Re, “The problem with China is the USA”



Thank you Sir for mentioning my reaction letter to your column titled “60-40 or all-or-nothing” last September 13, 2019, in your today’s column (September 16, 2019) titled “The Problem with China is the USA).

I know you have other important subject matters to take up in your column, but please allow me to make further enlightenment on the viability of my suggestion, which you need not take up in your column. My only purpose here is simply to attempt to convince at you of my idea, being one of the most respected and well-read columnist.

Here it is. As I go over your write-up, I understand you agree with me on the good chance of winning again in the International Tribunal on a contemplated action for damages (forced rental) for the continuing deprivation of our excise of the right of dominion over certain areas of South China Sea (known as Spratly Islands, Scarborough Shoals, Extended Continental Reefs and Low-Tide Elevation[1] and others) within the Philippines’ 200 miles Exclusive Economic Zone and Extended Continental Shelf in the South China Sea, vis-à-vis the previous favorable decision.

Your worry is that just the same China will not honor or recognize the assumed new favorable decision. That is expected. But the acceptance or recognition of China of the decision is not necessary to make it enforceable just like the earlier decision. With or without the recognition of China that decision is valid and enforceable.

Our problem is that in the course of the enforcement, because of the refusal of China to recognize, the only solution that we see is the use of force (meaning going to war). There is a big difference between the first decision and the assumed new favorable decision of the International Tribunal. In the first, the enforcement means ejectment of China from the occupied territories pertaining to the Phils. This needs armed confrontation which can escalate to a full-blown war. But in the second decision, no force or armed confrontation is needed.

As I suggested in my letter to the President, we can enforce the new decision under the universal principle of off-setting or compensation through the seizure of assets of China within the territories of our allied countries in the international community. In doing so, we do not fire a single shot to start a war. Another advantage that I see on this non-confrontational approach, is that the fear that we are deemed to have waived the rights established in the earlier decision of the international court by not doing anything to enforce the same is being addressed. I agree U.S. is to blame for not being true to its role as the “global policeman.”

But we cannot continue forever the blame game with U.S. We need to be resourceful and to exhaust all other legal remedies short of war. The fear that China in retaliation will put a squeeze on our OFWs or our economy in general, is part of the risk that we have to take. But I am confident that the approach that I am suggesting is safer and a better course to take than risking war.

Thank you Sir.

Atty. M. B. Mahinay