Philippines should engage China in a dialogue - analyst

Posted at May 07 2015 03:02 PM | Updated as of May 07 2015 11:02 PM

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China is not slowing down on reclamation activities in disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea.

Analyst Richard Heydarian believes latest pictures show what could be the groundwork for a de facto air defense identification zone (ADIZ), clear proof of what he calls China's calibrated assertiveness on its territorial claims.

Heydarian noted, China's accelerated construction may be intended to leave the Philippines with no choice ahead of the arbitral tribunal's decision on the Philippines' diplomatic protest against China.

He said the Philippines should take the cue from Japan and Vietnam, and engage China in high-level security dialogues to make sure the disputes will not spin out of control.

He noted it should also pursue other tracks to break the diplomatic impasse.

Heydarian added ASEAN should pressure its members to take a common position on China's alleged bullying in the West Philippine Sea, pursue the prospects of joint patrols in the area, and then involve non-claimant countries.

ANC Dateline Philippines, May 7, 2015