- Trident Defense, a non-profit organization that specializes in defense, has urged President Rodrigo Duterte not to talk to China about having joint development activities
- However, Trident Defense clarified that going to war with China is not an ideal plan
- According to the organization, the Philippines should just show some pride as a nation and should let Beijing know that the Filipinos have something to fight for by freezing talks with China for a couple of years
President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte has been warned by an organization specializing in defense about directly talking with China after the Philippines gained an upper hand due to the United Nations arbitral tribunal ruling. The stunning verdict invalidated Beijing’s claim over the South China Sea.
“We may be a small country, but we are a nation of warriors. So let’s show them, no talk to the Chinese for one year or two years. Freeze muna. Show them we are also resolute,” said Rodrigo Mejia, the Trident Defense chairperson.
Trident Defense president Atty. Toby Purisima clarified that the Philippines should not go to war with China. However, showing some pride as a nation can help the Philippines in the long run.
The non-profit organization also pointed out that refusing to have joint activities with China is an ideal way to show the Philippines’ pride as a nation and to protect its interests.
“What makes us think that an encroaching neighbor that failed to honor its treaty obligation and the processes under Unclos would honor any joint development activity with the Philippines?” Purisima said.
On Tuesday, the UN arbitral tribunal ruled in favor of the Philippines, saying that it is illegal for China to assert historical claims to about 90 percent of the South China Sea.
The UN arbitration panel added that the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) – which allocates exclusive economic zones (EEZs) for countries – is superior to China’s claims. The ruling also cited that China destroyed reefs in the disputed territory through its illegal activities in the area.
Although China has earlier signed the international treaty, it refused to recognize the authority and the ruling of the UN arbitral tribunal after the Philippines brought the case to the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague.
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