Sultan of Sulu, who is the true and legitimate?


Sultan Muhammad Fuad A. Kiram I (The last son of HM Sultan Esmail E. Kiram I - Sultan of Sulu 1947 to 1973) or Sultan Muedzul-Lail Tan Kiram (son of  Sultan Moh. Mahakuttah A. Kiram – 34th Sultan of Sulu 1974 – 1986)

Muedzul-Lail Tan Kiram 35th Sultan of Sulu Son of  Sultan Moh. Mahakuttah A. Kiram 34th Sultan of Sulu (1974 – 1986)

Sulu Sultan_Muedzul Lail Tan Karam 35th
Sultan of Sulu – Sultan Jamalul Kiram II (1894-1936).
Sultan of Sulu, Al-marhum Sultan Moh. Jamalul Kiram II (1893-1936) was recognized worldwide. During his long reign he signed several treaties with different nations.
 Sultan of Sulu, Al-marhum Sultan Moh. Jamalul Kiram II
Unfortunately he has no offspring of his own. He passed on his authority to his youngest brother Al-marhum Sultan Mawallil Wasit Kiram (1936).
Al-marhum Sultan Mawallil Wasit Kiram was Sultan Muedzul-Lail Tan Kiram’s great grandfather and Al-marhum Sultan Moh. Jamalul Kiram II was his great grand uncle.
Sultan Muedzul-Lail Tan Kiram is the grandson of the 33rd Sultan of Sulu, Al-marhum Sultan Moh. Esmail E. Kiram I (1950-1973)
Al-marhum Sultan Moh. Esmail E. Kiram I has granted authority to Philippine government under the administration of President Diosdado Macapagal on 12th of September 1962 and of President Ferdinand Marcos in 1969.
Sultan Muedzul-Lail Tan Kiram‘s mother Dayang-Dayang Farida Tan-Kiram was the first wife of his father. Half tausug and half Chinese, she was commonly known as the Princess of Sulu.
Sulu Sultan_Muedzul Lail Tan Karam
His father’s second wife is Dayang-Dayang Merriam Tanglao-Kiram, commonly known as the Princess of the South.

Al-marhum Sultan Moh. Mahakuttah A. Kiram, 34th Sultan of Sulu had seven children:

1. Dayang-Dayang Zuharra T.Kiram
2. Dayang-Dayang Dinwasa T. Kiram Delos Santos
3. Raja Muda Muedzul Lail Tan Kiram
4. Datu Yldon Tan Kiram
5. Dayang-Dayang Nur Mahal T. Kiram
6. Dayang-Dayang Ayesha T. Kiram
7. Dayang-Dayang Tanya Rowena T. Kiram -Tahil

Sultan Muedzul-Lail Tan Kiram is married with H.M. Dayang-Dayang Mellany S. Kiram. They have seven children.

1. Raja Muda Moh. Ehsn S. Kiram
2. Datu Nizamuddin S. Kiram
3. Dayang-Dayang Rahela S. Kiram
4. Datu Jihad S. Kiram
5. Datu Mujahid S. Kiram
6. Dayang-Dayang Redha S. Kiram
7. Datu Mahakuttah S. Kiram

Sultan Muedzul-Lail Tan Kiram studied Islam in Lahore, Pakistan (1995-1996). He got a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree from AE College, Zamboanga. He also served the local community as a government official. At present he is involved as a civil society leader in the Province of Sulu which opposes the US-RP Balikatan Exercises of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).

Sultan Muedzul-Lail Tan Kiram was born in Jolo. Jolo was once the capital of a maritime empire that traded with the great  Empire of China and with other kingdoms in Southeast Asia. 

As Raja Muda of Sulu, the Sultanate is Sultan Muedzul-Lail Tan Kiram birthright. There is a sacred bond between the Sultan and his people, the Rayaat, that is handed down from generation to generation between the royal family and trusted people who live in Sabah and in the Sulu Archipelago.

The Sulu Archipelago includes Palawan, Sabah, Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Tawi-Tawi, the Sprately islands and the Balambagan group of islands.  Historically it was part of  Nusantara. According to oral history and traditions, Sulu has been independent and sovereign centuries before the birth of the Republic of Philippines. Sultan Muedzul-Lail Tan Kiram‘s ancestors contracted treaties with powerful nations and defended Sulu rights to freedom in traditional way of life against invaders.

But from the start of the Philippine Republic which lumped Sulu with the rest of the islands under the name Philippine Archipelago, Sulu has experienced devastation, death and downfall.

The Macaski Judgment over the Sabah issue in 1939 was a blow to the Sulu Sultanate. Sultan Muedzul-Lail Tan Kiram‘s grandfather, Sultan Moh. Esmail E. Kiram I was one of the recipients of that judgment. The Macaski settlement divided Sulu into divisions

Sabah became a private property and the heirs of the Sultan were divided among themselves. One group wanted Sabah for sale while another group wanted to take it back.

When Sultan Muedzul-Lail Tan Kiram’s  grandfather, Sultan Moh. Esmail E. Kiram I, granted authority to the Philippine government through Pres. Diosdado Macapagal and Pres. Ferdinand Marcos, it was with the hope that the Philippine government would become a caretaker of the domain of the Sulu Sultanate to help the Muslims in this archipelago. This transfer of sovereign authority carried with these obligations and agreements.

As Sulu political power is declined, the unity of the Tausug people in the whole archipelago also has weakened. The economic life of the whole region was brought to the lowest level. Then came the Muslim rebellion and the civil war in 1974 that devastated the whole Sulu. Hundreds of thousands innocent people died.

In 1974 Sultan Muedzul-Lail Tan Kiram‘s  father was installed as the Sultan of Sulu. His father’s twelve year reign started the slow but steady recovery of Sulu people.

However after his death (February 16, 1986) there were several claimants made by pretenders (royals and non-royals) to the title of Sultan.

During the coronation process of Sultan Muedzul-Lail Tan Kiram as the 35th Sultan of Sulu
Sultan Muedzul-Lail Tan Kiram, 35th Sultan of Sulu, together with 
Mellany S. Kiram and Crown Prince Moh. Ehsn S. Kiram.

Sultan Muedzul-Lail Tan Kiram has waited  twenty-two years for the official recognition to succeed his father.

