Senators want review of policy on China | Malaya Business Insight

Lopez, J. (2018, February 06). Senators want review of policy on China. Malaya Business Insight. Retrieved February 7, 2018 from

Senators want review of policy on China
February 06, 2018

TWO senators yesterday called for a review of the country’s foreign policy direction with China in the light of reports that China is almost finished with its military buildup at the West Philippine Sea.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson said given the circumstances on the construction at the Panganiban Reef (Mischief Reef), which is within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), “it should be worthwhile” looking into the country’s foreign policy.

Reports said a runway in the Panganiban Reef is almost finished and is where military ships capable of transporting troops and weapons were spotted last Dec. 30.

Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino IV said it is time for the Senate to sit down and conduct public hearing on the resolution he filed almost two years ago.

On September 19, 2016, Aquino filed Resolution No. 158 seeking to clarify the country’s foreign policy direction to determine the administration’s position on several issues, including the West Philippine Sea, Benham Rise and other dealings with China.

Earlier, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced that it has approved China’s request to conduct maritime scientific research in the Philippine or Benham Rise, with the blessing of President Duterte.

Aquino expressed alarm over reports that Chinese military bases at the West Philippine Sea are almost complete.

“While their war ships are in our seas, we continue to give in to their whims and, all the while, we are kept in the dark as to our government’s dealings with China,” Aquino said.

He said the Duterte administration should reveal to the Filipino people its dealings with China and what it surrendered to the foreign country.

But Lacson said the Philippines is helpless in stopping China’s reclamation activities in the West Philippine Sea.

“The only way to stop it is a balance of power and we are not included in that balance of power because we have no power. We are not a superpower,” he said.

He said only the United States or the European countries could counter China.

“For a country like the Philippines, all we can do at most is to raise a howl. The arbitral ruling, while favorable to us, that’s not implementable,” he said.

Category: National | Malaya Business Insight

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