The only way the issue on ownership of the Scarborough shoal can be resolved according to the Chinese government is for the Filipinos to surrender their sovereignty over it.
This is the pronouncement made by Hong Lei, a high ranking official of the Chinese Foreign Ministry. This is contrary to the pronouncement made by the Philippine government thru Foreign Affairs secretary Alberto del Rosario who said that both sides have begun talking. Yes, they are talking but China remains firm in its claim while the Philippines shows a rather pliant stance when it comes to this issue.
Imagine, sending an unofficial representative to Beijing to offer the Chinese government a joint exploration project in Recto Bank?
In a Manila Times report today, Lei outlines three requirements which China gave to the Philippine government.
Hong laid out China’s “three requirements” for the Philippines:
(1) That Chinese vessels in the waters of the South China Sea near and at Panatag (which is
Huangyan Islands to the People’s Republic) should not be disrupted from carrying out their duties.
(2) That Chinese fishermen and their boats should not be interrupted in their activities.
(3) That Philippine government vessels must withdraw from the area.
Lei even asked the Philippine journalists who covered them to communicate to the Philippine government that China wants the Philippines to respect its sovereignty over Scarborough Shoal.
Though China denies it is preparing its naval forces for a showdown with Philippine forces, its actions indicate otherwise.
The Philippine government should be ready. Like what Senate president Juan Ponce Enrile advised President Aquino, the Philippine government should already increase its armaments to prepare itself for an eventual showdown in the event, diplomacy fails.