Tuesday, May 28, 2013

G2 and the 2-Pronged Taiwan Issue

G2 and the 2-Pronged Taiwan Issue
By Erick San Juan

US Pacific Command’s Brig. Gen. Michael A Keltz says Chinese officials told him the Pacific should simply be divided in two, with America dominating one half and China the other. (Taken from US, China Deepen Military Ties by Peter Apps, Political Risk Correspondent, Reuters)

It seems that the world’s perception of the growing rift between Washington and Beijing has proven wrong when this analysis by Peter Apps appeared saying that “even as the United States accuses China of military espionage and worries about Beijing’s more strident posture in the Asia-Pacific region, the ties between the armed forces of the two nations have been getting closer. Direct contact between China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and some of its potential adversaries has increased dramatically in the last two years.”

The mere fact that even Australia in its 2013 Defence White Paper signals military shift toward China – “As an indicator of Australian efforts to face the blunt reality of China’s rising military machine, the report cites Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s visit to Beijing last month, when it was agreed to designate their bilateral relationship as a “strategic partnership.”

As a result of the trip, Australia and China will conduct annual dialogues at the “leaders-level” with two new ministerial-level dialogues: the Foreign and Strategic Dialogue and the Strategic Economic Dialogue.

These will be in addition to the longstanding Defence Strategic Dialogue held annually between the Department of Defence and the People’s Liberation Army. Australia is one of the few countries that have a strategic dialogue at the four-star level with China.” (www.defensenews.com)
Sounds familiar! Remember the Glastnost and Perestroika of Gorbachev which led to the downfall of the Soviet Union..Gorby stayed in San Francisco, USA near the Golden Gate bridge to save his ass.
With the abovementioned scenario among the three countries playing a major military role in the region, our country is caught unaware that an ongoing proxy war is actually happening right under our noses. Sadly the government missed the two-pronged Taiwan issue besetting our nation.

One, some pundits noticed that China’s hand is fanning the Taiwan issue in order to escalate the anger of the Taiwanese against us.

Philippine labor and diplomatic officials have been given strict instructions not to talk to the media about the Taiwan mess: first, because the incident off Batanes waters is still under investigation; and second, as the issue has implications not only on Philippines-Taiwan relations, but in the entire West Philippine Sea. What is China’s role in this mess?

For one, Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou and the Kuomintang party are now known to be pro-China. And President Ma has a below-20 percent popularity rating among his people. He needs a strong stance around which he wants to rally his people.

A Manila-based Filipino diplomat believes that China may have a hand fanning the weak flames against the Philippines in Taiwan. He said China – using pro-China elements in Taiwan government and media – wants to provoke people-to-people fight in Taiwan to test the water and see what the Philippines might do. He said the Batanes shooting may be a good case for the bigger territorial dispute that the Philippines has with China. (Source: Veronica C. Uy, InterAksyon.com)

I have written about this many times and talked about it in my daily radio program that China (and US) had to find an ‘excuse’ to unite their citizenry in order to avoid a possible civil war within their nation-states. From the same report by Veronica Uy, she cited the call for unity amongst Chinese people that appeared @www.globaltimes.cn - The editorial called on “Chinese society (to) stay united in the South China Sea disputes, rather than making different calculations in front of the provocative Philippines.”

It proposed that mainland Chinese also suspend tourist trips to the Philippines and slow down imports from the Philippines.

"We call on people in Hong Kong and Macao to join this joint action against the Philippines. This will make a special contribution to both protection of sovereignty and social solidarity among the Chinese people,” the Chinese news website said.

Calling for unity among all Chinese people, the website added: “The latest crisis may last a while, during which Manila will probably seek a chance to drive a wedge between the two sides across the Straits. But on the other hand, it could also become a period in which the Chinese people clearly feel each other's support…The whole of Chinese society must stand together to guarantee its victory.”

Now that we know what this is all about, the question is: How do we respond?

