The Philippine government, which is now doing a repair work on a dilapidated vessel anchored on a shoal and used as a security station by Philippine Navy has pushed a retired Chinese general to call on Beijing to take Ayungin Shoal by force.
A retired senior military officer, Major General. Luo Yuan cautioned the Philippines that continued “provocations” on the disputed West Philippine Sea or South China Sea “will include some significant downfalls and will come at a price.”
In his column published and distributed by Global Times, Luo Yuan writes: “The Philippines needs to be informed that these provocations will include some significant downfalls and come at a price, which could be much larger than the benefits it can get through the tricks.”
“The Philippines is misleading the international community by confusing a sovereign and territorial issue into an issue of sea rights. The nature of the South China Sea disputes lies in which side owns the jurisdiction and sovereignty over certain islands and reefs, but Manila sticks to an arbitration by the international tribunal, which has been clearly stated to have no jurisdiction over territorial disputes,” Yuan added.
The ex-military general said both nations are right now engaged in the discussion on maritime disputes as opposed to sovereign disputes, and along these lines the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) can’t have any significant bearing to the circumstance at Ayungin Shoal.
Yuan said the circumstance at Ayungin Shoal (otherwise called Second Thomas Shoal) is different from the other disputed islands and reefs, saying that sovereignty and jurisdiction belong to China without doubt.
“The Philippines stole the reef shamelessly by deliberately stranding the warship and refusing to drag it away. As a sovereign state which refuses to remedy its mistakes, the Philippines is risking its own international reputation,” Yuan added.
Lou said if the Philippines declines to expel the stranded boat from where it lies, China can move it out yet the Philippines must shoulder the expense.
If the Philippines declines China’s “generous” offer, Lou said “China should drive away the ship and reclaim the reef by force,” adding that its execution would be “beyond the Philippines imagination.”