It’s this Tibet thing that’s really gotten to me. How long, indeed, before the Spratly’s becomes another Tibet – forcefully occupied and “sinofied” by a powerful neighbor with a huge psychological need to assert itself, not to mention possessing a huge armed force to do the asserting?
They’ve already built permanent bases in several islands in the Spratlys chain, ostensibly for use by Chinese fishermen but the photos say otherwise — they’re definitely military grade (well, to be fair, so have we and Vietnam and probably Malaysia, too), but it seems China is the only country, apart from Vietnam, that has the capability (read: the armed might) to assert its ownership claim over the entire Spratly’s.
The Philippines was actually very lucky that China did not respond in kind when our military decided to dynamite several Chinese construction sites in the Spratly’s a few years ago. Even with Uncle Sam watching, China could have gotten away with sinking several of our navy ships then. They could have rightfully justified it as retaliation for our “unprovoked attack.”
I hope and pray there is no Oil in this region. Kasi kung napatunayang meron nga… aysuskupow… goodbye Peace. Hello, gulo! 😦