A very good question which so far has been addressed poorly by the people around the present administration due to the fact that it is believed being done deliberately in order to cover up the election issues vis-à-vis Smartmatic’s hocus PCOS. This is the other side of the coin in the so-called Taiwan issue where the ‘fanning of the flames of anger’ is actually coming from within. And in the process, the various issues and problems confronting the results of the recent elections orchestrated by some of the officials of Complec is being put in the back burner.

A lot of concerned citizens are doing a great job in trying hard to expose the anomalies that ‘envelope' the recently concluded elections. The ball is in the Palace court, something has to be done to correct this. But if there will be no moves to right the wrongs, the cheating conspiracy has reached the Palace. So what else is new?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Weiqi: Chess of War! by Erick San Juan

Weiqi: Chess of War! by Erick San Juan

Taiwan’s  air and naval drills in the Bashi Channel – the disputed waters between the Philippines and Taiwan pushed through amidst the growing tension, a week after the incident that killed a Taiwanese fisherman.  While former police officer Abner Afuang burns a Taiwanese flag in Lawton, Manila, to protest Taiwan’s moves against the Philippines. I’m sure, lots of Filipinos are praying that the situation will be resolved peacefully as the temperature is really getting hotter with each passing day.

Philippines is being bombarded with endless sanctions coming from the government of Taiwan. We are now already given eleven sanctions  in a week’s time. Taiwan’s Premier Jiang Yi-huah even told his fellowmen that the sanctions given will most likely be for the long term.

The mere fact that the show of force of Taiwan’s air and naval drills using war materiel courtesy of Uncle Sam, are supposedly be used against China with its supposed bullying against its neighbors and not towards another ally of the US.

But,  according to the State Department spokesman - "the U.S. is concerned by increased tensions between two neighboring democracies and close American allies. It urges both to clarify disagreements and ensure maritime safety.” (Source: Voice of America news 5/16/2013)

Of course, the above mentioned comment of the big brother is expected to be as neutral as possible because both nation states are strategically important to its so-called Asia-Pacific pivot in containing China.

Given this situation, many might ask - is Taiwan over reacting? Are they laying the predicate for China’s move to join them in their provocations for war? Or maybe what a political pundit has been saying that there is a possible existing secret agreement between the elite of China and the US with the globalists to divide the world control among the super elites by staging a war is real. 

In one of my interaction with several think tanks’ fora in the past, the self fulfilling prophecy by some of the learned that in the future, big business and supers elites will control nation states before uniting the world for one world governance.

That could possibly explains the strange attitude of the Taiwanese government to the Filipinos that has emboldened their nationals to attack our kababayan OFWs including our MECO officials plus the sudden military exercises near our border is a clear provocation for war.

The Kuomintang Party used to be an anti-Communist organization. It metamorphosed into a pro-Beijing party. Pundits believe that the pro-Beijing leaders of Taiwan and Hong Kong are part of the conspiracy to get our nation without firing a single shot. We're like a rice cake (bibingka) being cooked  from top and bottom.

Or could it be that our Motherland is part of the secret bailout of the US to pay their trillions of dollars debt to China? Just asking.

In the past, you can see Chinatown in several nations in the world. Now it was reported in some websites and in the local papers that in Michigan, that there is a move to build a China City near Detroit, Michigan. The news report stated – ‘A Chinese group known as “Sino-Michigan Properties LLC” has bought up 200 acres of land near the town of Milan, Michigan.  Their plan is to construct a “China City” with artificial lakes, a Chinese cultural center and hundreds of housing units for Chinese citizens.  Essentially, it would be a little slice of communist China dropped right into the heartland of America.  This “China City” would be located about 40 minutes from both Detroit and Toledo, and it would be marketed to Chinese business people that want to start businesses in the United States.’

The analysis made by J Vincent Burr of the Michigan Standard explains the strategy used by China, “the Chinese have been buying real estate in the US for a while now, but this move into infrastructural areas such as power plants, manufacturing facilities, oil and gas fields etc., are concerning to many residents. The long term implications are unclear, but we do know that we’re moving into uncharted territory by allowing an enemy country to gain such a significant foothold within our borders.

