QUEZON CITY, July 1, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (3rd L), accompanied by Philippine National Police Chief Ronald dela Rosa (1st L), during Ronald dela Rosa's assumption of command ceremony in Quezon City July 1, 2016. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)
by Xinhua Writer Liu Yang
BEIJING, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Friday said U.S. intervention caused the bloodshed in the Middle East, reaching a conclusion that offers timely wisdom in dealing with the ongoing dispute over the South China Sea.
In pointing out the correlation between Washington's meddling in regional affairs and the trail of unrest that ensues, Duterte has taken a bigger leap forward than the previous government, which had jumped to invite the United States into the strategic body of water.
Being wary of the United States' hidden agenda is not enough, and Manila should reverse its past action of seeking to use the United States and an arbitration tribunal as a leverage to extract territorial gains, which is counterproductive as they are dangerous moves.
It is a common sense in international politics that regional affairs should stay in the region, with countless cases proving that foreign intervention will only escalate and complicate regional disputes, instead of producing any constructive solution.
Some Philippine politicians may hope that Washington can tip the playing field in their favor, but such a short-sighted calculation has obviously overlooked the cases of Afghanistan and the Middle East, which were devastated as a result of notorious U.S. involvement.
Instead, the Philippines should return to the negotiation table with China to seek a bilateral agreement acceptable to both sides.
The choice between a path of confrontation, conflict and economic risks and a road of friendship, peace and prosperity is a simple one.
Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay's comments saying Manila is looking forward to establishing direct talks with Beijing is a good start, as it's in line with a past agreement between the two countries to resolve disputes through dialogue.
A consensus between Beijing and Manila not to make any "provocative statements" is another optimistic sign that the two countries are switching their trajectory of animosity to one of dialogue.
China has always firmly stood by its previous commitment to resolve the dispute through bilateral negotiations, and believe that only by keeping out foreign intervention can the solution reflect the will and interests of both countries.
Now that China and the Philippines both acknowledge the threat of U.S. meddling, the decision to ward off foreign intervention and keep the South China Sea a sea of peace and prosperity should be as resolute as ever.