Monday, December 12, 2011

Let's Get Our Act Together by Erick San Juan

As we witness the events unfolding for the past weeks, there seem to be no changes at all on the way things are going towards a possible conflict between Beijing and Washington. To wit from the Global Times, President Hu Jintao's speech Tuesday to the Chinese Navy representatives caught the attention of foreign media. It focused on two lines, that China must "accelerate the transformation of its navy" and "make extended preparations for military combat."

The instructions Hu gave to the Navy are hardly different to what any country's leader or commander-in-chief may give to his military. That is the routine requirement for any military force, especially those of a developing country.

Any country should look at this from a normal perspective, otherwise they may overinterpret China's military moves.

And then on the following day, December 7, China and the United States held their annual defense consultative talks (DCT) as planned in Beijing, despite recent frictions including the US arms sales to Taiwan.

It is important to note that in September, Washington announced the $5.85 billion arms sale to Taiwan and the upgrades of its 145 fighter jets. The arms sale was a decision made by the US State Department and not what others would think was done by the Pentagon. Why is this so? Another angel and demon operation?

"The fact that the American delegation which include officials from the US State Department shows that Washington too does not merely consider the DCT to be military talks.", said Yuan Peng, director of the American Studies Center at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations. "Nobody wants a conflict, and the US cannot afford a conflict with China now.", Peng added.

The Defense Consultative Talks which was established in 1997, is the highest-level bilateral dialogue between the two militaries. (China Daily)

It is very clear that cold war or not, the rest of the Asia Pacific is on the look out for a possible scenario that will trigger an attack on China or the US that will start the war.

As these events are unfolding, we can’t help asking ourselves, what are we doing as a nation in the middle of two conflicting elephants?

At the Global News Network-Destiny channel talk show of Mentong Laurel last Friday night, me and retired navy Commodore Rex Robles discussed the possibility of a world war and dicussed our readiness to such situation. There were hanging questions (due of lack of time) left unanswered for the mean time. Is the present administration ready for such eventuality? Do we have people who have expertise in geopolitics and foreign policy that can address problems that may arise when such event happens?

Yes, this administration seems juggling among none issues that had to be left to some cabinet members expertise to resolve. Our government should be ready economically and strategically in the field of geopolitics. Time is of the essence here and mere 'kowtowing' to a perceived 'master' is a no-no. We are facing an impending global conflict. We should think out of the box and think the unthinkable. We have to get our acts together and come up with concrete strategies that will help the country in the process. If we will just rely and put our fate to the 'big brother', we will be shortchanged again and find ourselves in the losing end.

For a change, this present administration should not make the same mistake committed by our past leaders, where they let the country be dragged to a war that we never wanted.

God save the Philippines and let's have happy holidays!

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