Friday, May 4, 2012

China increases presence in Scarborough Shoal

Nine Chinese boats are there now at the Panatag shoal. It's an irony, considering that we, Filipinos, consider the area as a tranquil place. These ships, mostly fishing boats and gunboats are ready ploys. China wants to tell us that we can't fish in there, because the area is theirs. Double irony since those shoals are closer to us, and belongs to our exclusive economic zone, recognized by the UNCLOS, than China's closest shoreline.

What China is trying to say is, if they own the place, and if we serve it to them on the silver platter, expect the thriving sea life there to vanish. This early, Chinese fishermen are on the hunt for endangered sea life, and precious corals. There are there to finish the life off the area. Imagine if we allow these Chinese to exploit these areas. Our fisheries supplies will also be depleted as a consequence.

Predatory--that's how China behaves in Panatag shoal, or what the international community regard as Scarborough shoal. Protective, that's how we position ourselves there. 

I salute those brave and patriotic men of the Coast Guard, the Naval and even the Army who risk their lives just being there. Every single minute, our boats face those of the Chinese. One false move, and the possibility of things just going haywire exist. 

While these things happen, government must plan ahead. President Aquino should form a group that would study the possible scenarios should diplomacy fails. One thing that prevents these things from reaching a tipping point is our long standing relationship with China. 

Our relationship with China has been a very healthy one since our peoples began trading with each other. Before, every Chinese that trades with us, do so with dignity and respect. 

Now, unfortunately, its predatory. 

China must consider that its is better for their interest to consider the Philippines as a strong ally than an enemy. For one, the Chinese people have a very special place in every Pinoy's heart. Throughout Philippine history, the Chinese and the Filipinos have been fighting and struggling together. Now, in the advent of the modern age, both peoples are on the brink of a serious conflict.

Personally, I don't want this to happen. If at all, Filipinos should look up to China as a model for development. The struggles of the Chinese people against imperialist and semi-feudalism are sterling examples which have inspired Filipinos since the forties. Now that China has gotten predatory, it is very sad to know that those who look up to them as inspiration, are now the very ones who will get the brutal end of the bargain if this goes down the wire.