Monday, June 20, 2011

JDV’s take on China-ASEAN row in Spratly

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

“I’m here with a lot of questions on the Spratly’s for JDV (former House Speaker Joe de Venecia), but he is not here!” this I gamely told Rep. Gina de Venecia, who was with presidential sister Pinky Aquino-Abellada at the inauguration recently of San Miguel Corporation’s donated public kindergarten school in Manaoag, Pangasinan.
Manay Gina told me her hubby Joe, our country’s renowned top geo-politics’ expert, has just called a press conference in Manila for his take on the brewing issue between mammoth China and the ASEAN members who have claim on the islets and their surrounding waters at the South China Sea or the West Philippine Sea.
Anyway, Manay Gina’s beauteous and able PR “maam” Gypsy gave me JDV’s formula for a comprehensive negotiated settlement in the China Sea’s titled “Temporarily Shelve the Issue of Sovereignty, Join Drilling for Oil and Gas Under Equitable Profit-Sharing, Open Seas, UNCLOS, Withdrawal from Armed Garrisons and Demilitarization, Tourism and Other Modes of Economic Development, Zone of Peace: Solutions to Crisis in China Sea”.
And his “Open Seas”, Joint Development, UNCLOS, Withdrawal from the Military Outposts, Zone of Peace: Solution for the South China Sea” he reads at the informal dialogue with Vietnam’s Communist Party Leaders in Hanoi, Vietnam on April 18-22, 2011.
By the way Former Speaker Joe is the founding chairman of the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP).
In his visit before in Washington DC, the five times former Speaker told then U.S Speaker Newt Gingrich and Senator Bill Cohen, who later became Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton, that any settlement in China Sea would guarantee untrammeled passage for global shipping.
He said that China’s premier Deng Xio Phing and then President Corazon Aquino and Vice President and Foreign Secretary Salvador Laurel, during the duo’s visit in Beijing, China after the ‘People Power’ Revolution, all said it was a practical idea for cooperative work of exploring and drilling for oil and gas fields only if both countries shelve the issue of sovereignty for a later time.
He said he was the one who discussed this formula with them when he was the Vice-Chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee.
On the dilemma stakeholder countries’ face at the Paracel (Vietnam vs. China), Senkaku (Diaoyu) Straits (Japan vs. China), and Kalayaan Islands (Philippine vs. China), there was a precedence to bring this tinder box issue for a just peaceful conclusion.
“Indeed in Western Europe, after World War II, the North Sea Powers including among others the United Kingdom, Norway and Germany undertook a peaceful media-line partition of the North Sea, with the oil flowing to Teeside in England and Stavanger, Norway and the gas to Bremen, Germany, with many producing wells drilled, and massive oil platforms build in the turbulent sea, one of them the Norwegian-owned Ecofish Field which we visited by helicopter in the mid-1970s, all the product of peaceful dialogue and geo-political settlement,” he elaborated.
Meanwhile, in his informal dialogue with Vietnam Communist Party leaders (attended by the past and current Communist Party of Vietnam General Secretary Nguyen Duc Manh and Nguyen Phu Throng whom JDV said “both actually have higher rank than Vietnam’s President or Prime Minister, and in Beijing with the Vice-Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China, Ai Ping), JDV said:
“Continuation of the Vietnam-Philippine-China Seismic Agreement in the South China Sea that should lead to actual drilling for oil and gas with profit-sharing among the claimant nations, demilitarization of the area and withdrawal by armed forces from the military outposts on the disputed islands and isles, and the area’s conversion from a Zone of Conflict to a Zone of Peace,” de Venecia stressed.
He explained further that the major explosions in North Africa and the Middle East, the continuing increases in the price of oil, the long haul for or tanker from the South China Sea, across the Straits of Malacca, the Gulf of Thailand, the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Sea, the Straits of Hormuz and into the major oil-producing  areas in the Arab/Persian Gulf are enough impetus for all of us to agree to break the impasse among claimant nations, cooperatively drill for oil and gas in our own front yard or backyard, and forever avoid the danger of conflict or war in our neighborhood.
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