MANILA, Philippines - Why go ballistic over Scarborough Shoal when the Philippines has Jose de Venecia Jr.?
The former House Speaker received rare praise from Chinese state media Thursday for espousing continued one-on-one talks between Manila and Beijing to resolve their territorial dispute over Scarborough Shoal.
"The Huangyan Issue can be solved by direct and sincere dialogues between the Philippines and China, and it needs no interference by a third party," de Venecia said, as quoted by a People's Daily opinion piece published online by China.org.cn.
It added that de Venecia's proposal of "putting aside disputes for joint development" with regard to the Scarborough situation was earlier forward by the former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping.
"All countries around the South China Sea urgently need hydrocarbons resources and it is rational to put aside disputes and seek for joint exploration, exploitation and a fair distribution of benefits," de Venecia said.
"Jose Claveria de Venecia has always paid high attention to the regional peace and development," the People's Daily opinion piece said.
It also highlighted the former lawmaker's statement that "mutual comprehension is key to Asian people."
"China can take into consideration the possibility to resume tours to the Philippines and the import of Philippine fruits. This will send a signal to the world that the commercial and cultural exchanges have totally recovered," de Venecia said.
He added that China and the Philippines can use the "European model" in the joint exploitation of oil and gas in the North Sea region as well as the Black Sea oil and gas development program.
"I also valued the resource sharing agreement in the controversial waters around Australia and East Timor. All these examples are of great reference to the resolution of South China Sea dispute," de Venecia said.
The Chinese state newspaper said June 9, 2012 marked the 11th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Philippines.
"Jose Claveria de Venecia firmly believed that the good friendship between China and Philippines would finally overcome this temporary rift because the mutual understanding was originated from our common history," it added.