华北水利水电大学 赵 勐
江苏大学 齐 华
石家庄学院 霍 翔
中国地质大学（北京) 庞 宗
浙江农林大学 陈 智
郑州轻工业学院 赵 超
云南大学 杨 创
兰州大学 杨 辉
青海大学 兰 静
石河子大学 张 玲
天津职业大学 周 阳
Distinguished Ambassador Erlinda Basili,
How are you？Wish you a happy summer.
This letter is from a group of ordinary Chinese young people. We have heard from different sources, that the judgment of this arbitration case on South China Sea is going to be pronounced. Considering the recent tensions between the two countries , we really worry about the prospects of the development of relations between China and the Philippines and the future of the youth of the two countries. In the forked road of history, will Sino-Philippine relations plummet or recover? China's young people are full of expectation but a little confused about this. Therefore, we would like you to have some equal and honest discussions with us on this issue.
Since ancient times, "to be friendly with the neighbors" is one of the main themes of Chinese diplomatic thought. Trade and cultural interactions between China and the Philippines from Tang to Qing dynasty are still fresh and vivid memories for us. China still reserves the ancient tomb of the East king of Saltanah Sulu, which is the best witness of the Sino-Philippine friendship. In modern times, especially during the Second World War, the Chinese people as well as the Philippines have unfortunately suffered from Japanese fascist aggression. From Beijing to Manila, the two nations helped each other with blood and sweat and forged a profound friendship. After the founding of new China, as the third world countries, the Philippines and China continue to maintain good relations, jointly guarding the four million square kilometers of azure South China Sea, which used to be the bridge and link between the two countries, a place where young people of the two nations used to go boating and fishing. Yet we have never expected that today's South China sea issue has become an obstacle for the exchanges between the people in these two nations and the biggest destabilizing factor for Sino-Philippine relations.
For Chinese young people, the issue of the South China Sea is an unexpected trouble, and also an incident easily resolved. Whether referring to the “reasons”in international law, or considering the “emotion”of hard-working tradition of all nations, the South China Sea should be a sacred and inalienable part of Chinese territory. When noticing the maps in some countries with colorful lines scribbling on this area , we are surprised at their ignorance of history. South China Sea issue shouldn’t be the problem which remains unresolved forever. The South China Sea issue can be easily solved as long as what should not be occupied is returned to its owner. You might believe that the current South China Sea countries, including the Philippines can change the status quo and even the future by the occupation of part of the Chinese reefs, but in fact it is not the case.
We know and understand well that among the Filipino, particularly the youth, there pervades a fear of power and a desire to be strong. Although your country is on the Western South China Sea, sitting on the strategic location, you have a relatively small territory composed by sporadic lands, and your weapons and equipment is not so strong that it’s difficult for you to safeguard yourselves facing the complicated international situation changes. Youth in the Philippines, like us, have the expectation for the prosperity of their own country, and the need to seek for stabilization and free development. So the Filipino youth, when facing the rise of China - a large and seemingly unfriendly neighbor, showed a high level of vigilance and chose to stand together with a number of powerful powers beyond this region. We prefer to believe that this is led by the current politics, since we know that after all, politicians can bring the roar of the engines at the garrison base, the weekly cruise of new forces around the reefs and the support and votes as surging stream. But keep in mind, this will not guarantee the Philippines a peaceful and stable future, not will it bring young people in the Philippines an easy life once and for all. After all, the lion is not dead, it is just in sound sleep.
We don’t want to dwell in history today, not to beat around the bush by overly focusing on military and suppressing China, we just want to look back to one of the most simple and plain fact - China can not choose the Philippines, the Philippines can not choose China. Madam Ambassador, have you and the young people in your country read Tsangyang Gyatso’s poems? China and the Philippines, though not a couple, but as he says, “you see me or not, I'll be there, not sad, not happy.”The locations of China and the Philippines actually exactly positioned for the development of the bilateral relations, determining the frequent exchanges between the two countries in the past thousands of years and their similar cultural and historical background. China and the Philippines are neighbors across the sea with only a distance of one thousand kilometers. The current generation of Filipinos can choose the United States, Japan or the International Tribunal in the Hague to help them confront China, or even choose to build an iron curtain of distrust on the vast seas . But they can never remove the piece of the continent around 9.6 million square kilometers, just like the Chinese youth can not ignore this capricious neighbor. As the saying goes,nearby neighbors are better than distant relatives. With the rapid development of contemporary science and technology today, we are almost blinded by the swift internet, nearly forgetting the short distance between us. We always envy the distant prosperity, but forget the neighbors with goodwill.
