Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Here’s How the Philippines Can Win in the South China Sea

James Holmes, "Here’s How the Philippines Can Win in the South China Sea, " foreignpolicy.com

uncaptioned image from article

The Philippine Islands has a problem. It has international law on its side in its quarrel with China over maritime territory, but no policeman walking his beat to enforce the law. That means that, despite an international court’s findings, the dispute over rocks and islands off Philippine shores is far from over. On Aug. 2, China’s defense minister, Chang Wanquan, even said China must prepare for a “people’s war” at sea. That leaves strategy as Manila’s lone recourse; yet China overshadows the Philippines in every imaginable metric of national power. ...
China wages “three warfares” 24/7/365, employing media, psychological, and legal outlets to mold opinion in its favor. The Philippines must reply in kind, telling its story well and telling it often. 
And spokesmen must fold pictures and video into Philippine public diplomacy. I am a close watcher of South China Sea issues, but I have yet to unearth a slick, visually impressive statement about the problem and how Philippine policy addresses it. ...

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