President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of the Philippines had a puzzling and, some may say, unusually personal interaction with China’s representative in Manila amid the constantly rising tensions in the South China Sea.
He publicly aired his concerns while still taking an unwavering stance on marine matters, which demonstrated his anger and perplexity about the region’s escalating tensions. President Marcos made it plain that he will defend the Philippines and its fishermen’s rights in the South China Sea.
The First Complaint Against China
The Philippines, which had previously won a significant 2016 international tribunal judgement against China’s sweeping claims in the South China Sea, is now considering a fresh legal conflict in a surprise and perhaps ground-breaking step. This time, the claimed environmental harm brought on by Chinese activity in the area is the legal center of attention. While some experts suggest that another legal victory for the Philippines might not have a practical impact on China, it could significantly impact its global reputation. This move may mark a unique chapter in the history of international relations and legal battles.
The seven-year delay since the last decision gives this scenario an exciting new dimension. This void is a rare chance to refocus attention on the urgent environmental issues in the region and to reopen the discussion over China’s conduct in the South China Sea.
However, pursuing this legal avenue comes with a set of complex considerations and potential pitfalls. The cost of litigation is a significant concern, and the reputational damage that China incurred from its absence during the first tribunal could potentially lead to its active participation in future legal proceedings, although China prefers diplomatic negotiation.
A fresh case might provoke China more, which has already used deadly but non-lethal means to intimidate the Philippine military in the South China Sea. The conflict’s human component highlights how high the stakes are.
However, other professionals vehemently contend that it is risky to legally challenge China. According to them, it highlights China’s actions as a belligerent and uncooperative state and brings the South China Sea conflict back into the international community’s radar.
This dedication to utilizing the rule of law to resolve intricate geopolitical problems in a world frequently dominated by power politics is proof of the lasting significance of human values and principles in international affairs.
The Rest of the World Says This
It is encouraged that the international community, especially democratic friends, take a special and beneficial role. They are tasked with influencing the Marcos government to implement governance changes via trade, investment, and support for capacity-building.
This innovative strategy aims to assist the Philippines in becoming a more liberated, secure, and dynamic country and in reaching its full potential as a vibrant democracy in the intricate fabric of the twenty-first century. By doing so, it emphasizes how crucial international collaboration and assistance are in resolving both geopolitical problems and the fundamental human values that form the basis of our global civilization.