Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images

Rompiendo el hielo en el Mar de la China Meridional

MANILA – Hace tres meses, la Corte Permanente de Arbitraje de La Haya dictaminó que no había ningún sustento legal para que China reclamara derechos históricos sobre los recursos del Mar Occidental de Filipinas (también conocido como Mar de la China Meridional) y, en consecuencia, que las Filipinas tienen derechos exclusivos sobre el territorio. China rechazó la sentencia, y un frío glacial empañó la relación bilateral alguna vez amistosa. Es hora de recuperar cierta cordialidad.

Poco después del dictamen, el presidente filipino, Rodrigo Duterte, inesperadamente me designó, a los 88 años, como enviado especial de mi país a China, con ese simple objetivo. Gracias a banqueros de Hong Kong (incluido mi amigo personal Wai Sun Ng de Jibsen Capital), mi primer punto de contacto fue Fu Ying, que se desempeñó como embajadora de China ante las Filipinas y como viceministra de Relaciones Exteriores.

Fui afortunado de conocer a Fu, que ahora es presidenta del Comité de Asuntos Exteriores del Congreso Nacional Popular. No sólo posee un conocimiento detallado de las cuestiones en torno al Mar de la China Meridional/Mar Occidental de Filipinas, sino que también está muy bien informada sobre la cultura y la política filipinas. En nuestra primera reunión exploratoria, también hice contacto con Wu Shicun, presidente del Instituto Nacional de China para Estudios del Mar de la China Meridional, muy conocedor del tema al igual que Fu.

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