent support of Russia to the Philippines is an indicator that Russia is looking the Philippines to be a strategic ally to counter china and as vengeance of china’s betrayal in invading Siberia, a Russian territory. You did not hear the news? Because the Russian media is under control by their government so the news about this is lesser to minimize the embarrassment of Russia.

    Maybe you heard that Russia sold the Siberia but its not true.. the truth is They could not defend Siberia.

    Be proud we are standing off.. Brain of Filipinos is even mightier than weapons of China.