Hopefully, Beijing’s call on Manila to return “’diplomacy’” keeps the peace: A reaction
Anchor for Allvoices
Beijing’s call on Manila to return to ‘diplomacy’ is expected to keep the peace between the two neighbor countries. However, Beijing’s initiative to return to diplomacy carries a heavy weight on its claim on Philippines’ Panatag Shoal known in China as Huangyan Island.
Zhang Yunbi’s report through China Daily said, "China's sovereignty over the island is justified in both historical records and legal documents, but the Philippines' claim is not," said Luo Yuan, deputy secretary-general of the China Association of Military Science. China succeeded in naming the island and its adjacent islets in 1935, 1947 and 1983, and the related international treaties also recognized the legitimacy of the naming.”
Furthermore, "China's sovereignty over the island is justified in both historical records and legal documents, but the Philippines' claim is not," said Luo Yuan, deputy secretary-general of the China Association of Military Science” said Yunbi.
In the same manner, through same newspaper Yunbi said, “The Philippine government made no challenge to China's sovereignty over the island before it started to officially lay rival claims in 1997. Analysts said the Philippine public has expressed discontent over its government's groundless claim and legislative attempts in recent years to annex Huangyan Island. Huangyan Island "does belong to China, which discovered it and drew it in a map as early as 1279 during the Yuan Dynasty", said an opinion article in the Manila Standard Today newspaper on April 28. "By contrast, the 'old maps' being relied upon by our Department of Foreign Affairs in its spurious claim on the same territory were drawn up only in 1820, or 541 years after China's," said the article.
Let it be emphasized that Panatag Shoal is comfortably situated within the 200 kilometers exclusive economic zone of the Philippines as clearly defined by virtue of the international agreements like the International Law of the Sea. The Philippines' claim with respect to such agreement must be recognized.
China's claim is observed to have rested on antiquated documents with the passing of time suggest became obsolete and non binding.
In view of the developments that transpired as Yunbi reported, Beijing holds on to the great weight of its claim on Huangyan Island as indicated in his report. These facts must have emboldened China to take the initiative urging Manila to ‘return to diplomacy’.
Though China seems to assume the greatest legitimacy and sovereignty over the disputed island as indicated the cited facts, Manila’s claim must be recognized. China to assume ownership for the entire territory is not a fair solution to the crisis.
There must be an equitable solution that will be agreeable for both parties. A humanitarian approach must be resorted to that will promote the best interests of Chinese and Filipino fishermen who have made the island as their haven for subsistence and survival. Chinese and Filipinos mutual co-existence over the island is seen as a humanitarian solution. Hopefully, such approach will keep the peace between the two nations.