Source :Royal Sultanate of Sulu Facebook
(Joined Facebook on 12th May 2011)

**********************************************************

Sultan Muhammad Fuad A. Kiram I
The 35th Reigning Sultan of Sulu 

The last son of HM Sultan Esmail E. Kiram I

(Sultan of Sulu 1947 to 1973)
Sultan Muhammad Fuad A. Kiram I
Indonesia Minister of Religious Affairs granted the rank and tittle of hereditary knighthood
by Sultan Fuad A. Kiram I
(2nd December 2011)
Chancellor of Al Zaytun granted the rank and tittle of hereditary knighthood
by Sultan Fuad A. Kiram I
(Al Zaytun is the biggest Islamic boarding school in Indonesia)
  ( 27th November 2011)http://rightways.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/catscityhornbillland-blogspot5.jpeg?w=430&h=603

Source :

The Royal Hashemite Sultanate of Sulu & Sabah Facebook
(joined Facebook on 7th May 2011)

By Hamidah Dod

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Pitching for the Asean 10


Asean countries are still developing because there is still much to do, and much to learn about how to do it.

IF Asean is sometimes accused of being a talking shop, it also vividly demonstrates the value and virtues of some talking shops.

Officials’ meetings at various levels are legion, growing in number and scope over half a century until they average a few a day for every day of the year.

Between these are the summits, being more prominent in comprising heads of governments. Besides the content of the proceedings, the frequency of the summits themselves may indicate the state of the South-East Asian region.

When leaders from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand met in Bangkok in 1967 to found Asean, that was somehow not considered a summit. So the “first” summit came only in 1976 in Bali, with the “Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in South-East Asia” and the “Declaration of Asean Concord.”

The second summit came the following year in Kuala Lumpur, coinciding with an Asean-Japan dialogue. Although this was only one year after the first, it was a whole decade after Asean’s founding and would be another full decade before the next.

The third summit (Manila, 1987) decided to hold summits every five years. By the seventh (Bandar Seri Begawan) it would be every year, then after skipping 2006 the Philippines hosted the 12th in Cebu amid local protests.

The 14th summit slated for 2008 in Thailand was postponed to early 2009 over domestic disturbances, then put off for another two months in the broken Pattaya gathering. From then on, summits would be biannual affairs.

Between and beyond the summits, whether or not local scandals and protests add to the news value of Asean gatherings, the original five member nations seem to attract more attention if not also more interest. This is anomalous since Asean membership confers equal status on all members regardless of size, age, clout or political system.

The newer members can actually be quite pivotal in their own way, as Vietnam and then Cambodia had been, and as Myanmar may be now. And several of the older members need not be particularly significant to the Asean 10 as a whole, much less beyond.

With such issues in mind, Malaysia’s Foreign Policy Studies Group last week held another roundtable conference in Kuala Lumpur on how relations between Malaysia and the CLM countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar) can contribute to Asean consolidation.

An earlier roundtable comprised delegates from Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam in assessing how their countries’ relations with Malaysia could progress in the same vein. Vietnam, as the largest and most developed of Asean’s newer CLMV members, had also introduced reforms earliest to qualify to join the earlier dialogue with some of the original members.

Other CLMV countries have progressed on other fronts on their own. It is now 20 years since Cambodia, for example, reached agreement with Malaysia on visa-free travel.

Laos is another country that Malaysia has assisted, with the establishment of bilateral relations (in 1966) even before Asean was founded. Since then, relations have flourished, particularly after Malaysia worked to welcome Vientiane into Asean.

Myanmar today is still undergoing a transition, and therefore also very much a focus of world media attention. Its people now have a greater sense of nationhood following a raft of reforms, mindful of the national interest from economic priorities to the prerogative of rejecting foreign military bases on its soil.

A Malaysian delegate said that the US, following news reports last Sunday, was now looking for a suitable site for a new “missile shield” system in the region. The US and China were the two proverbial “elephants in the room”, and the geopolitical rivalry between them very much an issue for all delegates.

No individual, organisation or country at the roundtable, whether officially or unofficially, was left undisturbed by major power rivalry contaminating the Asean region. This was the more so when preparations abroad tended to centre around a military build-up, with the US “pivot to Asia” involving stationing 60% of its military assets in the Asia-Pacific.

According to one recent analysis, at current and anticipated rates China’s economy could surpass the US’ as early as 2016, and US overall decline could become evident by 2020. Ironically, as with its former Soviet adversary before it, the decline would be underscored by excessive military expenditure and a warlike mindset.

Given these scenarios, it is important to be reminded of some pertinent underlying issues. These may be framed by some telling questions that must be asked, for which answers are vitally needed.

First, are the CLM countries necessarily more dependent on a regional superpower-as-benefactor like China economically, compared to Asean’s older and more developed members. Not so, especially when considering that the latter, with larger economies, have more at stake in dealing with a rising China.

Second, is China even likely to consider challenging US dominance in the region? Despite occasionally dire pronouncements by some there is no evidence of that, indeed quite the reverse: beyond assertions of its old maritime claims, Beijing’s relations with all countries in the region have been progressing and progressive.

US military dominance in the Asia-Pacific is often credited with keeping the regional peace, particularly in the high seas. Is this assumption merited if piracy and terrorism are not included in the calculus, since there may not be any other military force out to wreak havoc in the region post-1945?

Fourth, how much value is there still in the assumption that the US military posture is and will remain the status quo entity in the region? The status quo is helping China’s economy grow, with secure shipping and harmonious development, while the US economy is continually taxed by its large and growing military presence.

Fifth, and by extension, how much pulling power is there today in US efforts at soliciting allies? The problem with enlisting in an alliance for other countries is that to be identified as an ally of a major power is also to identify as an ally against another major power.

Dividing the region in Cold War fashion does not help anyone, and never did. To enlist with a (relatively) declining superpower creates further problems of its own for such allies.

Sixth, can China’s reported flexing of its muscles in the South China Sea and the East China Sea in any way be a show of strength? Since it only gives Beijing a negative image just as it needs to look good, without any gain in return, it is instead a point of weakness.

Seventh, can US efforts to contain China ever work? There is no shortage of instances that verify containment, a situation confirmed by official denials.

So, eighth, why try to contain China at all when in the process the US only loses goodwill before losing face? Perhaps old habits die hard, but more likely the military-industrial complex dies harder.

Smaller countries in Asean and elsewhere have much to learn from the major powers, notably the US and China. Sadly, the lessons are just as much what not to do as they are about what to do.

