China’s occupation of Bajo de Masinloc gave PH no choice but go to U.N.

Two of three Chinese fishing vessels at Bajo de Masinloc

So far, all that Beijing has said of the Philippines’ suit asking the United Nations to declare as illegal its nine-dash-line map is that it “will complicate the issue.”

China reiterated its earlier denunciation of the Philippines’ “illegal occupation” of some islands in the South China Sea, referred to in the Philippines as “West Philippine Sea.”

Sources with contact in Beijing said China’s Foreign Ministry was “stunned” that the Philippines pushed through what they have been talking about for almost two years now.

China is most concerned of its international respectability. This suit, the first against China at the U.N., does not augur well for a new leadership that would come in next month.

China has been consistent in its position not to “internationalize” the issue of conflicting territorial claims in the South China Sea and over Bajo de Masinloc (Huangyan Island to the Chinese) and to deal the issue bilaterally.

The Philippines defied China, the emerging world superpower, last Tuesday and decided to ask the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal to declare the nine-dash line map illegal.

China submitted on May 7, 2009 before the U.N. Commission on the Law of the Sea the “nine-dash line” map, so called because instead of coordinates, it shows a series of nine dashes or dotted lines forming a ring around the South China Sea area, which China claims is part of its territory.

The “nine-dash line map” puts 90 percent of the whole South China Sea under Chinese jurisdiction Bajo de Masinloc, 124 nautical miles away from Zambales and clearly within the Philippines 200 NM exclusiove economic zone (it’s 467 nautical miles from mainland China) and Spratlys group of islands which are also claimed wholly and partly by the Philippines,Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

The DFA said it is not the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea or ITLOS that the Philippine lodged its suit. It is before the Arbitral Tribunal under Article 287 and Annex VII of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS under which it does not need China to agree to the arbitration.

The process has started with the handing by the DFA last Tuesday to Ambassador Ma Keqing of the note verbale on the U.N. suit and a copy of the 19-page Notification and Statement of Claim.

Sources close to Malacanang and the DFA said the tipping point for the Philippines was the declaration by Chinese Foreign Vice Minister Fu Ying later last year that they have no intention of withdrawing their three remaining ships in Bajo de Masinloc which is tantamount to their occupation of a Philippine territory.

In the Philippine Notification and Statement of Claim, it used the word “seize” in describing the Bajo de Masinloc incident:

Paragraph 20 states: “In 2012, China seized six small rocks that protrude above sea level within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, unlawfully claimed an exaggerated maritime zone around these features, and wrongfully prevented the Philippines from navigating, ort enjoying access to the living resources within this zone, even though it forms part of the Philippines’ EEZ.

“These half dozen protrusions, which are known collectively as Scarborough Shoal (Bajo de Masinloc n the Philippines; Huang Yan Dao in China) are located approximately 120 M west of the the Philippine island of Luzon……”

Paragraph 21 states, “Until April 2012, Philippine fishing vessels routinely fished in this area, which is within the Philippines’ 200 M exclusive economic zone. Since then, China has prevented the Philippines from fishing at Scarborough Shoal or in its vicinity, and undertaken other activities inconsistent with the Convention. Only Chinese vessels are now allowed to fish in these waters, and have harvested, inter alia, endangered species such as sea turtles, sharks and giant clams which are protected by both international and Philippine law.”
China gave the Philippines’ no choice.

January 28, 2013 1:49 am  Tags: ,   Posted in: Foreign Affairs, Malaya

18 Responses

  1. vic - January 28, 2013 5:31 am

    But we all know that the UN has no enforcement power for its decision except Moral suasion and China know it well…

  2. chi - January 28, 2013 5:47 am

    The best that DFA can do than hold on to hope of big bro’s help and be a coward tiny little nation to the eyes of bully China forever.

    At least this way, China got a little problem with us, but still a problem, di ba? Kesa naman Pinas hands to them Bajo de Masinloc without a wimp, sabihin nila chicken tayo. We out up a brave front and we get other nation’s attention.

  3. chi - January 28, 2013 7:41 am

    We put up…

  4. TonGuE-tWisTeD - January 28, 2013 2:02 pm

    What I’m worried about is the attitude that some of our leaders are displaying regarding this particular incident and our diplomatic ties with China as a whole.

