ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark J. Valencia:
By Mark J. Valencia - 15 Jul 2019
On June 9, 2019, there was a collision between two fishing boats in the Philippines’ Exclusive Economic Zone, one a China-flagged vessel and one a Philippines-flagged fishing boat. The incident elicited wild accusations and demands for precipitous retaliatory action.
By Mark J. Valencia - 12 Jun 2019
This year’s Shangri-La Dialogue was anticipated to display a region-shaking US-China clash or compromise. Indeed, several analysts predicted “fireworks”. But what actually transpired was “not a bang but an anti-climactic whimper”.
Three US Senators have reintroduced the South China Sea and East China Sea Sanctions Act. Its purpose is to “impose sanctions against Chinese entities that participate in Beijing’s attempts to assert its expansive maritime and territorial claims in these disputed regions.”
In the early 2000s, when I accepted an invitation to speak at one of the very first of what has since become a very prestigious annual event, The Boao Forum for Asia — I had no idea I might wind up playing a minor role in what became the great giant clam controversy.
The Philippines is undertaking a government-sponsored marine scientific expedition to the Spratlys area. While billed as an advance in scientific knowledge, it may be perceived to be a soft assertion of sovereignty.
According to the Philippines, the presence of about 275 Chinese vessels near Thitu between January and March 2019 violated its “sovereignty, sovereign rights, and jurisdiction”. It filed a diplomatic protest to this effect.
Two former Philippines officials filed a complaint with the ICC against China for “crimes against humanity”, alleging that President Xi Jinping, Foreign Minister Wang Yi and the Chinese Ambassador perpetrated environmental damage in the South China Sea.
There is certainly no shortage of warmongering blaring from both China and the US regarding the South China Sea. Indeed, a recent public tit-for-tat illustrates both the danger of such public advocacy and of taking it seriously.