BEHIND THE HEADLINES By BUNN NAGARA sunday@thestar.com.my

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China pledges to work with ASEAN to safeguard peace in South China Sea


BEIJING: China pledged Friday to make joint efforts with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to safeguard regional peace and stability after the 10-member bloc issued a six-point statement on the South China Sea.

“The Chinese side is willing to work together with the ASEAN members to implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) comprehensively and effectively,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in response to a question on the ASEAN statement.

In the statement issued earlier on Friday, the ASEAN members reaffirmed their commitment to the “peaceful resolution of disputes” in the South China Sea. Analysts said the six-point principles were reached to make up for the lack of a customary communique after a foreign ministers’ meeting last week.

In an unprecedented development, the 45th Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of the ASEAN was not wrapped up with the release of a communique showcasing common ground.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Qu Xing, head of the China Institute of International Studies, told Xinhua that it was Vietnam and the Philippines that should be blamed for the failure to pass a communique last week.

“The two countries attempted to turn the disputes between them and China into a problem between China and ASEAN as a whole,” he said, “which was unacceptable for the other members of the bloc.”

“The Chinese side has noticed the ASEAN’s statement on the South China Sea (on Friday),” Hong said, adding that the core problem of the South China Sea was the disputes over the sovereignty of the Nansha islands and the demarcation of the islands’ adjacent waters.

“China has sufficient historical and jurisprudential evidence for its sovereignty over the Nansha islands and the adjacent waters,” he added.

However, Hong said China is open to consultations with the ASEAN on the conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.

“(We) hope that all the parties will strictly abide by the DOC and create necessary conditions and atmosphere for the consultations,” he said.

As a signatory to the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), China attaches importance to safeguarding the principles and mission of the Convention, said the spokesman.

Hong said UNCLOS is aimed to establish a legal order for the seas and oceans “with due regard for the sovereignty of all States,” and it does neither serve as an international treaty to address disputes over territorial sovereignty between states nor as evidence used to judge over the disputes.

The countries concerned should address the disputes over the maritime demarcation in the South China Sea, after the land disputes have been resolved, in accordance with historical facts and all international laws including UNCLOS, he added.

“China attaches importance to its ties with the ASEAN,” Hong said, adding the country is committed to promoting friendly neighborhood and reciprocal cooperation with the ASEAN to push ahead with the cooperation in East Asia with joint efforts.

The spokesman said China and ASEAN share common interests and responsibilities in keeping Asia’s development and maintaining regional peace and stability against the backdrop of the ongoing international financial crisis.

“The two sides should continue to promote their strategic communication in pursuit of a reciprocal and win-win situation, with mutual respect and trust in mind as well as handle the relationship between the two sides from strategic and long-term perspective,” he added.

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China to deploy military garrison in South China Sea

GUANGZHOU, July 20 (Xinhua) — China’s central military authority has approved to form and deploy a military garrison in the newly established city of Sansha.

Sources with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Guangzhou Military Command said Friday that the Central Military Commission (CMC) had authorized it to form a garrison command in the city.Full story

ASEAN forum not proper platform to discuss South China Sea issue

BEIJING, July 11 (Xinhua) — As the foreign ministers of the 27 participating parties of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) meet in Phnom Penh on Thursday, many eye the talks as a platform to ease the tension over the South China Sea, which has flared up in recent months.

However, analysts say the attending parties are likely to be more interested in forging closer ties than focusing on differences that concern only a few members.Full story

Editor: Chen Zhi, Xinhua

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Asean has no reason to panic

Asean has no reason to panic


Asean is younger than its member nations, so teething problems as it continues to mature are no cause for alarm

ASEAN’S set pieces following its meetings have become so predictable as to provoke panic when a blip in the set routine appears unexpectedly.

That happened with the anticipated joint communique following the ministerial meeting in Phnom Penh a week ago. This was the first time a communique was not issued, after disagreement over the text between the Philippines and host Cambodia on Manila’s territorial squabble with Beijing.

That was enough to set tongues wagging, pens wriggling and keyboards clacking about a presumed “turning point” in Asean and even speculation about its imminent demise.

Asean proceedings have traditionally been weighed down by diplomatic gobbledygook just because everyone expects such statements to be issued. What later happens in the conduct of member states, however removed from the spirit and content of the communiques, then becomes quite irrelevant.

Yet the substance of statements issued should be more important than the fact of issuing just any statement. After all, Asean is supposed to be more about political process than mere diplomatic procedure.

Therefore, not issuing a collective statement after this month’s pow wow among foreign ministers is better than issuing a meaningless statement just for the sake of issuing something. It makes no sense to produce a statement in the absence of a joint agreement about what it would say.

As it happened, not issuing a joint communique amounts to an indirect statement on the different positions taken by some members, in this case the hotly disputed claims on island territory between the Philippines (and to some extent Vietnam) and China.

Ironically, the Phnom Penh meeting was supposed to consolidate efforts at establishing an Asean community by 2015, as well as to reaffirm blossoming relations between Asean and China.

It may have failed at delivering either, but simply deviating from the norm by not perpetuating a scripted, choreographed and rehearsed custom regardless of circumstances is not a failure of Asean. Nonetheless, the apparent detour from the objectives of this year’s ministerial meeting was enough to turn surprise into shock for many.

Traditionally criticised for saying little and doing even less with boring predictability, Asean is suddenly seen as risking the unprecedented. Its critics should now make up their mind about the nature of their criticism, because they are beginning to contradict themselves.

The other irony concerns the Asean style itself. The regional organisation has long been assessed less by what it says in communiques than what it leaves unsaid, and understood less by what it does than what it obliquely skirts doing.

Thus going by its record, the decision not to issue a communique may be deemed doubly and traditionally Asean. Yet it was taken to be untypical of Asean.

Cynics predicting doom-and-gloom scenarios for Asean forget that its watchword has always been “resilience”, as supported by its near-half-century record. Asean is made of sterner stuff, to which its experience testifies.

But Asean is also not immune to the pitfalls of complacency. Failure to do what is needed now can escalate current challenges and lead to more problems in the future.

For what it is worth, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono swiftly dispatched Foreign Minister Dr Marty Natalegawa to four Asean capitals, including Kuala Lumpur, to try to cobble together some kind of a belated joint communique.

