It is most sinister to accuse Filipinos as unpatriotic for suggesting the South China Sea belongs to China.
As repeated several times, the historical basis which is the treaty of Paris signed by the US and Spain on December 10, 1898 formally ceded the archipelago to Spain by the US for 20 million dollars
Stating this historical truth does not make any Filipino writer unpatriotic.
His position on this is crucial and quite important because this involves the fact that at the turn of the 19th century, the US became an imperialist power in Asia.
This crucial determination of the US as a global imperialist power in Asia remains contested to this day.
Article III Section 1 of the Treaty of Paris provides, to quote:
Spain cedes to the United States the archipelago known as the Philippine Islands, and comprehending the islands lying within the following line:
A line running from west to east along or near the twentieth parallel of north latitude, and through the middle of the navigable channel of Bachi, from the one hundred and eighteenth (118th) to the one hundred and twenty seventh (127th) degrees meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, thence along the one hundred and twenty seventh (127th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich to the parallel of four degree and forty five minutes (4°45′) north latitude, thence along the parallel of four degrees and forty five minutes (4°45′) north latitude to its intersection with the meridian of longitude one hundred and nineteen degrees and thirty five minutes (119°35′) east of Greenwich, thence along the meridian of longitude one hundred and nineteen degrees and thirty five minutes (119°35′) east of Greenwich to the parallel of latitude seven degrees and forty minutes (7°40′) north, thence along the parallel of latitude seven degrees and forty minutes (7°40′) north to its intersection with the one hundred and sixteenth (116th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, thence by a direct line to the intersection of the tenth (10th) degree parallel of north latitude with the one hundred and eighteenth (118th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich, and thence along the one hundred and eighteenth (118th) degree meridian of longitude east of Greenwich to the point of beginning.
The United States will pay to Spain the sum of twenty million dollars ($20,000,000) within three months after the exchange of the ratifications of the present treaty.
The indisputable fact clearly indicates the US could not be a party to any dispute between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea.
Being a party to a dispute in the South China Sea remains an issue which it is uncannily silent.
Instead of endorsing the authenticity of the treaty where the US is the vendor of the archipelago to that Treaty, the US keeps on skirting the issue about the signed Treaty, and insists the US and the Philippines have a defense treaty for which the US is committed to defend this country.
Our defense agreement with the US came much later after the signing of the aforesaid Treaty.
Our much later agreement allowing the US to install nine military bases under EDCA (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement) as a sort of guarantee to protect the county from possible Chinese invasion is an imagination constantly inculcated into the minds of our local political analysts; that China is about to invade us.
Our agreement to install US military bases came long after we demarcated the first boundary in the South China Sea.
As one political analyst would ask, when we demarcated our boundary, did it mean that all areas outside of our boundary considered as areas outside of our territory?
Remember, it was the boundary used in the Treaty of Paris that we adopted, and China can never be faulted by the US for the seemingly unequal demarcation made in the South China Sea.
If the baseline of the boundary we made to separate the Philippines from China through that body of water called South China Sea and appears to favor China, it is nobody’s fault.
We ratified after the grant of our independence in 1946 and the US signed it as a seller of the archipelago.
If the boundary appears to encroach on our territorial waters, meaning less than 12-mile limit from our baseline, China has every right to defend that area, it forming part of our international waters.
Take our claim in the Scarborough Shoal or Huangyan as China would call it.
Scarborough has since time immemorial been called by us ours because it is considered as a historical fishing ground for our fishermen.
Objectively, Scarborough Shoal is outside of our exclusive economic zone defined by the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas or UNCLOS.
To be precise, it is 230 kms from the town of Orani Bataan.
On the other hand, Scarborough Shoal is outside of China’s 200-mile EEZ.
In that situation, the Philippine is claiming that Scarborough is part of our territorial waters on the basis that China cannot extend another 200-mile EEZ to justify the concept of continuity of its boundaries from its shoreline.
Full article at manilastandard.net
The boundary of “Nine-Dash Line” proposed by China was rejected by the Permanent Arbitration Court because that could make the 200-mile EEZ limit awkward and preposterous.
That could legally convert the entire South China Sea a lake of China irrespective of the width and dimension of that body of water.
The reason for China’s position in the area is by virtue of occupation. It has an enormous naval force to back up its claim of the area while we mainly rely on our claim that Scarborough Shoal is considered by us as our rich fishing ground.
Filipinos who attempt to objectively assess our position in the South China Sea cannot be called traitors or unpatriotic to the motherland.
This is so because what prevails is more of nationalism than of facts.
They can never be called traitors for having to justify a one-sided treaty.
First, it was the US that drafted and signed the treaty.
Second, when the US granted the country its independence in 1946, it practically relinquished all rights and claims in the South China Sea.
When the US abandoned its military bases in 1990, technically it abandoned an area, its naval force used for bombing and gunnery range practice for its aircraft in the Scarborough Shoal.
US technically abandoned Scarborough Shoal when it abandoned Subic naval base for reason it had the legal possession of area, and abandoned the area when they abandoned Subic in 1990.
It is the US that took the non-aggressive stance in our defense, often feeding us disinformation that China regularly violates territorial waters particularly in the South China Sea.
At present, the US has no interest or right whatsoever to interfere or much more monitor Chinese naval activities in the South China Sea.
Every infraction the US navy or any of its intelligence arms commits technically amounts to interference in our domestic affairs or, to put it seriously, amounts to pushing the country to engage in a proxy war with China.
To reiterate, it was the US that drafted the Treaty of Paris.
The Treaty was signed even before China’s existence came into being.
China feels many of the provisions on the boundary facing South China appear iniquitous and that it greatly favors that country.
Those advantageous positions cannot be blamed on Filipinos but solely on the US.
China now has every right to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity in accordance with the provision of the treaty.