Chinese Confucian master Feng Youlan defined four levels of life: natural level, utilitarian level, moral level, the level of heaven and earth.In fact, the bilateral relations is precisely the case. We should be aware that, when being faced with a problem like entangled hemp , we may try to climb to a new level. When generations of politicians in the Philippines are dealing with the South China Sea with a headache, regretting deeply for the ups and downs of bilateral relations, young people in the bilateral relations, as the key to the future, have already begun to climb. They first crossed easily the natural level- a selfish, willful level which belongs only to the robbers. Youth in the Philippines are also well educated, knowing the simple truth that one should not grab what does not belong to him, and that it’s time for the workers drifting on the drilling platform of South China Sea to go home, or at least negotiate a settlement with the Chinese people. Next is the utilitarian level. We are well aware of the fact that the resources of the South China Sea is a treasure trove of development for the two countries, but how to explore is worth considering. China once suggested putting aside disputes and jointly developing - this is key to overcoming the utilitarian obstacle. We do not have to reach out for help outside the region, nor do we have to circumvent the problem by a meaningless judgment, because China has never closed the door for dialogue. When we show goodwill to the people of the Philippines, what we expect is no doubt the friendly and cooperative response.
The third level--the moral level is the sublimation of the utilitarian level. When the two country cooperate on the basis of respecting China’s sovereignty, when the economic and trade interests can break the shackles of zero-sum game, the youth of the two nations will walk out of the utilitarian level and realize the harmonious development of the two which can bring inexhaustible treasure. Finally, we come to the level of heaven and earth. Although it is a wonderful situation that is hard for the young to foresee, we still want to depict a blueprint for it. South China Sea is the sea for trade and free sailing for thousands of years. When the ships of different countries pass by freely, when more and more lights sparkle the residents of the reefs and islands, we will greet a new era which breaks through international conflicts. The torch of “One Belt and One Road” will be transmitted to Manila and Mindanao Island; pigeons symbolizing peace and harmony will fly over Huangyan Island and Meiji reef.Young people of the two countries will learn about, utilize and cherish the sea for the first time. And we will let the glory of the humanity light up the South China sea for the first time, rather than allowing the war clouds to envelop the dawn of the cooperation.
What a beautiful picture scroll! Yet it folds itself as it has just unfolded before us. Madam Ambassador, have you sighed for this wonderful dream when reading this? As the Chinese young people who are depicting this splendid view, we have the capacity and faith to cease hostilities and negotiate for peace. So far, the judicial mallet in Hague hasn’t fallen down, and the presidential office in Manila hasn’t changed. Faced with a forked road in history, never are the government and the young people of your country so close to peace like this. We eagerly expect that, in ten or twenty years, when looking back this letter, the young people of the two countries-- then the mainstay of their respective society, are bathed in the glory described in it.
Hebei University Of Technology Wang Tiancheng
Henan University of Technology Sheng Weiguo
Hangzhou Normal University Ye Zixi
Henan University Dou Zi’ang
Henan Institute of Science and Technology Huang HanboHenan University Of Urban Construction Zhao Yangyang
North China University Of Water Resources And Electric Power Zhao Meng
Jiangsu University Qihua
Liaoning University Liang Bo’wen
Nantong University Lu Yuanyuan
Shijiazhuang University Huoxiang
China University Of Geosciences(Beijing) Pang Zong
China University Of Geosciences(Xuzhou) Ma Qingwei
China University Of Petroleum (East China) Li Siyi
Zhejiang A & F University Chen Zhi
Zhengzhou University Of Light Industry Zhao Chao
Yun'nan University Yang Chuang
Lanzhou University Yang Hui
Qinghai University Lan Jing
Xinjiang University Huang Jingjing
Shihezi University Zhang Ling
Xi'an International University Zhang Kaiwen
Nanjing University Of Aeronautics And Astronautics Li Xiaoxi
Tianjin Vocational Institute Zhou Yang
May the 28th，2016