That may be possible but unlikely, since foreign ministers who refused to be accommodating while together at an official meeting would be even less inclined to compromise when back home. Even if such a statement materialises, it would just be “in absentia” of the assembled ministers, now dispersed, and not a statement “posthumous” of Asean.

Meanwhile, news and commentary about the lack of a communique have overshadowed the issues behind it. And it is not only the absence of a communique that can be seen as untypical of Asean.

Manila and Hanoi had come into the meeting room after a recent diplomatic spat with China over competing territorial claims. Despite the ministerial meeting covering various other matters, the Philippines and Vietnam insisted that their problems with China be included in the text of the joint communique.

Cambodia, as host, refused as it saw this as unbecoming and inappropriate. Only half of the 10 Asean members have disputes over island territory with China, with the dispute in question over Scarborough Shoal/Huangyan Island involving only one Asean country, the Philippines.

Philippine Foreign Minister Albert del Rosario then openly accused his Cambodian counterpart Hor Namhong of “consistently defending China’s interest.” Point number two in being untypically Asean.

The ill will created extends beyond the scope of any Asean conference. Its import and impact have already spread beyond the few countries involved.

No country can claim victory or savour any sense of satisfaction from these developments, because they work to the detriment of all. There is also the additional risk of some countries misreading the situation to even worse effect.

China had a pie in the face when it began the conference, as an Asean dialogue partner, by celebrating the new priority of taking relations with Asean to greater heights. If it is seeking any consolation from a divided Asean, it will find itself gravely mistaken.

The Philippines is also finding that it has fewer “allies” in this imbroglio than it would have liked. Thailand had already warned it would not let bilateral differences with China upset regional ties with Beijing, while a caucus of retired diplomats in Indonesia criticised the Philippines for being “blunt” and “very un-Asean.”

The other Asean countries are not exactly behind Manila, and likewise some Filipino commentators. Even Vietnam, despite its inter-state disputes with China, has always had quieter, positive inter-party ties as fellow communist nations.

In contrast, the Philippines has only a treaty with the US. That can make matters worse through emboldening Manila in rash actions, or initiating major power conflict in the region.

Now President Benigno Aquino III has passed the handling of the issue from del Rosario to Ambassador Sonia Brady in Beijing to handle more diplomatically. A sense of realism may yet dawn after all.

In the meantime, changes in the region include some that question old ideological allegiances. Diplomats and policymakers need to be sensitive to such developments to respond accordingly.

Not only does Vietnam have serious differences with China, Myanmar may also begin to do so on separate bilateral matters. At the same time, Taiwan increasingly feels at one with China over claims on territory disputed by other countries, such as the one with the Philippines.

Beyond all the conflicting claims, some realities remain.

Asean is only 45 years old as a regional organisation in the global community of nations, so more differences between members are likely to appear in future. These should not be a problem as long as they are manageable.

Disputes are also best settled, or can only be settled, through negotiations or arbitration. Souring the atmosphere by making diplomacy difficult only makes things worse for everyone.

With China, it has been said that upping the ante only strengthens the hand of hardliners in Beijing. Most Asean countries are wise enough to steer clear of that approach, however much of a rush it may give some politicians playing to the gallery at home.

Behind The Headlines By BUNN NAGARA

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No one can stop China in South China Sea but China – Former Philippines National Security Adviser


No one can stop China from claiming “indisputable sovereignty” over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea)—except China itself or the authoritative power of world opinion.

Short of war, a war nobody wants or would wish, even the United States can only delay or impede the fulfillment of China’s inordinate ambition to gain sovereign control of 3 million square kilometers of this great inland sea that is also Southeast Asia’s maritime heartland.

This is the strategic context of China’s assertive ambiguity in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Just now, Beijing can only bluster and intimidate, as it probes for weaknesses in its rival claimants.

But once China can translate its economic power into military capability credible enough to challenge that of the United States—when the “time is right” in China’s terms—then the geopolitical configuration in the Asia-Pacific region will change radically.

And time and circumstances favor China. Analysts say China is likely to become the world’s largest economy in a decade or so.

If they are right, the Philippines has only 10 short years to prepare for what is likely to become an interesting Asia-Pacific future.

Long-term security

Given the constraints under which it’s working, the administration of President Benigno Aquino has so far done all that could possibly be done, in the short term, to defend our nation’s interests in the West Philippine Sea.

But in this case it’s not enough to deal with the immediate problem. Our nation’s long-term security hangs in the balance.

And to ensure our safety, we must look at the root of our nation’s security, which lies in our people—in everyone of us and nobody else.

If our country is to prevail in any challenge, if the Philippines is to become worthy of respect as a sovereign nation, we must first of all enable our people to become effective wealth creators.

We must make our country rich enough to enable us to acquire the means to defend our nation’s interests, to protect our people’s dignity and honor.

Nationhood infrastructure

To carry out the government’s strategies, policies, plans and programs to grow and develop the nation, we must strive urgently to create the four conditions necessary for growth and development.

Let us make no mistake, without these, the nation can hardly enforce its Constitution and its laws, and no development plan can succeed:

1. We must come to terms with ourselves. We must build among us the infrastructure of nationhood. We must be able to answer the basic question of who we are.

We must live the core values our forebears fought and died for: Dignity, honor, freedom, justice, self-determination, hard work, discipline, tolerance, mutual caring and compassion.

We must become a people at peace with themselves and with the world.

There is nothing our people cannot accomplish, if our identity and the goals we seek are articulated in terms of the core values taught us by our heroes and martyrs.

These core values define what is right or wrong for our people. They guide us, like our heroes and martyrs, to live only when it is right to live, and to die only when it is right to die.

2. No matter what it takes, we must end our internal wars. Our radical insurgency is kept alive by our grievous inequality and the elemental injustice of mass poverty. And both are caused by corruption and misgovernment.

The same is true of our separatist conflict in Mindanao. There popular frustrations are worsened by rivalries over land and livelihood, and the situation is complicated by ethnic and religious enmities.

3. We must complete all the land and nonland reforms we still need to do. Not only will their completion make rebellion, separatism and mutiny irrelevant but will also accelerate our nation’s growth. And, finally, it will unite our people.

4. We must transfer the power of the few over the state to the people as citizens. In the World Bank’s view, we are a country where state policies and their implementation serve not the common good but those of special interests.

The capture of the state and its regulatory agencies by vested interest groups has made our economy the least competitive among comparable economies in East Asia.

