MANILA - Former Senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani said the Philippines is on its own against China’s bullying.
In an interview with ANC, the career diplomat said the country should learn to stand on its own and without expecting help from neighbors in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“Our difficulty now is we are alone among ASEAN countries, no one has really come to our rescue. Even Vietnam, which is quite vocal... We should not wait for the ASEAN because it is quite obvious they are scared of China for economic reasons.”
She said the same can be said for the United Nations, which is still a very political body. China, for one, is a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
She said the Philippines should already undertake efforts to re-draw its own maps, and forge an independent foreign policy.
Lone man standing
In a separate interview with ANC on Sunday, former ABC News Beijing Bureau Chief Chito Sta. Romana said the other nations that also have a stake in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) are merely waiting on the sidelines.
“We are hoping Vietnam would be joining us, but they prefer a bilateral and multilateral approach. Brunei and Malaysia are also doing quiet diplomacy. So we’re standing alone,” he said.
He said China may even be keeping other nations from joining the Philippines in its legal battle. “The [other nations] are taking a free ride of us… They’re [monitoring] if we’ll win and how far we can go,” he said.