Ever since the recent sinking of the Korean coast guard’s speed boat, China’s disrespectful actions are being repeated. Reacting to the sinking of the Korean speed boat by the Illegal Chinese fishing boat, the Korean government came with a strong confrontation such as to fire the ships. This has brought various types of resistance from China.
The Global Times, a daily Chinese newspaper under the auspices of the People’s Daily newspaper, represented the Chinese government by arrogantly and disrespectfully stating “Korea, To Fire at Ships.. Convulsion of the Ethnic Group” as if the newspaper was using the vocal terms those of the North Koreans.
Moreover, the Chinese government has unilaterally informed the Korean government that it will stop the planned joint surveillance mission activities of the Yellow Sea on the 19th. There was a similar incident in October 2014 when the Chinese stopped the joint surveillance activity on the intersecting embarkation after the Chinese sailor was shot to death as the sailor attempted to throw the Korean coast guard into the sea. It was the same case as the Chinese government called the Korean Ambassador to China, Young-Sae Kwon, and demanded with a disrespectful attitude which was very difficult to comprehend “Prepare a measure of steps of how to punish those responsible in the killing of a Chinese sailor” since the trouble was caused by the Chinese ship.
Series of such incidents make and force one to re-think of what a country like China is. The so called ‘G2’ today, China is a super power that virtually controls the world’s politics and economy along with the United States. It is only appropriate for such an influential country to take ethical responsibility to maintain such world order. Despite this obvious fact, they have been proactive to be negative influence by using fellow countrymen as an excuse, and have sheltered the retrogressive pirates which have only neglected the evils from further potential dangers to world order and existence. One can suspect that it is not in their interest to commit to well-being with neighboring nations, but to become a base of the bandits.
Sure that the disrespectful attitude of the Chinese government has been as a direct result of the Korean government’s submissive and ambiguous confrontation. As a sovereign state, this is a tragedy and humiliation due to the opportunistic foreign policy that has been continuous for centuries which has ultimately resulted in the loss of independent foreign policy. Although this inherited opportunistic foreign policy brought the Japanese colonial period in the Korean peninsula and also a tragic fratricidal Korean war, the deep-rooted habitual customs have never changed unfortunately.
At this point in time, it is noteworthy to have a close look at the Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte of how he manages to deal with both the politics and foreign affairs. Philippines and the United States have traditionally always been very close - a blood alliance. Indeed Philippines was the most important strategic country in the Asia-Pacific to the United States. The Taft-Katsura Agreement (Prime Minister Katsura Taro and Secretary of War William Howard Taft agreed a secret pact), which was agreed in July 1905, gave both sovereign acknowledgement of Korea to Japan and Philippines to the United States. As such, Philippines has always been a very important strategic location to the United States. However situation has changed lately.
The United States has opened the door to station its troops in Philippines on a long period of time thanks to its agreement with the Philippines ‘Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA)’ ever since the Americans have retreated 24 years ago. With this, the United States now had the plan to control the Chinese on the South China Sea from the military base of Philippines. However, President Duterte had other ideas compared to his former presidents as he checked plans to nullify the agreement, and has shockingly visited China on the 19th and subsequently met with General Secretary Xi Jinping to comprehensively discuss on economic cooperation as well as on disputes over territorial sovereignty of the South China Sea.
Such foreign policy activities by President Duterte clearly showed that a sovereign state does not get easily influenced by others, but in fact take the initiative in this difficult complex state of affairs. Escaping from the protection of its traditional ally, the United States, and proactively take its independent approach made the Philippines possible to negotiate with the Chinese government in a favorable conditions. Naturally, Philippines has taken a further step to solve the South China Sea issue in a more positive way, which truly is a very articulate foreign policy that is unconventional enough to receive massive support from its own people back home.
Just as was expected before his visit to China, President Duterte was not shy to clearly state about South China Sea which the Chinese government is the most sensitive about “China must do its best to implement the Hague Ruling. I will not negotiate with the territorial and economical rights.” And further added to give official pressure to the Chinese government “I will not give up the struggle to protect the sovereign rights of the Philippines in the South China Sea.”
The people of Korea are more than frustrated – the sound of moaning is sky high ever since the illegal fishing activities by the Chinese. It is truly pitiful to witness such demand for sacrifice of the innocent Korean people as the Korean government is just simply losing its sovereign rights. It is not the opportunistic foreign policy or politics that will make Korea survive among these strong nations today. Before it is too late, this country needs to establish a proper political and foreign policy plans with sound philosophy as a sovereign state, and it is not to be forgotten to possess a right doctrine which we can send a clear message to the world.
▶Korean: [천지일보 시론] 주권국가로서 ‘한반도 독트린’이 절실한 때