Sen Bongbong on Spratlys: We Need Skillful Diplomacy
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) should buckle down to playing its role and function as a Department of the Executive Branch in charge of our foreign relations such as the present dispute with China, Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., said ”Firstly, it should be the DFA actively negotiating the Spratly islands dispute with China and leave the President more time to attend to domestic problems. There is urgency in economic matters especially those concerning the immediate need of millions of Filipinos to place food on their plates on a daily basis.”
The United States of America on Tuesday thru US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas assured the Aquino administration that US and RP are strategic treaty allies and will continue to consult and work with each other on issues including the South China Sea and the Spratly Islands.
“This problem can be contained and eventually solved by our government without assurances from the US to come to our aid. It’s a giant step from assurances to actual physical assistance should the need arise,” He stated.
Marcos added that military and economic threats are totally unrealistic and uncalled for saying it is like threatening them to kill ourselves.
“Boycott Chinese products? Engage them in arms buildup? Let’s hope they don’t encourage us to go ahead. These economic and military threats made by some sectors are ludicrous and only serve to hamper our ability to negotiate with some degree of success.” he said.
“Let’s also keep in mind our more than a hundred thousand workers in Hong-Kong who just went through a harrowing experience from a hostile Hong-Kong community in the aftermath of our botched hostage rescue attempt that left eight Chinese tourists dead.”
He added that “cavalier statements, empty threats and jingoistic pronouncements are poor substitutes for adept skillful negotiators and harnessing international support from our ASEAN partners and the UN and filing formal protests if the need arises but maintaining direct talks with Chinese officials. They have been friendly neighbors on the whole and we can appeal to the years of good relations since diplomatic relations were established in June of 1975, 36 yers ago, a historic occassion I was fortunate to have witnessed.”
“It must be remembered that for all the American’s protestations against China’s human rights violations, American business interests have maintained the upper hand in directing the US government’s relations with China.” “That should give us an idea where we stand if push comes to shove which should not even come to pass if we are to succeed,” he opined.