Manila's futile effort in territory row hurts its own interests
Updated: 2013-01-24 21:43
The situation in the South China Sea is easing, but the Philippines is running in the opposite direction. The Philippines' attempt to internationalize the South China Sea disputes can do no good and will hurt bilateral relations, damaging the Philippines' own interests and undermining regional stability, says an editorial in People's Daily:
Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario announced recently that the Philippine government had brought the South China Sea disputes to an Arbitral Tribunal under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The Philippines illegally occupied some islets and reefs of the Nansha Islands, and its latest attempt to mislead the public in the UN naturally cannot win support.
China has indisputable sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea and its adjacent waters. China has always been committed to addressing disputes with the Philippines through consultations and negotiations to maintain bilateral relations and regional peace and stability. This has shown China's utmost goodwill and sincerity.
In this spirit, China has resolved questions regarding territories and borders with some neighboring countries through bilateral consultations and negotiations in an equitable, reasonable and amicable manner. This is also the consensus reached by parties concerned in the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.
To intensify contradictions and provoke incidents can hardly be conducive to the solution of the disputes. The Philippines is eager to make a fuss about the internationalization of the South China Sea disputes, but it is putting itself in a more passive position. The Philippine government knows the consequences of stirring up trouble, which will have a negative effect on bilateral trade.
The Philippines should be aware that China is committed to a good-neighbor and friendly policy, but it is impossible for Beijing to make unprincipled concessions over territorial integrity and sovereignty issues related to its own core interests.
In recent years, cooperation between China and ASEAN has yielded fruitful results, and ASEAN countries have benefited a lot from China's rapid development. Cooperation between China and ASEAN is the mainstream. This is why the Philippines is isolated within ASEAN each time it creates trouble in the South China Sea issue. The Philippines' practice goes against the common interests of ASEAN.
Regardless of what self-righteous scheme Manila employs, it cannot change the fact that China has indisputable sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea and its adjacent waters.