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The Philippines vs China Case is a US Stunt

Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, right, greets U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter during his courtesy call at the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila, Philippines on Thursday, April 14, 2016. Carter is in the country as US and Philippine forces participate in a joint military exercise called shoulder-to-shoulder or "Balikatan". (Romeo Ranoco/Pool Photo via AP)

The Philippines vs China “Hague ruling” is meaningless for ASEAN.  It is a court case in which a US law firm is representing the Philippines against China, from which the Philippines has absolutely nothing to gain except a growing, senseless, and costly confrontation with China.

The US however, gets to use the case to further divide and destabilize the region while giving itself an opportunity to reassert its hegemony in the region.

ASEAN had better not fool themselves into thinking they have anything to gain by playing part in this. This is about dividing and weakening ALL of Asia. The US says so in its own policy papers.
If ASEAN wants to navigate this ruling intelligently, it will dismiss it as a public relations stunt, and continue seeking a bilateral settlement for whatever the problem actually is in the South China Sea with China directly.

If ASEAN tries opportunistically to use these US-backed stunts against China, they will eventually find themselves the victims of such stunts in the near future.

Asia’s future must be determined by Asia – not by Western-controlled ‘international institutions” or by the US and its meddling.

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