Opinion: Are We on the Brink of War?
The ongoing dispute between China and the Philippines over Scarborough Shoal has caused some anxiety and apprehension for fear that it might escalate into afull blown war. Considering the fact that China is a super power, its defence system is rather strong and any violence that might erupt between the two countries could end up in a catastrophe. If this problem could only be settled in a diplomatic way, then things could be better and the rift could end in due time. At the end of the day, both the Chinese and the Filipinos would be happy for all is well that would end well.
Unfortunately, such is not the case inasmuch as China considers ALL of China Sea including Scarborough Shoal- where natural gas and oil deposits are believed to be present in vast amounts that would definitely satisfy their needs and boost their economy. On the other hand, the fact that the island in question is close to the Philippines (less than 200 miles from Luzon), it should be considered clearly as part of Philippine maritime territory. Worse, China does not respect Philippine ownership of the area and refuses to submit to the International Tribunal for a settlement. They are firm in their assertion that all of South China Sea belongs to them disregarding the Philippines and the other Asian Countries surrounding the region.
As a consequence, there have been naval ships both from China and the Philippines patrolling the area each with an interest of its own. Lately, Philippine fishing boats were allowed in the area along with Chinese fishermen, but both are guarded by their respective naval military commands! China’s Defence Ministry Spokesman Geng Yasheng was quoted as saying, "China’s armed forces bear the responsibility of defending the nation’s territorial sovereignty and safeguard its maritime rights and interests." The reply from Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario is: "If the Philippines is challenged, we are prepared to secure our own sovereignty." It looks like violence is in the making- God forbid!
Philippine President Aquino, however, is hoping that the dispute will be settled by diplomatic means for he firmly believes in the Constitution which states that, "We renounce war as an instrument of national policy." Apparently, our intention is two-fold that is, NOT to escalate the situation while we protect our own sovereignty.
At the rate things are going, it seems that we are on the brink of war. However, the least that we can do for now is pray for PEACE. Most probably, it was our prayers that caused the failure of the rocket launch of North Korea which could have caused some devastating effects on some Filipinos possibly due to radiation that might have been emitted from fragments of the rocket expected to land in Philippine waters. Let’s keep our Faith in God Almighty for He is good and Jesus being a perennial Good Shepherd that He is, shall ALWAYS tend His flock. Why? It’s because Jesus Cares.*