Mankind’s annihilation?

The recent ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague should not allow us to relax our guard against imperialist China, the monstrous super power that will likely continue to employ aggressive bullying tactics against her Asean neighbors, in particular, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines - that is, if the warning of the late great Chinese leader, Deng Xiaoping (1904-1997), is to be believed (infra).

Two glaring facts rudely stare us in the face at this joyous moment of triumph, namely, (1) the favorable ruling we obtained from the Court is a mere moral victory, because under its own charter it is powerless to enforce its judgments, and (2) China, no less a ranking member of the UN Security Council, has brazenly and belligerently reiterated its refusal to recognize the Award (the technical term for an arbitral decision).

China's unfounded claims

The Award rejects China's unilateral assertion of sovereign rights to exclusively explore and exploit all corals, fishes, oil and gas fields in the South China Sea, as bounded by her so-called nine-dash line - claims which the court ruled to be "violative of International Law for being without legal and historical bases."

In taking stock of the ruling, we must consider the prudence of how best to deal with China with one purpose in mind: not to "provoke" her in any way, but to reach out to her for a friendly dialog aimed at allowing us to exercise our sovereign rights over the disputed waters, as defined by the arbitral tribunal.

A bilateral dialog has long been President DU30's thrust, and we wish him all the luck in an enterprise that cannot afford a misstep that could ignite an Asian, if not a domestic, flashpoint.

It is important that we do not forget that his desire for bilateral talks with China is disfavored by numerous influential quarters here and abroad.

Throughout America's reported discreet meetings with leaders of concerned Asian nations, the Duterte government must satisfactorily explain its intention to bilaterally interact with China without losing sight of an Asean preference for a united diplomatic course of action, along with defensive military options, should amicable efforts fail.

Realistic outlook

It is only realistic to suppose that the good people of China will likely remain resolute in their belief that they have, since time immemorial, owned the South China Sea.

Can they be blamed, indeed, if all these past decades their misguided leaders have taught them in school the big lie that the South China Sea is so called because they own it?

The Chinese are decent and peaceful people, but their leaders are something else. This distinction is very essential to the way we should interact with them on the one hand, and with their saber-rattling Politburo leaders, on the other.

Addressing the UN's General Assembly in 1974, Deng stunned the entire assembly into stony silence when he hinted at this distinction.

The imperious five-foot Deng pronounced in so many words that his country, China, was a sleeping giant that would rise in the near future as a super power, bully her Asian neighbors with impunity and eventually proceed to threaten world peace.

He stressed that he knew how Chinese leaders' minds worked, that they would stop at nothing until they got what they wanted, and that only her citizens could stop their provocations with the help of sympathetic countries.

Preparing for the worst

We should heed the stern warning of Deng because preparing for the worst is the basis of good defense. If friendly methods fail, what then?

For obvious reasons, an aggressive military recourse would be asinine. Instead, an appeal to the international community for support would be preferred, the idea being to globally isolate China should she remain obstinate.

However, the big question is whether the strategy of global isolation will succeed without the help of the Chinese citizenry. Well, nobody really knows; but surely it is their Politburo's utter lack of reason that pushes fidgety fingers closer to the red buttons!

Spiritual preparation

No, we don't have to debate over a choice between a call for sobriety and a call to arms, since the latter call could just lead to mankind's annihilation, i.e., if St. John the Beloved's prophecy in Revelations about Armageddon is to be believed.

Verily, it has been written that only the Father, and not even the Son, knows when the end of times will come.

Until then, we should all be spiritually prepared by realizing that everything in creation - like the oceans, fishes, shoals, oils, gases, corals and reefs - are owned only by the Creator, and that we are all therefore ordained to share all of God's bounty with one another, very especially with the infirm, the oppressed, and the poor.

Buddhism? Probably it likewise teaches the same things about creation.

Source: Tribune

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