The Inbox

Veteran diplomat Lauro Baja on the “New China”

Xi Jinping2

The  changing of the guards in China is ongoing  at the  18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China  which started yesterday.

Chinese President Hu Jintao will turn over  leadership to Vice President Xi Jinping.

One of the Philippines' seasoned diplomats, Lauro Baja, formerly the country's permanent representative to the United Nations talked to some members of media and shared his thoughts on how the Philippines should deal with the "new China."

Baja, who also served as Foreign Affairs undersecretary for policy, thinks despite the change in leadership, China "will not be able to veer away too much from what is existing now. "

But, he said, "there is now a new dynamic in China, the news is now more vocal, the social media is more vocal and there is a greater degree of nationalism among people in the streets. As a matter of fact they now think and they may be rightly so that they are now the center of the world. "

That reality, he said, must be taken into account by  the Philippine policy makers in dealing with China now.

Given the overlapping territorial claims on China and the Philippines, Baja said "we must find ways to either resume dialogue or initiate dialogue on other approaches"  because military action is not an option. " In our dispute or claim, we have no military option and I don't think parties are thinking of the military option."

Lauro BajaBaja laments the "fixation on developing a code of conduct in the South China Sea as an upgrade of the Declaration of the Code of Conduct on the South China Sea."

"We are making the same objections as we did in the declaration and it is unrealistic to expect that a code could be concluded in the immediate future," he said.

He pointed out that China has not budged from its view that  there should not be an enforcement provision in case of violation and a dispute mechanism.

Baja is not optimistic that the 10-member Association of Southeast Nations,which will have a summit meeting in Cambodia on Nov. 18- 20, would be able to  conclude an ASEAN Regional Code of Conduct in the South China Sea  and allow parties concerned including China to either accede or adhere to the declaration.

"Maybe that would be a creative approach. After all ASEAN's Treaty of Amity and Cooperation  has been acceded to by China so maybe there's an example for a new innovative creative approach. But in the UNCLOS  (United Nations Commission on the Law of the Sea) itself there are opportunities also for cooperative activities," Baja said.

Despite the recriminations over the Panatag (Scarborough) shoal early this year, Baja believes the Chinese does not really consider  the Philippines  an enemy nor do we  consider China one.

He said,"the only element which put a 'fly on the ointment' is the so-called in the PH-China relations is the perceived excessive dependence of the Philippines on the US and that's a sore point to them."

He related a conversation with recent Chinese visitor Fu Ying, vice minister in China's foreign ministry who was formerly ambassador to the Philippines.

" I told Fu Ying, because I know her I was undersecretary of foreign affairs then when she was ambassador here so we could talk frankly. I told her, the trouble with China is you talk to us thru the US why don't you talk to us directly and we talk to you directly. And she said to me, 'but you also talk to us thru the US.'

" So again, that perception must be excised. We cannot deny that we are close to the US we are treaty allies, people-to-people exchanges are substantive but we cannot also deny that geography is immutable, we have a big neighbor to the north who is the second largest economy in the world and with a growing military and a growing international clout in international affairs so the challenge for  Philippine  diplomacy is to have a nuance approach to the competition, to the rivalry to the so-called boxing match as Pres. Ramos said between China and the US because whether we like it or not the security architecture of the region will be determined to a very large significant factor by the US-China relations."

  • Happy Earth Day! The 8 Biggest Mysteries of Our Planet
    Happy Earth Day! The 8 Biggest Mysteries of Our Planet

    When the first Earth Day was held in 1970, geologists were still putting the finishing touches on plate tectonics, the model that explains how the Earth's surface takes shape. For today's Earth day, here are some of Earth's biggest unsolved mysteries. Scientists think Earth was a dry rock after it coalesced 4.5 billion years ago. But the beginnings of Earth's water are shrouded in mystery because so little rock evidence remains from this time period. …

  • Angel calls birthday boy Luis ‘amazing’
    Angel calls birthday boy Luis ‘amazing’

    [caption id="attachment_130927" align="alignright" width="300"] Angel Locsin and Luis Manzano (Instagram)[/caption] Angel Locsin is extra sweet to boyfriend Luis Manzano today, with the latter commemorating his 33rd birthday. The actress authorized Sagip Kapamilya Foundation to auction the 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle, which is her dream car. …

  • Why You Forget: 5 Strange Facts About Memory

    Although rare, certain activities can result in a temporary memory loss and brain fog, called transient global amnesia. For example, sex has been reported to cause this memory problem, with patients forgetting the past day or so, and having difficulty forming new memories. …

  • Miss America defends student suspended for asking her to prom
    Miss America defends student suspended for asking her to prom

    By Chris Francescani NEW YORK (Reuters) - Miss America has suggested officials at a Pennsylvania high school reconsider their decision to suspend a student for approaching her at a school assembly and asking her to be his prom date, the beauty queen said on Saturday. The disciplinary action taken by school administrators in York against the 18-year-old senior made national headlines, and generated sympathy for the young man on social media. A video of Central York High School senior Patrick …

  • U.S. Embassy in Manila denies report of visa-free U.S. entry for Filip …
    U.S. Embassy in Manila denies report of visa-free U.S. entry for Filip …

    Don’t fall for rumors that Filipinos may now visit the United States without a visa, U.S. embassy in Manila told the public Wednesday. …

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Happy Earth Day! The 8 Biggest Mysteries of Our Planet

    Happy Earth Day! The 8 Biggest Mysteries of Our Planet

    LiveScience.com - Tue, Apr 22, 2014
    Happy Earth Day! The 8 Biggest Mysteries of Our Planet

    When the first Earth Day was held in 1970, geologists were still putting the finishing touches on plate tectonics, the model that explains how the Earth's surface takes shape. For today's Earth day, here are some of Earth's biggest unsolved mysteries. Scientists think Earth was a dry rock after it coalesced 4.5 billion years ago. But the beginnings of Earth's water are shrouded in mystery because so little rock evidence remains from this time period. …

  • Jodie Foster marries girlfriend

    Jodie Foster marries girlfriend

    Cover Media - 13 hours ago
    Jodie Foster marries girlfriend

    Jodie Foster has reportedly tied the knot with Alexandra Hedison, who she has been dating for less than a year. …

  • Pacquiao has lost his 'pop', Mayweather

    Pacquiao has lost his 'pop', Mayweather

    AFP News - 3 hours ago
    Pacquiao has lost his 'pop', Mayweather

    Floyd Mayweather says Manny Pacquiao has lost a step and that the Filipino's superstar slide has coincided with his decision to split from former strength trainer Alex Ariza. The 37-year-old undefeated welterweight champ Mayweather weighed in Wednesday on the latest performance by Pacquiao who beat Timothy Bradley on April 12 in Las Vegas in a rematch of their first bout in June 2012. "Actually, I did watch the fight," said Mayweather who is training to fight Argentina's Marcos Maidana in a …

POLL
Loading...
Poll Choice Options