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Politics & Law

Manila appoints envoy to Beijing

Sonia Brady

SCMP’s Raissa Robles reports that veteran diplomat Sonia Brady, familiar with Sino-Philippine relations, has been appointed the new Philippine ambassador to China. The appointment is waiting for parliamentary approval.

It shows the Philippine president’s efforts to ease the tension in the South China Sea.

The report from SCMP

A veteran diplomat has been appointed the new Philippine ambassador to China amid a tense stand-off over disputed territory in the South China Sea, a deputy presidential spokeswoman said yesterday.

President Benigno Aquino chose Sonia Brady, 70, because she was familiar with Sino-Philippine relations after serving as the ambassador to Beijing from April 2006 to January 2010, Abigail Valte said.

Before that, Brady (pictured) was second secretary and consul there from 1976 to 1978 after the Philippines resumed diplomatic relations with China. It was also Brady who briefed Aquino before his visit to Beijing last year, Valte said.

Ateneo de Manila Professor Benito Lim, an expert on Sino-Philippine relations, told the Sunday Morning Post he welcomed Brady’s appointment.

“She has dealt with the Chinese before; she understands how to deal with them and what they want and how we can negotiate with them,” he said.

A government source said Brady was familiar with the history of the two nations’ dispute in the South China Sea even before being named ambassador in 2006.

The source noted that after the Philippine National Oil Company and China National Offshore Oil Corp, both state-owned, signed a joint marine seismic undertaking (JMSU) covering a portion of the South China Sea in 2004, it was Brady who explained to senior diplomats in the region why Manila had broken ranks with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations by going against an agreement to tackle the maritime conflict as a bloc.

Lim said Brady’s previous participation on the JMSU would not be an awkward issue for her because “she was just a witness [to the signing[ and was merely doing her job”.

Brady formerly served as envoy to Thailand and Myanmar, and deputy chief of mission in Indonesia and Thailand. She will concurrently serve as ambassador to North Korea and Mongolia. However, she cannot leave for her new posting until she is confirmed by Congress, which reconvenes in late July.

In the meantime, two recently appointed special envoys to China – Domingo Lee and Cesar Zalamea – are expected to meet Chinese officials. Both presidential-palace and foreign-affairs officials declined to say whether the two envoys were now in Beijing.

Aquino had originally named businessman Lee, a family friend, as ambassador last year but Congress refused to approve the posting, saying he was inexperienced.

Relations between the two countries worsened after Chinese ships stopped Philippine vessels arresting Chinese fishermen in the South China Sea in April.

Both countries have deployed vessels near the disputed Scarborough Shoal, known in China as Huangyan Island, for more than a month to press their conflicting claims to the area.

Raissa Robles
South China Morning Post

About chankaiyee2

Author of the book "Tiananmen's Tremendous Achievements" about how with the help of Tiananmen Protests, talented scholars with moral integrity seized power in the Party and state and brought prosperity to China. The second edition of the book will be published within a few days to mark the 25th anniversary of Tiananmen Protests All the parts in the first edition remain in the second edition with a few changes due to information available later and better understanding. There are also some changes for improvements of style. The new parts are Chapters 12-19 on events in China after the first edition was published: The fierce power struggle for succession between reformists and conservatives; Xi Jinping winning all elders’ support during his mysterious disappearance for 2 weeks in early September, 2012; and Xi Jinping Cyclone. Chan Kai Yee's new book: SPACE ERA STRATEGY: The Way China Beats The US An eye-opening book that tells the truth how the US is losing to China. The US is losing as it adopts the outdated strategy of Air-Sea Battle while China adopts the space era strategy to pursue integrated space and air capabilities: It is losing due to its diplomacy that has given rise to Russian-Chinese alliance. US outdated strategy has enabled China to catch up and surpass the US in key weapons: Hypersonic weapons (HGV) that Pentagon regards as the weapon that will dominate the world in the future. Aerospaceplane in China’s development of space-air bomber that can engage enemy anywhere in the world within an hour and destroy an entire aircraft carrier battle group within minutes. Anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons, anti-ASAT weapons, stealth aircrafts, drones, AEW&C, etc. The book gives detailed descriptions of China’s weapon development based on information mainly from Chinese sources that the author monitors closely. U.S. Must Not Be Beaten by China! China is not a democracy. Its political system cannot prevent the emergence of a despotic leader or stop such a leader when he begins to bring disasters to people. A few decades ago, Mao Zedong, the worst tyrant in world history did emerge and bring disasters to Chinese people. He wanted to fight a nuclear war to replace capitalism with communism but could not bring nuclear holocaust to world people as China was too weak and poor at that time. If a despot like Mao Zedong emerges when China has surpassed the US in military strength, world people will suffer the misery experienced by Chinese people in Mao era. China surpassing the US in GDP is not something to worry about as China has the heavy burden to satisfy its huge population, but China surpassing the US in military strength will be world people’s greatest concern if China remains an autocracy. US people are of much better quality than Chinese people. What they lack is a wise leader to adopt the correct strategy and diplomacy and the creative ways to use its resources in developing its military capabilities. I hope that with the emergence of a great leader, the US can put an end to its decline and remain number one in the world. China, US, space era strategy, air-sea battle, space-air bomber, arms race, weapon development, chan kai yee

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