Aquino’s new kind of diplomacy

RECENTLY, President Aquino III sent his top-caliber diplomats in the persons of Vice President Jejomar Binay and vice presidential contender Mar Roxas to mainland China and to Taiwan.

Earlier, he sent a team to Hong Kong to “explain” the Philippines’ side of the brutal killings of Chinese nationals on board a tourist bus at the Rizal Park.

That is the kind of diplomacy President Aquino III appears to be adopting to appease neighbors who believe to have wronged by the Philippine overnmnt.

Diplomacy should be a two-sided love affair but in the case of China and Taiwan, it seems ti won’t work.

Late last week, China said it was not apologizing for “harassing” a Philippine vessel near the Spratly group of islands despite the Philippine government’s protest it had filed.

President Aquino demanded an explanation from Beijing over the incident at the Reed Bank, which officials said was clearly within Philippine territory.

“Ano kayo, sinisuwerte?” China must have told the Philippine government.

President Aquino doesn’t seem to lessons well. He insisted on sending an expert to China (oh, no, not again) to discuss the issue with Chinese officials.

I don’t know if he is properly advised by his Cabinet but any self-respecting nation will not stoop down to such arrogance and send its messengers to plead. Let China send his own diplomats because we are the aggrieved party.

The military deployed two warplanes to the area last Wednesday after the oil exploration vessel contracted by the Department of Energy radioed for help, saying it was being approached by two Chinese patrol boats, news report said.

It was learned that the Chinese vessels later left without a confrontation. “It’s clearly our territory. If they’ll bully us, well, even children will fight back,” said Lt. Gen. Juancho Sabban, head of the military’s Western Command. Well, tell that to the Prsident.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said the incident occurred within Philippine territory and the government was seeking an explanation from the Chinese. But since Beijing cannot come to Manila, let Manila go to Beijing and party!

I think our diplomacy is getting too far.  “We are asking our Chinese friends [for] an explanation and we are in dialogue with them. I would prefer that we leave it at that,” del Rosario said.

And what did the Chinese embassy spokesman do? “Noted,” the embassy spokesman exclaimed while at the same time stressing that China has sovereignty over the Spratlys.

But he insisted China had sovereignty over the disputed area, called the Nansha islands by the Chinese and Spratly islands by everyone else.

For sure, Mr. Aquino is not a coward. All he wants, he said, was to “de-escalate” the situation.

He said an unarmed Philippine Coast Guard patrol ship has been deployed to secure the oil exploration vessel, which would resume its activity at the Reed Bank. What for if its patrol shiup cannot even defend itself? It’s a waste of fuel and manpower.-Raul Valino


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