By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY - One of Asia’s foremost geo-political experts did not believe that the saber rattlings between China and some Asian countries will result in a shooting war.
Former five –time Speaker Jose de Venecia said he did not see any eminent explosion of conflict in the East and South China Seas with China versus Japan and the Philippines.
“All of these will be settled by diplomacy and negotiation,” he stressed.
He said the belligerent attitude shown by Japan’s hawkish Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and China President Xi Jinping only drumbeat their self-confidence before the eyes of their constituents.
“Well, both are talking self-confident action for home politics. In the end, all of them will seat and settle these issues satisfactory to the satisfaction of both sides,” he said.
De Venecia said it was just normal for the United States commercial airlines to seek first the notification of the Chinese for them to pass the Area Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) in East Asia that China unilaterally proclaimed.
“That’s normal, that’s normal because you cannot experiment with the lives of passengers in civil aircraft,” de Venecia quipped.
The arbitrary action of China to impose an ADIZ that covers the disputed islets Senkaku-Diaoyu has prompted a protest from Japan.
Abe said his country will not honor the imposition of China for airlines to seek first the imprimatur of the Chinese before they pass the area.
To buttress its maritime and defense capability around the disputed islets, the Abe Administration announced recently that it will buy $240 billion new military hardware during a five-year span starting next year that include five submarines, three drones, 52 amphibious vehicles, 17 Osprey hybrid choppers, and others.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that during his visit in the country last December 17, U.S Secretary John Kerry announced another $40 million military assistance so the Philippines can protect its territorial waters amid the rising threat shown by China even as he asked nations in the South China Sea to lower the tension.
The $40 million comes from the US program known as the Global Security Contingency Fund. It would be spent over three years and will be used in improving the Philippine Coast Guard’s maritime security abilities and the boosting of the country’s counter terrorism capacity of the Philippines National Police in Mindanao, where the United States has also backed a decade-long Philippine government campaign against al-Qaeda-linked local militants
In that visit Secretary Kerry categorically said that China cannot unilaterally declare an ADIZ in East China Sea and put another one in the South China Sea.
“The United States does not recognize that zone and does not accept it,” Kerry said during a news conference with Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario.
He said the zone should not be implemented and China should refrain from taking similar unilateral actions, particularly in the South China Sea,” he said.
De Venecia is the founding chairman, International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) , and founding president, Centrist Asia Pacific Democrats International (CAPDI).
In the past he has called for dialogue among the East Asian countries that have similar claim in the land and water territories in the South and East China Seas.
The innocuous islets there have been suspected to seat in a huge deposit of mineral resources.
He espoused that the claimant States should resort to joint fishery consortium and joint exploration of the hydrocarbon and gas in the areas.
De Venecia cited a formula after World War II when Great Britain, Norway, and Germany jointly explore an oil field in the North Sea.
He said the claimant countries in East Asia can copy this North Sea model.
“The other model is that we will drill together and the profit we split. You see? So we shelve the issue of sovereignty. This is the formula that will solve the problems of China, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Therefore that will solve the problem between China and Vietnam in the Paracel. This (in) the Spratly claim, Vietnam went to war over there a dozen years ago. This is the same formula that should be used (by) Japan in Diaoyu Strait, what the Chinese call the Senkaku Strait. This is the third formula that could be used on the Sea of Japan and the East Sea, between Japan and South Korea, “he stressed