    It’s hard venturing into economic cooperation with someone you consider your political enemy but if it’s the ONLY avenue towards peace, then let it be. Especially since this country is dependent on foreign industries for its own survival we cannot afford to continue ignoring the Chinese and its manufacturing might. UNLESS we resolve to match their industries with our own.

    Well, it’s really difficult to be in our leaders’ shoes considering there are actual violations of Philippine territorial integrity both from bully China and now, even from ally America. How well (or how bad) we play our cards will determine our international standing (and survival) of the incoming generations.

  5. johnmarzan - January 28, 2013 7:13 pm

    china has veto power in the UN security council.

  6. Ellen - January 28, 2013 8:05 pm

    The case won’t reach the Security Council. The Philippines only asked the U.N. Arbitral Tribunal to render its opinion on the legality of China’s 9-dash-line map.

  7. chi - January 28, 2013 8:41 pm

    I agree, tongue. Pinas will suffer when China gets back to us. Our OFWs will be affected the most considering Hongkong is second (yata) sa placement. Our product exports and tourism, too, will suffer. Hirap ng lagay natin talaga.

  8. vic - January 28, 2013 11:32 pm

    Chi @7 during the Turnover of HongKong to China by its Colonial Master, GB they have agreed a 50 years window to which HongKong will maintain its autonomy before China can impose its One party policies. That is why HongKong is still among the most Transparent efficient govern governments in the world …and I believe they are halfway there because I still remberer the SURGE in housing cost when HongKong residents uncertain of the mainland authorities Intention gobbled up houses and real estate at any price. Then they went back home.. Ther are n

  9. vic - January 28, 2013 11:37 pm

    Sorry chi this smart phone ain’t very smart… Cont. there are now close to half Million Hongkongers holding Canadian citizenship and send their children to a avail the subsidized education and universal health and play a waiting game in their homeland, either in HongKong or in the mainland. The only Problem is when they all come back at Once Like a STAMPEDE that will be a NIGHTMARE TO resettle them down …but that will be an issue that is still Rhetorical.

  10. arvin - January 29, 2013 3:57 pm

    Kung bakit ginagawa ng bansang China iyan ay dahil parami ng parami ang populasyon nila.

  11. Jake Las Pinas - January 29, 2013 7:22 pm

    We can also request Green Peace and other nature conservatory group to get involve in this conflict to give it more media attention.

  12. chi - January 29, 2013 8:44 pm

    #8. Yes vic, when we’re in Toronto moons ago Hongkonese everywhere we looked. Said it was due to the offer of your gov’t that anyone who got half a mil Canadian dollars (then) were illegible to migrate over there. What they didn’t know was half a mil was only peanuts by Hongkong standard. Ayun, they flocked to Canada.

    Those rich Hongkonese in Canada, even if they chose to go back to Hongkong would not create chaos for our OFWs there. Problem really is when Beijing put its weight against us because of territorial disputes, Pinas will be greatly affected on major fronts. Sana bumait na ang mga Intsik. :)

  13. vic - January 30, 2013 8:01 pm

    @# 12 …also during the HongKong Turnover to China, Homgkongers were British Subjects thereby are entitled to settle in any Commonwealth Countries. Pls note that before the Citizen Act of 1960, Canadians were also British Subjects although we are an Independent country..now only Her Majesty Queen E II and the Heir to the Crown has anything to do with Canada. And by all surveys Prince William and Duchess Kate are the Favourites of all Royalties ..

  14. dan1067 - January 31, 2013 3:53 pm

    re: #10
    Arvin may oil deposits & coral reef minerals beneath the waters of bajo de Masinloc kaya ayaw bitawan ng mga singkit.

  15. johnmarzan - February 1, 2013 8:27 pm

    ” The case won’t reach the Security Council. The Philippines only asked the U.N. Arbitral Tribunal to render its opinion on the legality of China’s 9-dash-line map.”

    the UN has no enforcement mechanism other than rely on the might of the US military, and the U.S. is in retreat right now, and China knows this.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/339297/war-rust-victor-davis-hanson

    and a lot of these other member countries are afraid of china (na baka maparusahan sila economically).

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