China-Philippines ‘gentleman’s agreement’ on South China Sea is best adhered to

Published April 26, 2024

Readers discuss Beijing’s dealings with Manila over their dispute in the South China Sea, and Moscow’s changing attitude to the Belt and Road Initiative

I refer to “Beijing denies its South China Sea deal with former Philippine leader Duterte was a ‘secret’” (April 18).

The existence of the agreement was made public by Rodrigo Duterte’s foreign secretary Alan Peter Cayetano in his 2017 conversation with the Council on Foreign Relations wherein he stated that there was “a gentleman’s agreement, a shake of the hands” between Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping in order “to have the status quo”. The video and transcript of Cayetano’s conversation are freely available on the internet, so this gentleman’s agreement is hardly a secret.

The Philippines’ promise to China to remove the Sierra Madre from the Second Thomas Shoal is also a matter of record. Gregory Poling, Southeast Asia expert at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, in his 2022 book On Dangerous Ground, wrote that then-president Joseph Estrada “promised to tow the vessel away as soon as it could be safely floated off the reef”.

On November 12, 1999, an Associated Press report carried by Mariannas Variety News & Views reported Estrada’s spokesperson Jerry Barican as saying the Philippines had assured China that “efforts will be made to immediately extricate the vessel from the shoal”. So far, Manila does not seem to have presented any official rebuttal of this report, or of Poling’s statement.



RELATED: Majority of Filipinos favor US over China in West Philippine sea dispute — survey


This photo taken on February 16, 2024 shows Filipino fishermen aboard their wooden boats (middle L and 2nd L) and Philippine Fisheries and Aquatic Resources personnel aboard their rigid hull inflatable boat (foreground C) sailing past a Chinese coast guard ship (top) near the China-controlled Scarborough Shoal, in disputed waters of the South China Sea. The Philippines on February 17 accused Chinese coast guard vessels of “dangerous” manoeuvres for attempting to block a Filipino vessel dropping supplies to fishermen at a reef off the Southeast Asian nation’s coast.
Published April 26, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — A recent survey by a think tank found that many Filipinos prefer siding with the United States over China in the West Philippine Sea territorial dispute.

During a press briefing by Oculum Research and Analytics in Intramuros, Manila on Friday, it was revealed that 43% of Filipinos prefer the Philippines to align with the US in case of increased tensions in the highly-disputed waters, compared to only 3% suggesting alignment with China.

“There is a clear trend of weariness upon the public towards deepening ties with China,” said Racidon Benarte, research head of Oculum Research. 

“The low level if trust in China and a relatively high level of distrust could be attributed to geopolitical tensions, economic competition, territorial disputes or concerns over political and human rights abuses,” Joseph Mercado, Oculum’s research and analytics chief statistician said in a separate statement. 

However, 40% of Filipinos preferred not to be aligned with any of the superpower but suggested an “autonomous approach” to the dispute, according to the think tank.

In the event of violence erupting in the South China Sea, survey results revealed that 32% of Filipinos recommend seeking military assistance from the US, while 31% suggest that the Philippines should defend its territory against China.





Newscats – on Patreon or Payoneer ID: 55968469

Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
Contact Cherry at: or
Support Cherry May directly at:


Why do CO2 lag behind temperature?

71% of the earth is covered by ocean, water is a 1000 times denser than air and the mass of the oceans are 360 times that of the atmosphere, small temperature changes in the oceans doesn’t only modulate air temperature, but it also affect the CO2 level according to Henry’s Law.

The reason it is called “Law” is because it has been “proven”!

“.. scientific laws describe phenomena that the scientific community has found to be provably true ..”

That means, the graph proves CO2 do not control temperature, that again proves (Man Made) Global Warming, now called “Climate Change” due to lack of … Warming is – again – debunked!