Territory: To Fight? To Share? Speak Up!

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Little is our country yet we persevere to fight against a colossal rival. Scarborough Shoal has long been able to make several countries to clash for territorial claims. Countries who claimed to such islands include Philippines, Taiwan, and China. The feud continues to heat up especially the countries’ China and Philippines who might just lead to a brink of war. Is it right to fight knowing that we, the people of the Philippines, have no power against China? Is it just to fight knowing that this will only lead to a bloodbath?

Scarborough Shoal or Panatag Shoal has been a disputed island for years now. The Shoal is in a triangular shape with a perimeter of 46 km. The shoal is about 198 km from Subic Bay making it nearer to the Philippines than China. The Philippines claim the right for the islands based on the juridical law established by the public international law according to the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea (UNCLOS). Through a diplomatic talk, China provided three conditions for such dispute to be resolved. First, Chinese vessels should not be interrupted in any of their activities. Second, any Chinese vessel should be left alone. Third, the Philippines vessels should withdraw from the shoal completely. The conditions seemed to be unreasonable. As of now, China has been guarding the islands heavily with armed vessels. China has also started making infrastructures on several islands and even effectively made its own Great Wall of the sea. The U.S.A. and Japan are teaming up with the Philippines to help guard the islands which are not yet under the surveillance of China. Japan donated 10 vessels to the Philippines to strengthen the ties of both countries. The U.S.A. continues to send military vessels over the disputed islands and is set to hold naval exercises with the Philippines at the east of Palawan at June 22, 2015 amid the rising tension. Filipino citizens are also campaigning to boycott any products entering the Philippines. Eight out of ten Filipino also fear about the dispute that could lead to an armed conflict which may also lead to another World War due to the other international disputes besides the Scarborough Shoal issue. 

Within today's government, we are still left questionable about the treaty. How can China become an ally with a country they just fought? It is still a growing uneasiness on whether or not the Filipino are to be played by a colossal neighbour. How sure are we to be feel protected and independent if we are to be swayed by the demands of another country?  If you didn't fight for what you want, you may cry for what you lost.  The issue is still in progress and is still discussed by the United Nations. Both parties claimed are still thoroughly examined. Many Filipinos are still in favour to fight for the sovereignty of the Scarborough Shoals. Are you one of them?



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