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Halbert Lee


Before the 1990s, the international community didn’t make any dissent that China had had the sovereignty of the Scarborough Shoal, there were no disputes existed on the island. Elpidion Quirino, who became the sixth president of the Philippines in 1948, suggested that to merge the Spratly Islands into the Philippines territory. Meanwhile, China had no diplomatic relation with the Philippines in that period, but Chinese government always claimed that China always had the sovereignty of the Scarborough Island. In 1957, the government of the Philippines and the United Sates marine military did investigation in this area together and let the Scarborough Shoal became a defense point.

Meanwhile, the Philippines had various ways to have a hand in the Scarborough Shoal and made a statement of rights on the dispute. It had a strong attitude on the dispute of the Scarborough Shoal because it was doing a strategy probe. First, the Philippines proposed that the Scarborough Shoal belongs to them. The goal was that whether the international society accepted this or China was able to tacitly consent to. And Second was to probe that how deep of the relationship between the United States and the Philippines.


After a few disputations of the Islands, the Scarborough Shoal became a focus of the international community and media. The Philippines attitude and tone became more and more tough, they claimed that they did not want to negotiate and use diplomatic channel to make a compromise of the Scarborough Shoal with China face to face. But the government of the Philippines unexpectedly invited China to talk about the Islands on the conference of Association of Southeast Asian Union (ASEAN).

The Philippines usually catch Chinese fishermen so that they could achieve an economic benefit in the reality. There were many cases about “illegal immigrants” and “ illegal fishing” which would bargain through relevant agencies, and paid amount of penalties, so that the Philippines government released the fishermen. This kind of phenomenon became a law. On the other hand, junior officers in the Philippines government could be awarded for the merits when they catch the Chinese fishermen.

From 1997, there were many issues in which the Filipino apprehended and harassed Chinese fishermen and China hoped to resolve crisis situations through diplomatic and negotiation with the Philippines together. Meanwhile, China was not only a continent land but also a marine land. Therefore, they should highly attached importance to the South China Sea problem and guaranteed the safety of the sail. However, on April 10, 2012, a Philippine gunboat harassed 12 Chinese fishing boats that were taking refuge from harsh weather in a lagoon near China’s Scarborough Shoal, triggering the most serious standoff between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea in recent years (Liu 2012).



In conclusion, there are many ways and options to solve the dispute and relevant problems.


(1) First of all, both of China and the Philippines must guarantee that all the military force be returned. If China uses arm force, they might occupy the Scarborough Shoal easily because most of the countries by the South China Sea have weak military power. So they can’t face directly to China and against the war. However, if there is a war happened eventually, it is more likely to push most of the South China Sea countries into the United States bosom. Thus, war helps the United States to surround the South China Sea and start sovereignty. Meanwhile, battle destroys China’s peaceful development path and constriction, it effects seriously to the circumstance. China puts a lot of efforts into the construction of Association of South-east Asian Nations (ASEAN) and does huge amount of trades and other cooperation. War between China and the Philippines might affect not only economic relations in the Southeast Asian area but also will let all the business plan and hopes come to nothing.


(2) Second, China and the Philippines need to use diplomatic channels, trade cooperation, shelve the conflicts, and develop together and similar ways to make a compromise. But according to the history and recent activities, there is no any notable improvement through diplomatic channels and the proposal of sovereignty. However, there are some parts even to the extent that being deteriorate. Three anti-China activists who planned to set off small bombs and strafe the Chinese embassy with gunfire to protest at the government's supposedly soft stance towards Beijing. After setting off the bombs the three planned to drive past the embassy of China and shoot at the building. They planned a similar strafing run at the offices of the DMCI construction firm, a company with close links to China. NBI agents found the trio also had a pistol (Robles 2014).


(3) Third, China, which should conduct actively, claims the sovereignty of the Scarborough Shoal and spread out a reasonable and advantageous conflict. China can use ocean surveillance ship and let them administer the justice constantly in the dispute area.

(4) Meanwhile, settle a dispute through negotiation is the best way for Yi Wang who is the Chinese Foreign Minister nowadays. He can repeatedly emphasize that the standpoint on the dispute of the Scarborough Shoal with enough historical facts and legal basis. However, he must prevent the intervention of the international states and community, the dispute of the Scarborough Shoal must not be internationalized, otherwise it is hard to solve. Yi Wang must promise to make a compromise with the Philippines peacefully and steadily.


(5) And China National Offshore Oil Cooperation is already step up the strength of prospecting oil around the Scarborough Shoal.

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