Originally Posted by Nirvana
Why Philippines Stands Up to China | The Diplomat
This tension in the SCS in fact plays very well in the Philippines favor.
The Scarborough has never been a very strong case for China and this standoff further demonstrates to International Community the clumsy manner with which China is locking itself in: a maze of ambiguities, imbroglios and incoherency.
For one, we can observe that there is no official mention of the “dotted line” in all statements by China and media for this
incident. Is it so embarrassing to mention China “undisputable historical waters”?
For two, we can observe another imaginative use of historical records. Xinhua for example, in its “Backgrounder: Basic facts
on China’s sovereignty over Huangyan Island”, cited first the argument of the astronomer Guo Shoujing alledgely selecting the
Scarborough as an astronomical survey point (in 1279). Now knowing that the shoal is at more than 500 miles from Hainan, one
may asks why Guo selected this place for his observations? Sure he must justify to his emperor why. In fact, if you dig
further into the issue, you will discover that there is no historical account by Guo, or by anyone in his team or administration, of Guo ever setting foot on any rock of the Scarborough. No map, no expedition preparation, no report of the difficulties of maing observations on rocks. Either the ancient scientists were sloppy in their reports, or today’s Chinese scientists (a very few of them) have been overzealous in interpreting history.
For three, even if, with a big stretch of imagination, we accept that an (Chinese) astronomer, under the commission a (Mongol) administration, knew and use the Scarborough for some scientific purpose, it would not be a title of discovery, and certainly a
proof of sovereingty for TODAY’s China. We can ask ourselves why the next date cited by Xinhua for facts administrative Chinese acts on the shoal is 1935? What happens during the centuries in between? In summary, nothing before 1279 and suddenly this very far away place (and dangerous for navigation) was “selected”, then forgotten for centuries… Really “undisputable proofs”?
For four, the standoff started by the incident of Philippines forces inspecting alledgely Chinese fishermen catching
endangered species. China imposed its unilateral moratorium on fishing above 12-degree latitude (as if the whole SCS is
already under China’s administration). Let’s see if China will keep the fishing boats (and the Maritime Patrol vessels to protect them) near the Scarborough. If not the situation will de-escalate due to the self-imposed, scientifically illogical and unlawful
annual Chinese unilateral fishing moratorium!
So hang on Philippines!