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4月28日のまにら新聞から

Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia urged to conduct joint patrol in disputed waters vs China's hostile act amid pandemic

[ 555 words|2020.4.28|英字 (English) ]

The Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia could ask the help of Western superpowers for a joint patrol in the South China Sea to dissuade China from its "hostile" acts, former Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio said on Monday.

In a virtual media forum hosted by the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines FOCAP), Carpio also accused China of "taking advantage" of the coronavirus disease pandemic in advancing its interest in the disputed waters.

He noted China's hostile acts, such as its recent reported encroachment of the exclusive economic zones of Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines, including its navy ship's aiming of its control radar at Manila's navy ship.

Carpio, an expert on international law, described China's pointing of a control radar to Philippine navy ship as a "hostile act," which was "one step away from firing."

"We don't do that because if you make a mistake, you can trigger accidental war," Carpio said, adding that navies do not usually do such an act, "unless you want to bully another country."

He expressed belief that China could be stopped from its activities in the South China Sea if the countries in the region would conduct a joint patrol.

"What should we do now? I think we have to join patrols with Malaysia and Vietnam...so we're sending a message to China that China can't just pick us up one by one," he said.

If China would not refrain from its activities in the disputed waters, Carpio said the Southeast Asian countries could also ask the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Australia, among others help in patrolling the area.

"That will isolate China," he said.

He hailed the Department of Foreign Affairs for filing two diplomatic protests against China's pointing of radar and declaring parts of the Philippine territory as part of China's Hainan province.

Carpio said the Philippines should not compromise and always defend its sovereign rights on the West Philippine Sea or South China Sea.

"We cannot weaken our claim. We have to forcefully assert our claim. Our resources is more valuable," he said.

The Chinese Embassy in Manila recently came out with a music video, entitled "Iisang Dagat (One Sea)" to show cooperation between Beijing and Manila in the fight against COVID-19.

However, the music video drew flak among the netizens, with most of them expressing their "dislike".

"I think it boomeranged on them (China)," Carpio said of the music video due to the netizens' dislikes.

While he agreed with the statement of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque that the Philippine Constitution does not prevent foreigners from coming up with a video and releasing it here, Carpio said the Philippines could not do the same in China.

He accused China of taking advantage of the freedom of expression that is being respected in the Philippines and other western countries while others could not do the same in China.

"They can disseminate falsehood in our media...but we cannot counter it," he said.

The former justice suggested that the Philippine government should not allow Confucius Institutes in the country.

The Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Brunei, all ASEAN member countries, China and Taiwan have been claiming wholly or partially the South China Sea.

China, in particular, has been claiming almost the entire area through its nine-dash line, which was already invalidated by the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal. Celerina Monte/DMS