Global trouble

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By Godofredo M. Roperos

Politics also

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


TAKING a quick perusal of the Nation and World sections of this newspaper, one is immediately brought face to face with the reality of living in a globe somehow immersed in a serious problem. It appears that many things do occur in a day around the world that carry potential threats to global peace and order.

Each country has deep concerns over the worsening condition of the world. From Hanoi in Vietnam the other day came a strong demand that China should “stop oil drilling operations in a disputed patch of the South China Sea” It said that Beijing’s decision to deploy a deep sea rig over the weekend was illegal.

However, China dismissed the objections, saying the activity was being carried out in “its territorial waters.” This assertion definitely deepens the geographical concerns of neigh­boring nations that have also shown similar interest in the area.

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In our part of the globe, the Philippines and the United States have started their annual joint military exercises just days after US President Barack Obama vowed that his country would extend to Manila its “iron-clad” support in the face of the Philippines’ “on-going maritime row with China.”

The joint annual military exercise is considered a big boost to the Philippines’ military operational capabilities, especially now that the country is facing several challenges, such as the “threat of terrorism, territorial disputes, and issues on climate change.”

These issues fall squarely on the shoulders of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs who must explain, if he has to, the implication of the exercises to our desire for peace and order in our part of the globe.

It is said that some 3,000 members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and 2,500 US troops in Asia are participating in the exercises. Field training exercises will be undertaken in several camps in the country.

On top of these military field trainings, a humanitarian mission will also be included. This latter one, I think, is particularly designed for the typhoon-devastated Leyte, specially the city of Tacloban.

In any case, what is most central to this circumstance is that somehow the countries who are “stakeholders” here have decided to place their respective interests cleanly for everyone to see and know, agree or disagree and for that matter argue.

It would be an entirely different matter when there is belligerence in one or more of the claimants. When this happens, diplomatic ties among them would break down. A degree of animosity among or between them would result. Then the use of force would not be far behind.

This is what obtains among the countries that are right now laying claims to certain patches of land in the South China Sea. And so, in anticipation of such eventuality, it is best to be prepared.

But what matters most is that our global trouble could be resolved if the national leaders could just come together and then sit down and talk calmly of peace.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 08, 2014.

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