The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on September 2 called on the international community to step up diplomatic and economic efforts to pressure the Chinese government to comply with its international obligations and sanction its officials for trampling on outstanding agreements and instruments and compel it to respect the sovereignty of other nations.
This came after the US’ announcement on August 26 regarding its blacklisting of 24 Chinese companies, officials and individuals that are involved in land reclamation and construction of at least seven military facilities in the South China Sea, particularly those within the Philippine exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
These companies include the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), the CCCC Dredging Group, China Shipbuilding Group, the CCCC’s China Harbor Engineering Company (CHEC), the China Electronics Technology Group Corporation and other subsidiary companies. The CCCC is the successor organization of the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) which was determined by the World Bank in 2009 to have engaged in fraudulent practices in the Philippines and was consequently sanctioned. These companies are mainly state-owned or are in collusion with the Chinese government.
Many of these companies are also engaged in various other projects under Duterte’s Build, Build, Build infrastructure program. It was revealed recently that the Duterte government has five concessions with the CCCC for projects in Manila, Davao, Cebu and Clark. The CCCC is also involved in the Sangley Point International Airport project, in a joint venture with MacroAsia Corp. owned by Duterte crony Lucio Tan. Duterte ordered the fast-tracking of the Sangley Point project last year. Top Duterte crony Dennis Uy, meanwhile, is engaged with the CHEC for a $1.2 billion reclamation project in the area.
The CPP asserted that China should be sued by the Philippine government before the international courts for transgression of Philippine sovereign rights and be required to withdraw and pay compensation for environmental damage and unpaid rent of its military bases. The computed compensation is much more than what Duterte has actually gotten from China’s promise of high-interest loans of $24 billion for overpriced infrastructure projects done by Chinese contractors and workers.
In the course of peace negotiations between the GRP and NDFP up to 2017, the NDFP negotiating panel and its chief political consultant repeatedly expressed to the GRP negotiating panel and Duterte himself that by all necessary and appropriate means the sovereign and maritime rights of the Philippines over the exclusive economic zone and extended continental shelf (ECS) in the West Philippine Sea must be asserted, exercised and defended.
The CPP also called for solidarity within the international community, specifically between the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and other neighboring countries whose sovereignties are likewise being impinged upon by China’s efforts to dominate the South China Sea.