Warning to China using thugs as enforcers against neighbours.

“China is urged to be careful about who it chooses as its emissaries. While there is a theory that China has some colour of right in the Second Thomas Shoal matter, so do the Philippines. Nevertheless, the methodology of challenging alleged trespassers using random, non-verified irregulars, some of whom behave like gangsters, can have blowback that leaves a stench lasting forever.”

This was a verdict of a group of CSO members who have organized and managed the Demilitarize the South China Sea campaign. The current think tank meeting that began Saturday morning delved into recent events, then “urging calm, caring, sharing, forbearance, dialogue-not acrimony among neighbours, not lies but truth: and all the attributes leading to peace”.

“It happened to Iran, to the Islamic State, and a number of other Salafist Jihadists where their worst of people behaved like prehistoric monsters and set the reputation for the groups although most members did not behave that way at the outset of their formation. It certainly happened to Hamas in Gaza which is now facing prosecution in the International Criminal Court because it invited many gangs of street thugs (every city in the world has them) to come into Israel on 7 October 2023, and raise mayhem. They did that to the chagrin of disciplined soldiers of the IQB. It was disgusting criminality,” suggested Karina Angeles,  Philippines representative to the Global Protest against militarization of the South China Sea.

“China should be showing the absolute best of its trained law enforcement professionals and not goofballs brandishing machetes at inflatable rubber boats. Just because the government of the Philippines behaves in a childish manner… [readers can] finish that line. Mothers use that line for scolding misbehaving small children. Baby Junior Ferdinand Marcos needs to ‘gwow wup’, and that is not meant with malice. Marcos needs to lead and not be dragged around by the many leaders of pettiness from one quasi-scandal to the next,” continued Ms. Angeles.

China is making a terrible mistake as history is beginning to prove.

One of the suggestions raised by a student of armed conflict said, “professional paramilitary and professional marines do not behave like the recent thuggery inflicted on foolhardy Filipinos with an axe, some crude knife blades and a totally unprofessional approach to law enforcement that has embarrassed true Chinese patriots wearing the uniform of their country having earned that right and all their medals with arduous never-ending training and devoted service to The People’s Republic of China.”

For the Philippines, many observers say they believe “it’s about oil and gas and stupidity”.

The 2016 decision of the UNCLOS Tribunal hearing the Philippines 2013 case said [paraphrased, ‘there is zero possibility to claim Second Thomas Shoal as land belonging to the Philippines because it is submerged forever—there is no land. It is a submerged reef in the Spratly’s of the South China Sea, 105 nautical miles west of Palawan, Philippines.’

“Wake up Manila. The polar ice is melting in the oceans and the water is rising fast. A climate catastrophe is underway and many islands are already disappearing. The shipwreck in the mud of shallow sea water is just a stunt not worth a laugh any longer. Second Thomas Shoal is GONE,” emphasized Ms. Angeles.

Polar ice is melting fast as islands vanish

This image of Greenland’s southwestern coastline was taken during a survey done from July through August 2015 as part of the Oceans Melting Greenland, or OMG, mission. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Follow this link for a group or class project to learn about the process of land ice and sea ice melting. 

As part of the continental shelf of the Philippines, the Spratly’s area within the continental shelf of the Philippines bestows some rights thereof but that does not include traversing the 12-mile limt of another nation, for example.

  • A July 2016 UNCLOS Tribunal ruling DID NOT rule that Scarborough Shoal or Spratly’s belonged to the Philippines. It ruled that the Scarborough shoal is a rock, entitled only to a 12-nautical-mile territorial sea as part of the Philippines continental shelf and not a candidate for ownership by any nation.
  • It could not rule on sovereignty over the shoal but found that China violated the traditional fishing rights of Filipinos by not allowing them to fish there.
  • Interestingly, the tribunal stated that it would have found the same regarding Chinese fishermen if they were prevented access to the shoal by the Philippines.
  • The Actual Decision

“China has demanded the removal of the rusted-out Sierra Madre so move it or accept the consequences. That’s how it is, like it or not,” urged Ms. Angeles.

“And stop the childish lies.”

“It is a preposterous lie, telling Filipinos that the ‘government of the Philippines owns and defends this island’. There is no island and China is denying access to the armed wreck hence it is not OK for the Philippines to spend the poor Filipinos money on expensive submarines, missiles and war machinery and to invite the Americans to occupy the Philippines militarily for a war against China. That describes a government selling out its own people. It’s likely how the Philippines will become the new Ukraine, or Gaza—a civilian wipe-out,” added Ms. Angeles.

“Instead of pursuing a 1990s dream about sucking the oil and gas from the sea bed of the South China Sea putting gold into the pockets of Manila dynasties, it would be much more productive to harness the energy of the sun, the wind and the waves,” suggests Michele Francis, the South American director for The RINJ Foundation and representative to several countries claiming China is overfishing in their waters of South America.

The United Nations Conventions on The Law of The Sea (UNCLOS) sets out very clearly that most of the long gone islands, now submerged shoals and reefs cannot be owned by anyone and that includes China.

Article 89 asserts that no state can make a sovereignty claim on the high seas, but can operate peacefully under Article 88. Articles 87 through 119 explain all regulations under UNCLOS for the high seas, from warships to piracy to fishing to persons in distress.

Article 89 of UNCLOS deals with the invalidity of claims of sovereignty over the high seas. This would apply to China, Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and others claiming rocks, coral and other brief low-tide apparitions of a land mass which isn’t able to support anything but ocean life. That makes it ocean and most of the Nine-Dash-Line objects used to map out China’s claim to parts of the South China Sea are ocean and not land. Nobody owns the oceans says UNCLOS.

Note: “The law of the sea is a body of public international law governing the geographic jurisdictions of coastal States and the rights and duties among States in the use and conservation of the ocean environment and its natural resources,” citing Law of the Sea – an overview | ScienceDirect Topics

With 1.4 billion mouths to feed, Beijing wants to protect the fish stocks of the South China Sea to feed its people.

“A startling reality that Beijing and the rest of the world needs to face is that China isn’t food secure, it must import a third of its food,” noted Ms. Angeles.

“Therein lies the Catch 22. Xi Jinping does have the colour of right in his motivation for South China Sea claims. However, the method is as illogical as the flat Earth society—‘Nine Dash Line? Are you kidding?”