A political risk analyst said last Sunday that the national government should embed complaints in all available policies therein counter China to focus international attention on its intrusions in contested waters.
Filipino fishermen and former officials last week registered a complaint before the International Criminal Court, accusing Chinese President Xi Jinping of crimes against humanity in lieu with Beijing’s “systematic plan to control the South China Sea.”
The action is a “good first phase to defend the Philippines from China’s siege of the West Philippine Sea,” stated Anders Corr, whose analytics firm publishes the Journal of Political Risk.
The complaint, he added, intensifies public awareness of the problem and focuses international attention on China’s “theft of natural resources.”
“We need more such cases in every venue possible. We should be litigating against China and what it’s trying to do,” Corr said.
“Bringing these lawsuits have more than legal impact. It has a public relations impact. It brings the attention of the Philippine community and also the world community to bear on China. It takes China to the court of public opinion,” he included.
Other legal venues where the Philippines can take China are the United Nations General Assembly and the body’s Human Rights Commission, he added.
Manila and longtime supporter Washington should also intensify naval forces in the West Philippine Sea to support UN-backed arbitral tribunal’s verdict to invalidate Beijing’s sweeping claims over the strategic waterway.
“You can have international law in your favor but if you don’t have the force to back it up then the Chinese will just ignore it,” he added.
The Philippines and China have long scuffled over the South China Sea, although relations improved significantly under President Duterte, who set aside the 2016 landmark legal victory for enhanced ties.
Corr, still warned that the Philippine is “very likely” to mislay natural resources if it fails to pay back China for loans. Deals between the 2 states, he added, should be scrutinized by Philippine Congress.
“They shouldn’t just be taken lightly. These will be putting the children of the Philippines for generations into a debt trap that they will probably not be able to get out of… Beijing will have them in virtual debt servitude for decades or even a century,” he warned.