No War, No Money by Erick San Juan
The failure to come up with a communiqué for the first time in the 45 years of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Cambodia is a sign of how China’s ‘soft power’ operation influenced the decisions of some of the ASEAN members. The division within did not allow the issuance of a joint statement mentioning the recent stand off in the Scarborough Shoal. The host country resisted such inclusion so there was no communiqué. How come?
China is Cambodia's largest foreign investor. Beijing has lavished money on high-profile aid projects in the country, including paying for the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh where the ASEAN ministers met. Almost immediately, before the start of an ASEAN summit in Phnom Penh in April 2012, President Hu Jintao arrived on a four-day visit, the first by a Chinese head of state to Cambodia in 12 years. It is hard to believe that Hu's timing was coincidental. (Source: ASEAN stumbles in Phnom Penh by Donald K Emmerson)
The fact that Beijing has really extended its help to its neighbors, it doesn’t follow that issues pertinent to the region’s peace and security should be set aside. The recent tensions in some disputed areas in the South China Sea, between the Philippines and Vietnam should be taken seriously by the member countries of the ASEAN. And to do so is the supposed final communiqué
that the body had to read at the end of the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.
Multilateral vs Bilateral
The bilateral approach of Beijing to the problems involving the claimants in the disputed areas in the South China Sea is in tune with its soft power operation wherein Beijing will address the needs of the claimant and help them through soft loans. This way, every claimant (that got the help from China) is somehow beholden to its benefactor. It is easier this way than to involve several claimants at the same time (multilateral) with Uncle Sam’s prodding. Indonesian President Bambang acted swiftly to pacify the warring factions in the region. He sent immediately his foreign minister to talk to his counterparts to address the issue. President Bambang said that the tension must not be allowed to escalate. He knew for a fact that if war breaks out, indonesia will be dragged into the conflict. The signs are already there.
Even in our case, when recently PNoy thanked China for financing the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System’s Angat Water Utilization and Aqueduct Improvement Project (AWUAIP) in Quezon City through its Preferential Buyer’s Credit of China Export-Import Bank for a total investment of P5.3 billion. This is just one of China’s several investments in the country plus several other economic ties that we have with them. After this event, the Palace reiterated its statement of finding diplomatic solutions to the disputes over some areas in the South China Sea. No more strong words of provocation and has actually downplayed the issue on spy planes request from Uncle Sam. At the said inauguration, Pnoy evaded to answer the question regarding the thirty sea vessels from China at the Panatag Shoal. A real turnaround from the counter-bullying against China before.
Methinks this is much better than the continuous word wars and saber rattling that will only lead to the escalation of tension in the SCS. Although Uncle Sam will not like this development for his personal (economic) interests a.k.a. military industrial complex. No war, no money. As I have written before, the global conflict was set and the flashpoints once ignited can lead to mutually assured destruction of countries that will be used as a pawn in this war game. Only the vested interests of a few superpowers will benefit because the world economic downturn is for real and some things that we thought were too big to fall are actually falling one by one.
Only a war scenario can save their failing economies. If this too fails, an internal civil war is not far behind.
As a sovereign nation, we have to assert our rights to our territory and if we do not have the military might, peaceful diplomatic solution is always the best answer. In this way, we do not need any help from the Big Brother who only think for what he can gain from the situation. We have to learn from history because if we keep on repeating it, the prize we have to pay is getting bigger and costlier to lives and properties.
The stakes are high. Let's get our act together. Save the nation,save the world. Unmask the manipulators creating this world crisis by design.