To better understand their long term strategy here, it might be worth looking at the Chinese game of Go or weiqi as it is known in China is a game of strategy, in the way that many westerners consider chess to be a game of strategy. The goals are very different though.

In chess, the goal is to attack and capture pieces with the goal of forcing the king to surrender. However, the goal of weiqi is simply to control territory, thereby controlling your opponent. You do not need to waste resources trying to capture your opponent, because if you control their territory, you control your opponent anyway.

The real world advantage of adopting an eastern weiqi strategy versus a western chess strategy is that you are able to exert more control while expending fewer resources. You can simply look to US efforts to exert influence in the Middle East as an example of this. Now ask yourself, how many resources does China is wasting with their approach?

Before you dismiss the analogy of a game to the recent territorial grabs by China here in the US, understand that the game of weiqi has been used for over 2,000 years to train diplomats and business men in China in matters of strategy. Sun Tzu’s Art of War is founded on weiqi principle and it shapes everything they do in business and politics. The territorial grab we’re seeing now is all just part of the game.”

Beware of Don Claro Recto's warning that in the future our beloved country Philippines could be a province of China. Need I say more?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Fighting Several Fronts

Fighting Several Fronts
By Erick San Juan

In the midst of the mid-term election fever and the tensions that went with it after the voting hours and during the canvassing of votes, our country was once again put in a very critical position with our neighboring countries.

Most Filipinos were caught unaware of the dangers posted by the incident that happened last Thursday when the Philippine Coast Guard admittedly fired at one of the four Taiwanese fishing vessels that had strayed into our waters and killed a Taiwanese fisherman.

I hate to say this but here we go again, people repeating history like what happened at the Luneta tragic hostage – taking some few years back which was peacefully settled due to the intervention (allegedly)of a Tsinoy businessman. Back then, several sanctions were about to be implemented but were halted by the said businessman.                                                                    

The Taiwanese government reportedly has not forgotten the blunder of our immigration office where several Taiwanese were deported in China instead of Taiwan. The issue had a twist when Beijing turned over the Taiwanese to the Taipeh government.

Basically, we fear for the thousands of Filipino workers in Taiwan and most probably in Hong Kong and China that might be deported due to the recent incident. And worst of all, the three China's are up in arms against our government. The Taiwanese government has made a press conference to stop the hiring of Philippine workers. Can the PNoy administration handle such situation where thousands of our fellowmen will go home without any hope of finding a job here? That is the main reason why they took the risk of going out of the country because there are no jobs available here in the first place.

According to news reports, even though apologies were extended by Antonio Basilio, the Philippines’ de facto ambassador to Taiwan through their Foreign Minister David Lin but President Ma Ying-jeou insisted that Manila should offer a formal apology and compensation, apprehend the killer and launch talks on the fishing industry. From the words of his spokeswoman Lee Chia-fei, President Ma expressed his strong dissatisfaction over the Philippines' lack of sufficient sincerity and its shifting attitude.

Why did the situation reach this crucial point? It seems that after three years in office of the present administration, we still lack the right persons with expertise in handling situations like these, as if nobody is minding the store (again?).

As an observer of events, I have been reminding our people especially in the government to be wary and always on the lookout for possible confluence of events which might leadto the invasion of our country by the Chinese without firing a single shot. I have written about this (@ericksanjuan.blogspot.com) and never get tired of warning our government to be always vigilant against the infiltration of our Chinoy and ethnic Chinese migrants by Chinese 'businessmen' from China, Hongkong and Taiwan. As I always say, fear China from within.

Although some pundits say that the recent ‘shooting’ incident is a good copy that will create a scenario for something else, translation – laying the predicate for a possible conflict in the region. But in the end, the question remains – who will benefit? Is there a brewing connivance of this G2 to invade our country by one of them and in the process the mighty one will allow such invasion as ‘payment’ and presto, all the country’s resources will be taken from us easily.

