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Regarding the front page Aug. 1 article “China flexing more muscle in Pacific“: I am not the Philippines’ president or a foreign affairs officer, but I think the solution is for small and bullied countries like Vietnam, Brunei, the Philippines, Malaysia, Japan and Taiwan to form an association for settling territorial disputes.

Even if only temporary, the organization would have two objectives: (1) to settle territorial disputes among themselves or at least arrive at a temporary solution, and (2) to confront China.

China is using a divide-and-conquer tactic with lots of pushing and bullying. The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations couldn’t even come up with a joint communique at its recent meeting. This is understandable since ASEAN members such as Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar and Indonesia do not have territorial disputes with China.

The proposed new association of the bullied would be able to confront China as a bloc and show that China cannot manipulate it behind the curtains as it has some ASEAN members.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

lala sandones

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