China, or whoever caused this great stress between China-RP relations chose an appropriate setting to escalate the tension and bring it eventually, to war. First, it chose the Scarborough shoal, a group of rocks which is near Philippine territory and a bit far off from the disputed Spratlys island group. Scarborough shoal is an issue personal between China and the Philippines. It is not being claimed by other claimants or let me rephrase this--Scarborough shoal is not as politically sensitive as the other groups of islets and islands that form the Spratlys. Even if a shooting war breaks out between China and the Philippines, this war will not drag other claimants into the fray, preventing a regional war.
Historically, the battle for Scarborough shoal has been more of a diplomatic dispute rather than actual skirmish. However, China has been persistently active in its push to claim these islands. What the Philippine government does not reveal is the fact that China has built several structures there before and even maintained an active patrolling stance since the eighties. It is now the first time that the Philippines stood its ground against China.
Diplomacy is still the best for both governments. A naval skirmish will drag the United States into it, which, will effect three (3) results: First, it will test China's naval strength which, based on estimates, is still far inferior than the United States. Second, a humiliating defeat of China's fleet will decrease China's influence over the region, affect its dominating status and cause a power reconfiguration in the region. Lastly, a war between China and the US will affect trade in the region and will shift the flow of global investments from Asia to Europe. The US will be able to salvage its reputation as a Pacific military power and an investment or trade shift will reinvigorate Europe and avoid plunging that region towards a full-blown economic winter.
(more on this later)
Really, a war anywhere is a necessity to prevent a further slide of the global economy into recession. That war, unfortunately, should involve Asia. A peaceful Asia harms businesses elsewhere. A destabilized Asian region dispenses capital equally.
Now, what do I suggest the Philippine government must do to manage this crisis. First, it should continue diplomacy. Diplomacy is still the best option for the Philippines and for China. If both groups exhibit honesty in the negotiating table and choose the path of peace instead of war, this benefits both countries since they will not play into the hands of war globalists who think a war is the best solution against the worsening global state of the economy.
The Philippine government must take a hard stance since in the eyes of the world, it is fighting for sovereignty. Logic dictates that the shoal is owned by the Philippines due to its proximity. In a war of perceptions, China loses to the Philippines hands down.
The next steps that the Philippines will take will be watched closely due to its sensitivity. The first one is choosing the best person to represent the country before China. Right now, there is no Philippine ambassador to China. Pnoy's appointee, Manuel Ong, is not just unfit for the job; but an obvious liability. Ong is perceived to be very close to China.
Pnoy must appoint someone who knows China by serving as an observer. Meaning, this person should have a previous experience of looking in even from the outside. Ambassador Basilio is one such person.
It harms Philippine interests if such amateurs like, say Chito Sta Romana is designated as ambassador. For one, Sta. Romana is a staunch Maoist. He has stayed in China for several decades as a dissident, and his loyalty is questionable. Whose interests will Sta. Romana pursue when push comes to shove?
A seasoned diplomat is needed in this time, a person who can speak like a Romulo, act like a Siazon and be firm like a del Rosario. Time to hire a true-blue Patriot to deal with a bully such as China.
The Philippine decision to send a delegation to the State department is not a very welcome move since this action plays in the hands and plans of globalists. Why send a delegation when the Philippines is still not yet in war? Besides, it is axiomatic for the US to help the Philippines in case the shooting war starts because of the mutual defense treaty.
By sending a delegation there in the United States shows two things: first, it shows the vassal-master character of US-RP relations. Why report to the US when the only thing that is happening right now is a naval standoff? Second, it is a sign of weakness. Why go to Big brother when this thing can be resolved diplomatically?
Lastly, the Philippines must step up the propaganda war against China. The government must be made to realize that the eventual winner of this dispute is the one most vocal and most active in asserting its rights. The Philippines will survive a war against China if it enjoys the backup of the rest of the international community. Without this, the Philippines stands naked and vulnerable before China.