Is the Philippines an Orphan? | The Diplomat

Is the Philippines an Orphan? | The Diplomat:

While ASEAN is striving to arrive at a consensus on the issue, China will continue to do as it pleases. Divide and conquer, the Chinese evidently know what they are doing. The impasse and the status quo is definitely in China’s favor as it is in a position to unilaterally exert influence and assert its claims. Before long, another islet or shoal will find a “fisherman’s shelter” built on it by the Chinese and later on morph into a base as what happened in the Mischief Reef. Will the Philippines be able to get China to dismantle those structures on Mischief Reef? I doubt even a united ASEAN can do so, Mischief Reef is effectively China’s now. While ASEAN talks and talks, China conducts creeping occupation over disputed territories. It is not surprising that Vietnam has been active alongside the Philippines and adopting the same positions, their Navy has tangled with the Chinese Navy in the past. The threat is very real to them. In the meantime, China is showing to one and all that in the end, “might makes right.” - Moira G Gallaga

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