MANILA - Warmer ties between China and the Philippines will help improve Beijing's image as a responsible member of the international community, a political analyst said Tuesday.
UP professor Aries Arugay said China's commitment to the creation of a code of conduct in the South China Sea can also make or break its reputation.
"The code of conduct is something that will test China's responsibility as a power in Asia. So any moves that will be tantamount to reneging or somehow undermining will have reputational costs for China," he said.
He added, "China is a power that is increasingly very sensitive on how it's perceived. So if it says something before and that does another given the code of conduct, then it might need to be answerable for that."
Arugay, co-convenor of the strategic studies program of the UP Center for Integrative and Development Studies, also stressed the need for more transparency in the way the Philippine government deals with China.
"The government can't simply say that we're under negotiations so none of the details can be divulged. I think there needs to be a balance. There's enough adequate information so that the people can know what the government is doing, but not too much to the point that it will compromise our negotiating position with China," he said.