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Verbose but evasive.

I find the recently made 'Joint Statement of the Republic of the Philippines and the People's Republic of China' as - by far - the most magnanimous reiteration of what is purported to be the core of PH-Sino mutual understanding and benefit.

But reading through the items that cover the West Philippine Sea, I find it incredible how a carefully crafted verbosity could conceal the apparent evasion of the parties to undertake concrete and workable solutions. As a staunch advocate of our jurisdiction over said territory, I was actually expecting a more categorical assertion by the two states on the matter instead of just settling with equivocal abstractions of 'confidence building,' 'mutual trust and confidence,' and 'self-restraint,' all of which China has been notoriously known to have acted in contrary to.

While it could be argued that a Joint Statement is not the proper medium to concretize plans of action over the West Philippine Sea, both parties should have at least been a little more unequivocal on the matter.

'Continued discussions' or talks over the West Philippine Sea, as mentioned in the Joint Statement, are good. Nonetheless, concrete yet peaceable actions are otherwise way better.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Nov 20, 2017
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