With the turn of events, such scenario is possible if we will continue to dilly-dally (noynoying) as if there is no urgency to act on the matter at hand.

This time around, let us unite and support the right moves of our leaders, it is not a joke to fight several fronts especially if there is so much at stake.

 President Aquino should immediately convene the National Security Council to avert a possible confrontation and a designed crisis brewing.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Creating the Situation

Creating the Situation
by Erick San Juan                                                                                                                                           

I read the book review of Timothy Westmyer, research and program assistant-Rising Powers Initiative, Sigur Center for Asian Studies at the George Washington University about  paradoxical trend which came from the lecture of Andrew Wedeman, professor of political science at Georgia State University. In Wedeman's recent book, "Double Paradox: Rapid Growth and Rising Corruption in China", he explained how and why the Chinese economy performed so well in spite of widespread corruption at almost kleptocratic levels in China.                                                                                                                                                                                             

Wedeman argued that by any reasonable measure, China had a long standing serious problem with corruption. He cited Transparency International, an anti-corruption watchdog that ranks countries by their levels of corruption. China was pinpointed as the second most corrupt nation in the world on their 1995 list. He added that China has a number of high-profile corruption cases ranging from dishonest deals in real estate, massive smuggling operations to pension fund thefts and the controversial murder-bribery story of Bo Xilai.                                                                                                                                                                                               

Timothy Westmyer said that the conventional wisdom of economic theory would predict a strong negative correlation between corruption and economic growth. As the rate of extortion, bribes, kickbacks and looting  increased in a nation, one would expect economic growth to suffer. But not in China?                                                                                                                                                                                               

Professor Wedeman pointed out that China's GDP(gross domestic product) per capita was unaffected by persistent corruption and grew rapidly since the early 1980's. He cited 3 major reasons how China did it. The timing of economic growth before corruption took hold, the specific nature of it's economic reforms and a genuine anti-corruption efforts advocated by Deng Xiao Ping in 1982 when he declared a 'war on corruption' that is still echoed by China's  leaders today.                                                                                                                                                                                                       

But what went wrong?  China now felt the danger to it's economic growth and party control of too much corruption. One of Deng Xiao Ping's economic reforms like the transfer of assets such as property from the state to entrepreneurs that fostered economic growth became an important source of corruption. According to pundits, the new generation of Chinese leaders headed by it's new president, Xi Jin Ping, regrouped and shift gear, focused on external threats to unite China. It is believed that the new politburo is quietly making serious adjustments in their foreign policy. The focus is South China Sea firstly, to counter the U.S. pivot in Asia. In particular, a more tough defense positions in the South China Sea.                                                                                                                                                                                                

China could be fighting several fronts in the process. The aggravation of several territorial disputes between Beijing and Tokyo regarding the Diaoyu island; between Beijing and Manila regarding Scarborough Shoal and the Kalayaan Island Group and between Beijing and Hanoi over the Paracels. China's PLA(People's Liberation Army) sees the US as the biggest threat and using their allies in Asia to contain China.
Peter McKenzie of PolicyMic.com believed that China could spark the next big war. The territorial disputes could allegedly herald a volatile flashpoint where a large incident could provoke war on an international scale. With China's 9 dotted lines and other historical claims, McKenzie argued that a single blunder could further incite either China or the coalition of Asian states that usually oppose to declare war on one another. He concluded that a war in this region will greatly affect the international community as well as Asia.                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Almost every nation in Asia-Pacific can hear the drums of war. David Wroe , a defence correspondent of the Sydney Morning Herald reported that a US military strategy being mapped out to deal with the growing power of China in the western Pacific- a plan that would inevitably ensnare Australia could escalate into a nuclear war. In a study by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, the fashionable "AirSea Battle" concept which Washington strategists are developing to keep the US grip on its air and sea power near the Chinese mainland, contains uncertainties and potential shortfalls that could heighten the nuclear risk.   So who will create the situation? Who will blink first? The economics of war is in the offing!