Formal diplomacy and tiptoeing around protocols are not going to help the Philippines thwart a bristling giant encroaching on its waters and islands, according to former senator and veteran diplomat Leticia Ramos-Shahani. Shahani, who is ailing, delivered a fiery speech at the launch of P1NAS, a new alliance to defend Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity, and strengthen efforts to forge an independent foreign policy.“We need a mass movement,” she said. “Citizen diplomacy is needed to thwart the power play in the West Philippine Sea.”
The U.S. military and Philippines armed forces kicked off their biggest joint exercises in 15 years on Monday, at a time of distress in Manila over China’s island-building program in the South China Sea.
“China is aware it has to engage in a battle of public opinion and shape the narrative in its favor given the weak legal case it is standing on,” Del Rosario said, adding that the Philippines chose to pursue international arbitration “to preserve a valued friendship” with China.
The service is a venture bringing together Turner Broadcasting’s CNN International and the Philippines conglomerate Nine Media Corporation. Broadcasting predominantly in English but with localized content and an accompanying website, it takes over the frequencies occupied by Nine’s 9TV.
In China, every province has a cultural department with cultural exchange programs that send their local artists abroad. One such is the north eastern China province of Jilin, whose Jilin Art Troupe is the highlight of the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ (CCP) Outreach Tour.
Reassurance is needed. Hopes that China’s spectacular climb to superpower status might be completed without conflict have been dented in recent years. Its assertive approach to old but until recently largely quiescent territorial disputes with Japan, the Philippines, Vietnam and India has jangled nerves.