MANILA, Philippines — A former national security adviser predicted that China’s increasing aggression in the South China Sea will spur the creation of a coalition of countries, including the United States, to thwart the Asian giant’s military dominance in the vital sea lanes.
“In view of its aggressive stance, China has triggered (the formation of) a coalition against itself … It is an over aggressiveness that is backfiring,” Roilo Golez, who is also a former congressman, said in a talk before leaders of the Greenhills Christian Fellowship in Pasig City.
“If there is a bully, he may get his way for a while, but then after a while, people will coalesce and gang up against the bully. And who is the first bully in the area?” the graduate of the US Naval Academy said.
He pointed out that the US, Japan, Australia, India and Vietnam have already moved to beef up their forces in the contentious sea lanes.
“It is an emerging coalition. You can see sea exercises between India and the US … Japan is considering patrolling the South China Sea, and Australia said it is going to modernize its Navy,” he said. “It looks like the world is now ganging up on China.”
At the same time, he said, the world is also keeping close watch on the Philippines’ case China before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which accuses China of violating the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea by laying claim to almost the whole South China Sea.
The international tribunal is expected to hand down its decision this year although China has refused to recognize and participate in the proceedings.
“If we win this case, this would invalidate China’s nine-dash line claims,” Golez said.
Recently, China raised hackles by deploying an air defense missile system to Woody Island, part of the Paracel chain which it disputes with Taiwan and Vietnam.