PLM Statement for tomorrow's Peace Rally at China Embassy PDF Print E-mail
Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa   
Monday, 27 June 2011 14:22

Peace, not war, among neighbors!

Regional cooperation to explore the Spratly islands!

 

Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM), a newly formed grassroots political party, calls for a negotiated political settlement of the Spratly islands’ disputes among contesting nations, such as the Philippines, China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.

 

We are opposed to any sabre-rattling, strong-arm tactics, bullying, warships deployment or any actions that may contribute to a military conflict in the region.

The Philippines is claiming the Spratlys on the basis of the United Nation Convention on the Laws of the Sea (Unclos), which provides an exclusive economic zone 200 nautical miles from the country’s continental shelf.  The same argument was used over the claims of Malaysia and Brunei. Vietnam and China base their claims on historical records dating back to ancient dynasties.  China, however, is claiming not only the islands but the entire South Sea.

 


There are many geopolitical interests at play in the area which is known to possess significant reserves of oil and natural gas – 17.7 billion tons of oil and natural gas – larger than the 13 billin tons held by Kuwait, making it the fourth largest reserve bed in the world.

 

We call on all claimant countries to sit down and settle the disputes.  We call on their governments to exercise joint cooperation in the exploration of the natural resources of the islands and the surrounding sea for the benefit of the Asian nations as a whole.

 

PLM has in mind the kind of regional cooperation that is now developing in Latin America through the ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for Latin America) which fosters economic integration and mutual aid in the region.  ALBA includes the countries of Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Cuba.

 

On this regard, we call on the Asean plus one countries (including China) to stop increasing military tension and foster regional cooperation to assist each other in the economic and maritime field. One venue is the operationalization of the China-Asean Common Market which could develop and manage the disputed islands.

 

We also advise our President Noynoy Aquino to exercise restraint and diplomacy, stop the military posturing over the Spratly dispute, and not to call on the United States to meddle in the disputes under the disguise of helping the Philippines. We know this will not be the case. The United States has its own imperialistic interests in the region, and its entry into the disputes will only aggravate the divisions among Asian neighbors. War in Asia will only play to the advantage of big powers, and ultimately, the United States which has vast economic interests and major military bases and troops stationed in the region.

 

Sonny Melencio

Chairperson, PLM

June 24, 2011

Last Updated on Monday, 27 June 2011 14:48
 

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