In sum, we must put our house in order. We must level our popular playing field to grow and develop the nation—and so enable our people to surmount any challenge.

No luxury of time

As we create the four conditions necessary for growth and development, we must also carry out our development plans. Given the uncertainties building up in East Asia, we do not have the luxury of time.

It is the Chinese people’s historic sense that is driving their country’s rise. They count their recovery from generations of humiliation at the hands of the great powers as lasting 150 years starting from the initial European effort to open up China around 1800.

In 1949, Mao Zedong proclaimed China had stood up. But China began to recover economically only after Deng Xiaoping’s reforms (1978). In three and a half decades, China has become the world’s second largest economy.

We, too, must tap into our people’s sense of nationality—and do no less. By creating the four conditions necessary for growth and development that I cited above, and by simultaneously carrying out the government’s development plans, we can change our country—we can modernize it without leaving anyone behind—during the next 10 years.

By that time, we will also have nurtured the inclusive institutions that will sustain our people’s capacities for wealth creation.

No primrose paths

Let us not delude ourselves. There are no short cuts—no primrose paths—to growth and development. We must never give up even if our country’s rise takes 150 years or more.

We have no choice. The alternative is too dire to contemplate.

We must work together to prevent the situation developing that reduces our country into a tributary, a vassal, a province of a great power.

Those who sacrificed and died for us and for generations yet to come will never forgive us if we fail to summon the courage and the will to take the radical steps toward the Filipino future: To deliberately put in place the four conditions necessary for growth and development without delay.

By:

Malaysia’s Days in the Sun – WSJ


New York, Hong Kong, London…Kuala Lumpur? Malaysia is going gangbusters. Now, it must sustain the momentum.

The Southeast Asian nation is home to the world’s second and third largest initial public offerings this year—the $3.3 billion listing of Felda Global Ventures 5222.KU 0.00% and IHH Healthcare’s $2 billion IPO. Meanwhile, the benchmark KLCI hit a record Wednesday after rising almost 7% this year.

State backing for Malaysian equities is a factor. Felda’s IPO was largely bought by government-backed investors such as individual Malaysian states. Mandatory retirement savings boosts domestic pension funds that typically invest a lot in the local market too.

The economy is also performing well. Unemployment is low. Inflation is benign at about 2%. Gross domestic product growth is around 5%. That is important because the Malaysian stock market is mainly comprised of domestically focused companies.

Diverse exports are also relatively robust. Commodities like palm oil, petroleum and gas make up about a quarter of exports, while electronics and manufactured goods make up the rest. HSBC notes that Malaysia’s exports are down just 2% since last August, compared to a 13% aggregate decline for shipments from Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines.

The country’s banks look healthy too. Asset quality is strong and deleveraging by European banks isn’t a big threat, says Moody’s. “Their claims on the Malaysian economy amount to a mere 5% of GDP,” notes the rating company.

Still, there are risks that warrant caution. A prolonged slump in global trade would hurt. Net exports are equal to about 16% of GDP—much higher than the ratio for neighbors such as Indonesia and the Philippines.

Politics is a wildcard too. Prime Minister Najib Razak wants to improve infrastructure and boost investment in sectors including oil and gas and tourism. Investors must hope that agenda stays on track regardless of the outcome of an election expected by early 2013.

Much of the good news may be priced in. Malaysia’s benchmark stock index trades at about 15 times current earnings. Some analysts say that is rich. Malaysia has momentum. But much now depends on domestic politics and the depth of the weakness in global trade.

Write to Cynthia Koons at cynthia.koons@wsj.com

U.S. designs on South China Sea exposed!


BEIJING, May 25 (Xinhua) — U.S. Senator John Kerry‘s recent statement on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea has exposed the country’s selfish intentions for the South China Sea, an area where the United States has no claims to sovereignty and is not a party in disputes there.

Kerry, chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said during a hearing on the convention held Wednesday that China and other countries are “staking out illegal claims in the South China Sea and elsewhere.”

He added that becoming a party to the treaty would provide an immediate boost to U.S. credibility “as we push back against excessive maritime claims and illegal restrictions on our warships or commercial vessels.”

As the United States turns its national security focus toward the Asia-Pacific region, its willingness to join the convention is a means to find a legal framework for the country to interfere with issues in the South China Sea and elsewhere, as well as maximize its strategic interests in political, economic and military fields around the world.

The U.S. is the only major nation that has refused to sign the treaty, which has been endorsed by 160 countries and the European Union.

The hearing was the first one on the treaty in four years, and the Obama administration and the U.S. Armed Forces are now pushing Congress to sign it.

The reason why the U.S. once refused to sign the treaty is that the treaty’s provisions will limit the free navigational rights of U.S. warships in other countries’ exclusive economic zones.

However, the U.S. attitude toward the convention is now changing.

Dr. Zhang Haiwen, deputy director of the China Institute for Marine Affairs under the State Oceanic Administration, said the U.S. has realized the disadvantages of not signing the convention, which have impaired its role as a leader in global maritime issues.

Kerry said at the hearing that ratifying the treaty will lock down the favorable navigational rights that the U.S. military and shipping interests depend on every single day. It will also strengthen the country’s hand against China and others who “stake out claims” in the Pacific, the Arctic or elsewhere.

The treaty will also help U.S. companies’ oil and gas investments secure the country’s energy future as well as help secure access to rare earth minerals, which the country needs for weapons systems, computers and cell phones, among other products, Kerry added.

Kerry also said that China and other countries are “staking out illegal claims in the South China Sea and elsewhere.” However, the truth is that he thought disputes in the South China Sea have affected U.S. companies’ rights to gain oil and gas resources in the region and the free navigational rights of its vessels.

Zhang said the convention is the fruit of over a decade of international negotiations and the product of the balance of different interests. It provides fundamental and principled provisions for maritime activities for the whole of mankind.

“But the convention itself cannot solve territorial disputes,” said Zhang.

She said China’s territorial claims over some islands and shoals in the South China Sea have sufficient historical evidence and legal bases, and have been recognized by the international community over a long period of time.

It is dangerous that some U.S. politicians are expanding U.S. claims and raising its degree of interference. This will aggravate regional tensions and is not conducive to resolving issues.

