Tell it to SunStar: Bongbong’s China visit and the West Philippine Sea

Forge a friendship with Chinese leaders, but bring up the issue pertaining to the West Philippine Sea with courage, Mr. President.

The West Philippine Sea row must be addressed apart from the other new deals that the Philippines and China could reach during President Bongbong Marcos’ state visit to the East Asian behemoth in the first week of January.

For me, discussing the dispute with the Chinese government must be the most important agenda of the trip.

The Marcos administration must not avoid the issue.

Beijing needs to refrain from doing any controversial move in the hotly contested/disputed sea, and it must sincerely start negotiating with the Philippine government.

Make the right move, friend.

A full-blown war between China and the Philippines (with its allied nations) must be avoided through negotiations and by both states abiding by the 2016 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea decision, which rejects China’s nine-dash-line claim.

There is no other way.