By: Hilario Andes
As somebody involved in the NDCP – MNSA paper in 1994 I recall – ” RE- ENGINEERING PHILIPPINE – TAIWAN ECONOMIC RELATIONS ” argued that a potential conflict with china in the West Philippine Sea OR South China Sea should be resolved within the ASEAN context of mutual cooperation and understanding.
There are now two policy options in the mind of President Rodrigo Duterte right now, to tAlk with china on a bilateral basis or to have ASEAN as platform for the talks. After all, the claimants namely; Malaysia and Vietnam are members of ASEAN. This means that the ASEAN venue must be exhausted first before any flashpoint in the area which may involve the American, Japanese and other Western powers.
China knew that they are still inferior in war capabilities. In fact, the world ranking in terms of air power of which United Stated and Great Britain are 1 and 2, whereas China is only number 7. It will be a disaster for them if they attempt to test it.
Let us do a Thailand and Switzerland strategy during World War II – where we stay in neutral grounds then we see how to respond when we get hit. At least, we are not the main target.
We have learned – and we are still learning – from Sun TZU. CHINA HAS MASTERED IT ALREADY starting from the 1949 Mao Tse’s victory over Chiang Kai’s nationalist forces who retreated to Taiwan.