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China to handle S China Sea disputes through direct negotiations

BEIJING, May 25 (Xinhua) — A Foreign Ministry spokesman said Friday that China will negotiate directly with relevant parties in regards to resolving disputes in the South China Sea.

“China has long been committed to safeguarding peace and stability by consulting with ASEAN nations and signing agreements, such as the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said. Full story

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United we stand, divided we fall in South China Sea?


The continuing standoff between China and the Philippines over the Scarborough Shoal (Huangyan Island) is a reminder that Asean needs to get its act together sooner rather than later.

THE South China Sea, spread over 3.6 million sq km, has long been a hotbed of overlapping bilateral and multilateral territorial claims.

China claims “indisputable sovereignty” over three-fourths of the South China Sea, including the Paracel and Spratly group of islands, the Macclesfield Bank and the Scarborough Shoal. Parts of the Spratly islands are also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

The Paracels are claimed by China and Vietnam while the Scarborough Shoal involves the Philippines and China.

What makes these claims significant, and complicated, is the real possibility that the South China Sea may contain some of the world’s most significant deposits of oil and gas. Some estimates suggest that the region may contain as much as 20-30 billion tonnes of oil or 12% of global reserves.

Earlier this year, the Philippines invited foreign companies to drill for oil in the Scarborough Shoal area. China immediately condemned the move. The People’s Daily, in an editorial, even went so far as to call for “substantial moves, such as economic sanctions, to counter aggression from the Philippines”.

China has repeatedly stated that it wants to settle these conflicting claims through peaceful negotiations. However, it has not been averse to using force when challenged; it forcibly took the Paracels and seven of the Spratly islands from Vietnam following skirmishes in 1974 and 1988, respectively.

This stands in contrast to the peaceful resolution of island disputes between Malaysia and Singapore, and Malaysia and Indonesia, through the auspices of the International Court of Justice.

Malaysia and Thailand also set a sterling example in 1979 by agreeing to put aside overlapping boundary claims in the Gulf of Thailand and jointly exploiting oil resources there, a win-win situation for both sides. A similar agreement was signed between Malaysia and Vietnam in 1992.

Territorial sovereignty can, of course, be a highly emotive issue. Nations often work themselves into a frenzy and go to great lengths to defend a pile of rock, a shoal or a frozen bit of mountain.

India and Pakistan, for example, have squared off against each other for more than 20 years over a worthless patch of ice in the Himalayas, 5,700m above sea level.

More soldiers have died of harsh weather conditions than actual combat but the madness goes on with no end in sight.

In 1996, Asean ministers, recognising the potential for conflict arising from overlapping claims in the South China Sea, agreed to negotiate a regional framework for managing the issue. It has been a difficult process.

In 2002, Asean and China managed only a joint declaration committing themselves to the peaceful resolution of their territorial disputes. It has not, however, prevented tense situations from developing as we have seen in the Scarborough Shoal.

Understandably, Asean is extremely wary of upsetting China. China has become too big, too powerful, too overwhelming to antagonise.

At the same time, Asean is also deeply divided on the question of how to respond to issues that are strictly bilateral in nature or limited to just a few of its members.

The Philippines, for example, has long pressed for a tougher Asean position in order to strengthen its hand vis-à-vis China, something that other Asean countries have been reluctant to endorse fearing it will only lead to further confrontation.

There is, in fact, a sense within Asean that the Philippines has mismanaged its handling of the issue, a view that is also shared by quite a few Filipino commentators. Now that the United States has signalled its reluctance to be drawn into the dispute, Asean leaders are hoping Manila will reassess its position.

Asean needs to realise, however, that its greatest strength in dealing with China or any one else for that matter, on this or any other issue, is its own unity and solidarity. United it stands, divided it falls.

All issues that affect regional security, whether bilateral or multilateral in nature, need to be managed together for the good of the whole Asean community.

Asean leaders must, therefore, find common purpose to help develop an effective framework to resolve these kinds of disputes.

In the end, the options, short of war, in the South China Sea are limited.

China and the Asean countries can put aside their competing claims and jointly work to exploit the resources of the South China Sea, as Malaysia and Thailand have done, or resort to international arbitration.

The former could well lead to a real zone of peace, cooperation and prosperity and cement the already burgeoning relations between China and the Asean countries. The latter is bound to leave sore losers and a divided region.

For China, a win-win solution with Asean will also undercut efforts by other powers to exploit regional fears of China in an attempt to build new alliances aimed at Beijing.

Whatever it is, the worst thing Asean and China can do is to let the issue fester.

By Dennis Ignatius Diplomatically Speaking

> Datuk Dennis Ignatius is a 36-year veteran of the Malaysian foreign service. He has served in London, Beijing and Washington and was ambassador to Chile and Argentina. He was twice Undersecretary for American Affairs. He retired as High Commis­sioner to Canada in July 2008.

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China warns Philippines over Huangyan Island as tension rise


Chinawill not allow anyone to take away sovereignty

Air Force Flag of the People's Republic of ChinaAir Force Flag of the People’s Republic of China (Photo credit: Wikipedia) >>

BEIJING, May 10 (Xinhua) — The PLA Daily, the official newspaper of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China, on Thursday warned the Philippines about the Huangyan Island incident, saying the country’s armed forces will not allow anyone to take the sovereignty of the island away from China.

“We want to say that anyone’s attempt to take away China’s sovereignty over Huangyan Island will not be allowed by the Chinese government, people and armed forces,” the newspaper said in a signed article titled “Don’t Attempt to Take Away Half an Inch of China’s Territory.”

Instead, it is wise to give up such attempts and abide by international rules to gain the forgiveness of the Chinese people and the pardon of the international community.

China has exercised restraint on the Huangyan Island incident. “If one mistakes China’s kindness for weakness and regards China as a ‘paper dragon’ as instigated by some onlookers, he is terribly wrong,” the article added.

China had suffered too much humiliation as its sovereignty was encroached and territory carved up when the country was poor and weak.

China now pursues an independent foreign policy of peace.

It will not bully the weak by being strong, nor blindly tolerate unreasonable tricks played by others, especially on matters concerning territorial integrity, national dignity and social stability.

It is obvious that the Philippine side has not realized that it is making serious mistakes, although one month has passed since the beginning of the incident, said the article.

Instead, the Philippine side is stepping up efforts to escalate tensions, has continued to send government vessels to the Huangyan Island lagoon and has repeatedly made erroneous remarks which have misled the Philippine public and the international community and provoked public feelings, thus severely damaging bilateral relations.

