The Scarborough Shoal Standoff: Unite instead of Divide

This morning, as I was scrolling through my tweet feed for early morning news before I start my day, I stumbled across Sandra Aguinaldo’s tweet saying that the bilateral meeting between Pres. Aquino and Chinese Pres. Jintao will not push through due to scheduling conflicts.

Screenshot of @sandraguinaldo’s tweet at 8:54AM Sept 9, 2012.

PNoy was in Russia these weekend together with other world leaders for the APEC Summit. Apart from the many world issues they discussed, the government hoped that PNoy and Pres. Hu Jintao will meet to discuss the territorial disputes happening over the Scarborough Shoal located in the West Philippine Sea, also known as the South China Sea. Over the past months, China has been adamant about keeping the disputed territories as part of their own despite its apparent distance from mainland China. Up to now, no resolution has been successfully achieved from both parties with the Philippines also claiming the disputed territories as her own.

Yet it seems, China is also in no hurry to make amendments or peaceful talks regarding the matter. As shown in this comic strip, China “appears” to be content in “bullying” other nations to submission.

Source: KAL’s cartoon from The Economist

Yet the way I see it, whichever country lays claim to these islands, the call to preserve them remains the same. I know these countries are all after the resources that they can get from these islands. Yet to mine/gather these resources will be tantamount to disrupting the precarious sustainability of our planet. To me, the real issue here is not sovereignty over these islands but rather preservation of them. It is true that these islands contain vast amounts of resources which could promise wealth to the nation who owns them, but it has also been shown that because of man’s greed to harvest resource after resource, the planet is slowly dying.

For me, instead of fighting over who should own these resource-laden islands, the topic our leaders should be discussing is how to best preserve them. They should try to discuss ways on how to maintain the sustainability and vast riches of the Asian territories while still managing to support the needs of the people living in the region. Instead of a divide, there should be collaboration. Instead of merely belonging to one nation, can they not share the wealth instead?

Through twitter, I also managed to stumble upon this infographic.

Source: The World Bank

It discussed how the biodiversity of our planet has rapidly declined over the past years. Biodiversity refers to the variety of living species that is present here on Earth. It is important to us because it ensures that our planet remains healthy. It is a known fact that our planet exists perfectly based on a balanced ecosystem where every species plays a role in how everything works. In the grand scheme of things, nothing is too small or too huge not to have an important part. Over the past years, man’s various actions have threatened the biodiversity our planet has been blessed with. Although, we continue to survive, a rapidly declining biodiversity will soon have adverse effects on the precarious balance of the ecosystem.

The seas around the Philippines are a rich source of various animal and plant species. These seas are high in biodiversity. To claim these areas for any one nation, to be used for greedy purposes such as harvesting natural resources such as gas and oil, will bring about the decline of their biodiversity. It is something that has been observed over and over again. Not unless sustainable practices can be ensued to preserve biodiversity, we are most probably looking at wasted seascapes if the natural resources are harvested.

So once again, instead of a divide, can they just simply collaborate? After all, this will be for the greater good of everyone, whatever nation they may belong to.

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Author: elleica

Jesus Lover. Writer. Blogger. Biologist turned marketer. Child of Learning. Thrill Seeker. I long for my next adventure.

1 thought on “The Scarborough Shoal Standoff: Unite instead of Divide”

  1. I strongly agree with you! Instead of wasting their time having territorial dispute to each other, they must have a goal to protect our natural resources. China is the only one that is greedy that want to claim all the benefits that can get on those islands. That’s the main reason why they really want Scarborough shoal and other islands.

    Scarborough Shoal

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