By Mei Jingya, Sina English
The standoff between China and the Philippines over Huangyan Island has lasted for over a month now. And in good reason, through patience as well as diplomacy, China is able to keep its commitment to safeguarding the nation’s interests.
Peng Guangqian, military strategist at the People's Liberation Army’s Academy of Military Science, said in a recent interview that it’s time China shift its focus from ‘crisis management’ to ‘normal management’ as to the island-related disputes. He suggested that China should maintain a standard presence in Huangyan Island and work out a plan for the development of natural resources lying at seabed.
“Establishing a 24-hour patrol in Huangyan Island,” Huang urged, “in a bid to deliver a message that China is prepared to deal a severe blow to those who dare to provoke in the first place.”
Peng also said Huangyan Island is part of the undisputable Chinese territory. The row started because a Philippine warship entered China's territorial waters on April 10 and attempted to detain Chinese fishermen.
What the Philippines did was an intrusion into China’s territory and violated Chinese fishermen’s fishing rights and interests. For more than a month after the incident, the Philippines has been trying desperately to seek military support from Washington, and incite other ASEAN countries to turn against China.
Aquino administration has gone so far as to threaten to bring the sea spat to the International Tribunal. By contrast, China has exercised restraint at utmost, and has been seeking any possible diplomatic means to scale down the confrontation.
It was reported that Philippine President Benigno Aquino III on Monday softened his position, telling reporters that he believes the tension over the Huangyan Island will “soon be resolved”, and hinted that it is perhaps not necessary to submit the issue to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea.
Despite this, Peng still insisted that the Sino-Filipino face-off is far from over. And where it points to hinges on the Philippines. Will it stop harassing Chinese fishing boats? Will it give up its outrageous claim of part of Chinese territory? We will wait and see.