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CHINA, U.S., PHILIPPINES – “SAVING FACE” (Last of Two Parts)

"Empowering the Filipino People" SPECIAL TO THE MANILA BULLETIN by former President Fidel V. Ramos 17 May 2012 (for the 20 May 2012-Sunday issue) Apparently, China’s objective is to compel the Philippines and other claimants to accept a resolution of the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea disputes through BILATERAL negotiations. This strategy is meant to “save face” by not succumbing to the Declaration of the Code of Conduct in the SCS (signed by ASEAN and China in 2002) which calls for MULTILATERAL agreement. This wider “internationalization” of the problem, it is feared, may bring in U.S. intervention.