The situation is not optimistic, the article said.

China’s sovereignty over the island is based on both historical and legal grounds. No matter what tricks the Philippines may play, the fact that Huangyan Island belongs to China will never change, the article said.

Even Philippine maps published in 1981, 1984 and 2006, which indicate that Huangyan Island is outside of the Philippines’ territory, show how ridiculous the Philippine side is when it attempts to claim sovereignty over the island.

Moreover, the repeated tricks by the Philippines have failed to gain support from its own people, the international community and even its allies. It is quite likely the Philippine side will drink as it brewed, said the article.

China issues warnings as Philippines tensions rise

Return to frontpage By Ananth Krishnan

AP A placard with drawing of a Philippine warship is displayed during a protest at the Philippines Consulate in Hong Kong on Friday. The Philippine government used this second hand warship from the American aid, its naval personnel had boarded the Chinese fishing boats, inspected their equipment and catch last month.

China has issued a safety advisory to its citizens in the Philippines and suspended travel to the country a day ahead of a large planned demonstration against China over rising tensions in the South China Sea.

The Chinese embassy in Manila in a notice warned that “massive anti-China demonstrations” were scheduled to take place on Friday, advising Chinese nationals to avoid going out and to “keep a low profile”.

The warning came as vessels from both countries remained locked in a stand-off near the disputed Scarborough Shoal or Huangyan Island in the South China Sea, which both sides claim.

Chinese State-run media outlets on Thursday continued issuing stern warnings to the Philippines, not ruling out the use of force. The Foreign Ministry, however, appeared to strike a more moderate tone and suggested a way out through a diplomatic solution, saying it “approved” of recent remarks by officials in the Philippines “to resume diplomatic contact with the Chinese embassy”.

“China remains committed to solving the situation through diplomatic consultation and negotiation,” spokesperson Hong Lei told reporters on Thursday, calling on the Philippines to “come back to the right track of handling the matter”.

He did also hit out at the Philippines government for “encouraging people both home and abroad to launch demonstrations against China”. “We urge the Philippines side to respect China’s sovereignty on the issue of Huangyan Island and not to take actions that will complicate and amplify the situation,” Mr. Hong said.

Reflecting the rising tensions, Chinese travel agencies said on Thursday they had suspended planned trips to the Philippines following an order from central authorities. Ctrip, a popular travel portal, said it suspended travel because “trips to the Philippines have become potential safety risks”, the official China Daily reported.

The newspaper in an editorial warned that while China did not seek a military conflict, the use of arms was not off the table. “No matter how willing we are to discuss the issue, the current Philippine leadership is intent on pressing us into a corner where there is no other option left but the use of arms,” the editorial said.

“We are faithful to our commitment to being a responsible member of the international community, and we pursue peaceful co-existence. But no international law allows a country’s sovereignty to be infringed upon, and a responsible nation does not try to seize territory that does not belong to it.”

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) daily struck a harder tone, saying that “anyone’s attempt to take away China’s sovereignty over Huangyan Island will not be allowed by the Chinese government, people and armed forces”, in a commentary headlined “Don’t attempt to take away half an inch of China’s territory”.

“If one mistakes China’s kindness for weakness and regards China as a ‘paper dragon’ as instigated by some onlookers, he is terribly wrong,” the newspaper said.

Suggesting the stand-off may yet be resolved peacefully, China on Thursday also appeared to respond positively to a Philippines-based mining company’s proposal for joint drilling with the China National Offshore Oil Corporation. Officials said Beijing was willing to talk with the Philippines government over joint development.

The South China Sea, which is disputed by China and at least ten other countries, is estimated to have as much as one-third of China’s oil and gas resources and key sea lanes run through its disputed waters.

China’s first deep-water drilling rig in the South China Sea started operations on Wednesday, with calls from officials to speed up drilling projects. Feng Fei, head of the industry department of the Development Research Centre, the official think-tank of the State Council or Cabinet, said more than thousand oil wells had already been sunk by other countries. “China drilling in the South China Sea is of deep significance, and ensures our energy security by reducing dependence on foreign oil,” he said.

Wu Shicun, head of the National Institute for South China Sea Studies, added that joint development of resources could help address conflicts. “Against a backdrop of some countries not responding positively toward China’s proposal of joint development, it is of supreme importance to finally solving sovereignty disputes,” he said.

“Setting aside disputes and embarking on joint development is the most effective way to solve the issue.’’

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China urges Philippines to stop further harming bilateral relations

BEIJING, May 10 (Xinhuanet) — The spokesman of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hong Lei condemned Philippines for inciting its people going on to streets for demonstrations against China. Hong says the incident has triggered severe concerns among Chinese people.

He also says China hopes Philippines to stop further harming the bilateral relations. Hong reiterated China’s stance on the dispute and urged Philippines not to taken any actions that may harm the relations between the two countries.  Full story

Commentary: Never test China’s will to defend its own sovereignty

BEIJING, May 9 (Xinhua) — For nearly a month, Manila has not only turned a deaf ear to Beijing’s position on resolving the dispute over China’s Huangyan Island through diplomacy, but made repeated provocative moves to heighten the tension, severely infringing China’s sovereignty in the process.

It is widely accepted Huangyan Island has been an integral part of China since ancient times, both on a historical and a legal basis. The surrounding waters are China’s traditional fishing grounds and Chinese fishmen have fished there for generations.  Full story

China is prepared for escalation of Huangyan Island incident

BEIJING, May 8 (Xinhua) — China’s Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying said China is not optimistic about the situation concerning Huangyan Island, and the country is fully prepared to respond to anything the Philippine side does to escalate the situation.

Fu made the remarks when meeting with Alex Chua, Charge D’affaires of the Philippine Embassy in China, on Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday in a press release.  Full story

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Manila provocation blasted; Philippine Newspaper: Huangyan Island belongs to China


Manila provocation blasted

Photo taken on May 9, 2012 shows deep-water drilling rig CNOOC 981 in the South China Sea, south China, May 9, 2012. China’s first deep-water drilling rig CNOOC 981 started operations in the South China Sea at 9: 38 am on Wednesday, marking “a substantial step” made by the country’s deep-sea oil industry. The sixth-generation semi-submersible CNOOC 981 began drilling in a sea area 320 km southeast of Hong Kong at a water depth of 1,500 meters, according to China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC), the country’s largest offshore oil producer. Photo: Xinhua

China Wednesday accused the Philippines of instigating demonstrations against Beijing, urging Manila not to further damage bilateral relations by provoking public sentiment over the two sides’ spat in the South China Sea.

