Are the Philippines and China Moving Past Their Differences?

Dr. Ann Griffiths, 22 November 2016.

It’s interesting to see Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping getting along so well together. The latest example is Duterte issuing an executive order declaring part of the Scarborough Shoal to be a marine sanctuary which will be off-limits to all fishermen. The executive order is supported by China. The most interesting thing about it is that it concerns the disputed area which led former President of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III, to take China to the Permanent Court of Arbitration. The PCA decision was rendered this past summer and the Philippines won on almost every element of the case. Now both countries agree that fishing can occur outside the lagoon but not in it – and this is perhaps a face-saving solution for China. The question, of course, is where, if at all, does the United States fit into this happy picture? See

“With China's Support, Duterte to Ban Fishing in Disputed Lagoon”
(By Manuel Mogato; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)


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