Fisher’s ‘humble’ appeal to China: Recall new fishing rule, and unite vs US intervention

Fisher’s ‘humble’ appeal to China: Recall new fishing rule, and unite vs US intervention

January 12, 2014 11:12 AM

South China Sea map
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA – A leftist national fishermen’s group has asked China to recall its new fishing rule on the disputed waters of South China Sea, including those claimed by the Philippines as the West Philippine Sea.

In a letter addressed to Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Ma Keqing, a copy of which was sent to news outfits, the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) also said China, the Philippines, and the other claimants  “must unite to frustrate the intervention of the United States — the biggest threat to world peace.”

Aside from China and the Philippines, the other claimants to the fish- and minerals-rich waters of South China Sea are Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, and Vietnam.

In its “humble appeal,” Pamalakaya said: “Honorable Ambassador, we ask the Beijing government to consider this appeal from the Filipino fisherfolk and to allow diplomatic and peaceful resolutions to the conflict.”

Pamalakaya urged a peaceful resolution to the overlapping claims over the 2-million square kilometer of waters.

“All claimants to South China Sea must come together and resolve this conflict collectively and in accordance with national sovereign rights of their respective people,” the letter said.

The Pamalakaya letter, signed by Pamalakaya vice chairman Salvador France, sought prudence in the resolution of the conflict that started in April 2012 after Chinese fishing vessels were caught poaching on Panatag shoals. A standoff followed after non-military Chinese ships successfully stopped a Philippine military ship and another non-military ship from arresting the Chinese fishermen.

Fishing dialogue

Pamalakaya called for bilateral engagement, an approach favored by Beijing. The Philippines favors a multilateral approach.

“It would be better if Beijing seeks bilateral and inter-nation dialogues with other claimants rather than engage in hardcore assertion of something that needs to be carefully studied,” the fishermen’s group said.

Pamalakaya proposed a fishing dialogue among claimant-countries, including not only government, but also fishermen’s groups and other non-government organizations.

“The principles of equality, mutual respect, mutual benefit, non-aggression, peaceful co-existence and foreign relations based on people-to-people relations and international solidarity shall serve as framework for the proposed dialogue,” it said.

“It would be appropriate if the Chinese government seeks peaceful and diplomatic resolutions to the conflict rather than engage in another tension-ridden tit-for-tat with other claimants,” the letter added.

‘Unite vs US’

In its opposition against alleged US intervention, Pamalakaya said resolving the territorial dispute is “a tough task to do since the Manila government is a satellite office of Washington DC and other claimant governments misrepresent their people and perform their duties as lower junior partners of the US government [that] is obsessed in controlling West Philippine Sea for oil resources, navigation, and military control over the East Asia and Pacific region.”

“Her excellency, we hope this letter of concern merits the attention and favorable action of the Beijing government in the name of world peace, peaceful co-existence and cooperation, and fraternal relations based on mutual respect and benefits among claimants in South China Sea and thwart any effort of Washington DC to exploit the situation for US own agenda for global hegemony,” Pamalakaya said.

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