|Mariana Islands at map-right, east of the Philippine Sea, and just west of the Mariana Trench in the ocean floor. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Territorial disputes in this part of the world has to be settled peacefully, amicably, soberly through mutual respect between countries. China, being the big brother that it is in the region, should lead the way. Its dilemma is to find a way to settle the differences that is acceptable to all countries involve in the territorial dispute. Doing so would project China as a country with compassion and reason - atune with the 21st century needs of the Region and no longer a hostage of time and history. Chinese approach of arbitrary dash-line in the West Philippine Sea is a claim founded on arrogance rooted on its troubled past. They got to level up - settle things up based on rule of law, man up, be a big brother that it wants to be, do away with its insecurities in the past, and act like China that it is now!If China fails to man up as it should be - that window for US and Japan would always be opened at the detriment of all countries involve including China.
China was never humiliated in the past by any countries in ASEAN - in fact it serve as a refuge to millions of its people. Most of the successfull businesses in the region are owned and controlled by people of Chinese descent! Even the President of the Philippines is a Chinese decent! So are in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand etc.
The differences should be settled through a modified application of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos). I said modified because China has to modify it to be acceptable to its people - and China should be on the forefront, should lead the way, and should take the initiative of settling the claims. Keyword: rule of law acceptable to the Chinese population.