“We have noted that the Philippine side has repeatedly made strongly worded remarks about the Huangyan Island standoff, which have provoked public feelings and severely undermined the atmosphere of bilateral relations,” foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said.

“The Philippine side also instigated demonstrations, both inside and outside the country, against China, which have aroused strong responses and concern among Chinese people living around the world,” Hong added.

The spokesman said there is no change in China’s position on resolving the current tensions through diplomatic efforts, urging Manila to seriously respond to Beijing’s concerns and return to the right track.

Loida Nicolas-Lewis, a Filipino-American businesswoman, has called on all Filipinos around the world to mount demonstrations in front of Chinese embassies and consulates at 12 pm on Friday.

According to Reuters, civil society and political groups with links to Philippine President Benigno Aquino III’s political allies plan to take to the streets on Friday to “protest the Chinese presence” in waters near Huangyan Island.

The Chinese embassy in Manila has issued a safety alert, advising Chinese nationals to enhance safety awareness, avoid going out and stay away from protesters.

Ctrip.com International Ltd, a leading online travel service provider in China, decided to suspend trips to the Philippines Wednesday, citing safety risks of tours as tensions over Huangyan Island escalate.

A Global Times correspondent in Manila said the Chinese communities there are calm despite Friday’s looming protest.

“Issues concerning sovereignty are non-negotiable for China. The Philippines took China’s restraint for granted and kept staging provocations,” a researcher surnamed Ma with the Southeast Asian Institute of the Guangxi Academy of Social Sciences, said.

“The planned global protest against Chinese embassies has shown Manila’s intention to internationalize and complicate the issue. Beijing will lose its patience if Manila doesn’t back off,” Ma said.

Shen Shishun, a director of the Department for Asia-Pacific Security and Cooperation under the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times that stirring public emotions over Huangyan Island is a scheme by Aquino to shift domestic anger away from a gloomy economy.

“The standoff is caused by the Aquino administration. Further development of the matter depends on moves taken by the Philippine government,” Shen said.

According to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Philippine military reported that the number of Chinese vessels in the waters off Huangyan Island has increased to 33 from 14 last week, while the Philippines has two vessels in the area.

The paper said the Chinese vessels include three big ships, namely fishery law enforcement ship Yuzheng-310 and maritime surveillance ships Haijian-75 and Haijian-81. It said these ships are denying Filipino fishermen access to waters off Huangyan Island.

Also Wednesday, Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said he had received assurances during talks in Washington last week that the US would protect Manila from attacks in the South China Sea.

Gazmin said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stressed they were not taking sides in the dispute, but assured him the US would honor a 1951 mutual defense treaty.

“The Philippines has always wanted Washington to help it in a conflict with China, but the US won’t do so due to its own national interests,” Shen said, adding that Manila’s attempts to bring Washington on board shows its anxiety and fears over the tensions.

Meanwhile, China’s quality watchdog Wednesday ordered intensified quarantines on fruit imports from the Philippines.

The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said harmful insects or bacteria have been found in pineapples, bananas and other fruit imported from Southeast Asia since last year, and Chinese authorities have asked the Philippine side to make improvements.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted Stephen Antig, president of the Pilipino Banana Growers and Exporters Association, as saying that the tighter rules imposed by the biggest buyer of Philippine Cavendish bananas have sent jitters through the local industry.

“The Philippine economy will worsen if China, a major trade partner, reduces the import of agricultural products,” Shen said. “Such an import ban will not hurt China because the Philippine products are not irreplaceable.”

Xu Tianran and agencies contributed to this story

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Philippine Newspaper: “Huangyan Island belongs to China”

The Philippine Newspaper “Manila Standard Today” has released an article titled ” It belongs to China” written by author Victor N. Arches II.

The Filipino author looks at evidence and international documents, saying that Huangyan Island has been an integral part of China’s territory since ancient times. Recounting his motive in writing the article, Arches says he aims to educate the Philippines on the reality of the situation, versus what the Philippines media is promoting. Let’s take a look.

In the article, the author says that Huangyan Island has been a part of China’s territory since ancient times. Chinese fishermen, from both the Mainland and Taiwan, have used the island for many years.

“The Scarborough Shoal, ( Huangyan Island) does belong to China which discovered it and drew it in a map as early as 1279 during the Yuan Dynasty.”

The old maps relied upon by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs were drawn up only in 1820, 541 years after China’s.

‘being relied upon by the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs in its spurious claim on the same territory were drawn up only in 1820, or 541 years after China’s.”

Arches said China organized many scientific expeditions around the island in the late 1970s. In 1980, a stone marker marks China’s scientific expedition was installed by China on the South Rock. However, the Philippines removed it without authority in 1997.

” In the late 1970s, China organized many scientific expeditions in the Shoal and around that area. In fact, in 1980, a stone marker reading “South China Sea Scientific Expedition” was installed by China on the South Rock.”

“This Chinese marker was removed, without authority, by the Philippines in 1997. “

He adds that all official maps published by the Philippines until the 1990 excluded Huangyan Island from its territorial boundaries. But an act approved by the Philippine government in 1961 stopped the Philippines from the claim.

“All official maps published by the Philippines until the 1990s excluded both the Spratlys and Scarborough Shoal (Huangyan Island) from its territorial boundaries.”

“Republic Act No. 3046, passed by our Congress and approved in 1961, stopped us from our claim.”

China holds three international treaties in support of its claim over the territories in question… all limiting Philippine territorial limits to the 118th degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich.

“1898 Treaty of Paris between the US and Spain, the 1900 Treaty of Washington between Spain and the US, and the 1930 Treaty between Great Britain and the US, all limiting Philippine territorial limits to the 118th degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich. “

Arches say the basis of the Philippine claim is restricted to proximity, relying solely on the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. He said that even if it were considered a “law”, it cannot be made to take effect retroactively.

“On the other hand, the basis of the Philippine claim is restricted to proximity, relying solely on the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.”

Arches believed there is no need to internationalize the Huangyan Island issue.

He said ASEAN is remaining neutral on the dispute and the US has also declared it will not take sides.

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