HomeCommentaryBully China desperate to look nice; sue it now

Bully China desperate to look nice; sue it now

China is desperately trying to project a positive image to the world, but its reputation is severely tarnished. News videos have revealed the brutality of its navy, coastguards, and maritime militia, detailing attacks and abuses against Filipino fishermen and unarmed sailors. Even Chinese citizens are witnessing the insincerity of the Chinese Communist Party.

Now is the time for Manila to sue Beijing in international courts.

Beijing fears additional international arbitrations. Wu Shicun, president of China’s National Institute for South China Sea Studies, recently stated, “We should stop the Philippines from filing another case.” As China’s expert on SCS issues, he is aware of the potential loss they face.

As Sun Tzu advises, “Do what the enemy fears most: Fight on your own terms.”

Ex-Justice Antonio Carpio outlines “four winnable cases”:

  1. Settle the Philippine Extended Continental Shelf (ECS).
    Manila has filed for a 150-mile ECS with the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, in addition to the 200-mile exclusive economic zone under UNCLOS. The ECS is more than 500 miles from China’s southernmost Hainan province. Despite this, Beijing contested it last June, causing the UN-CLCS to defer approval.
    “Let’s challenge China before the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea,” Carpio suggests. “China’s only contention will be its concocted nine-dash line. But The Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration, under ITLOS, already outlawed that claim in 2016.”
    Beijing will face a dilemma. “It opposes our ECS, but can’t take the next step because it knows it will lose,” Carpio adds.
    Manila will simply reiterate its ECS scientific bases, while Beijing will have nothing but a bogus map.
  2. Set Fishing Rules in Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal.
    Panatag is Philippine territory within its EEZ, yet China forbids fishing there, except by destructive Hainanese trawlers. This violates the 2016 PCA verdict declaring Panatag a “common fishing ground” for Filipinos, Vietnamese, and Chinese.
    “Manila can return to the PCA for rule-setting on season, size, and volume catch,” Carpio says. “The case will take less than a month to draft.”
    The effects, however, will be long-term, allowing Panatag resources to regenerate, and China can no longer act unilaterally.
  3. Make China Pay for Damaging Two Other Philippine Reefs.
    Escorted by the CCG, Chinese maritime militia trawlers pulverized 12,000 hectares of corals in Rozul (Iroquois) and Escoda (Sabina) Shoals starting September 2023. The PCA declared these to be Philippine EEZ resources and chastised China for previous reef destruction.
    “Let’s tap international and Filipino marine biologists to document and calculate the damage,” Carpio suggests. It’s the logical next step to the 2016 ruling.
  4. Demolish China’s Fake Territorial Sea Claim.
    This case is suitable for the International Court of Justice. Manila can present the 1734 Murillo Velarde map showing the Spratlys as Philippine territory, as well as the 1898 Treaty of Paris and the 1900 Treaty of Washington.
    No ancient Chinese map shows territory beyond Hainan. The tale that a Chinese engineer-astronomer surveyed Panatag from coastal towers in the mainland—850 miles beyond the horizon—is unacceptable.
    Not even Mao Zedong’s map includes a nine-dash boundary. China’s “great, glorious, correct helmsman” presented in 1956 a Five-Year Plan map of important industrial projects. The National Museum of China in Beijing displays this map.

The CCP Central Committee is to hold a third plenum mid-July, with flawed policies on the agenda, for which apparatchiks criticize CCP chairman and China president Xi Jinping. Prolonged pandemic lockdown, stifling of businesses, and discrimination against migrant rural workers have reduced consumer spending and exports.

Xi aspires to be seen as a world statesman, but his hypocrisy is evident. Recently in Beijing, he pleaded for an “equal, orderly world that would reject the big subduing the small, the strong bullying the weak, and the rich exploiting the poor.” Isn’t China the big bully?

- Newsletter -

Xi’s subordinates lie as blatantly. As soon as CCG rams and attacks Filipino bancas, the embassy propagandizes that it was provoked, without mentioning the CCG’s trespass into Philippine waters.

The ambassador feigns abhorrence of Philippine offshore gaming for Chinese high-rollers, but that’s only because two Chinese gambling dens in Luzon were raided for trafficking thousands of Southeast Asians and Filipinos, and for torturing and killing Chinese nationals.

Most pathetic was the Chinese coastguards’ claim to have saved shipwrecked Filipinos near Panatag last Saturday. In truth, the Chinese barred Filipino rescuers, the victims attest.

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