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China’s Xinhua Gives Prominant Coverage to Butch Valdes and Kit Tatad—Cancel Hague Arbitration, Cancel EDCA

June 9, 2016 (EIRNS)—Under the title "Philippine politicians, experts, opinion leaders call for independent foreign policy, bilateral talks with China on South China Sea issue," the Global Times ran a story from Xinhua quoting from Philippines LaRouche Society head Butch Valdes and former Senator Kit Tatad, calling for the new Philippines government of Rodrigo Duterte, which takes office June 30, to simply withdraw from the Hague Arbitration Court case, which outgoing president Noynoy Aquino initiated at Obama’s behest. They also call for it to to cancel the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), which Aquino imposed as an executive action, thus turning the country’s military bases over to the US for a war on China.

At a meeting in Manila to celebrate the 41st anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations between the Philippines and China, Kit Tatad said:

"What we should control at all times is our national interest. Let us remember that the maritime disputes were there when the Philippines and China decided to establish diplomatic relations."

Tatad called on the Philippines to follow India’s example, said Xinhua—"to negotiate with China and talk about ways to improve the two countries’ economic relations." Tatad reminded the audience that it was the Philippines, not China, which first began reclamation activities such as building airstrips in the South China Sea.

Alberto Encomienda, former secretary-general of Maritime and Ocean Affairs Center at the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs, told Xinhua after the gathering,

"You don’t have to finish that arbitration. Nobody even knows when it will be finished.... China has been for the negotiations all along, but from the beginning we are not."

Butch Valdes, identified as the former undersecretary of the Department of Education,

"told Xinhua that the Philippines will not have actual benefits even if the tribunal rules in favor of the country. He stressed that the situation will be worse, because a ruling from an international tribunal will only escalate tension in the South China Sea."

Aileen Baviera, a professor at the University of the Philippines, called the beginning of talks with China "an avenue for resuming the confidence-building process" between the two countries, by assuring China that there is no intention to use arbitration, and there is no intention to harm China’s security interests.

Butch Valdes, Xinhua reported, called for the Duterte government to review the EDCA, saying the Aquino administration imposed it in an "underhanded manner," rather than sending it to the Senate for ratification as a treaty. Valdes added: "In the past three to four years, they (the U.S.) have made the country into a U.S. military base."

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