Wednesday, August 31, 2016

China-phobia by Erick San Juan

China-phobia by Erick San Juan

On September 4 to 5, China’s tourist hub of Hangzhou will be this year’s venue of the G-20 meeting and China’s President Xi Jinping is hoping to cement its standing as a global power when it host leaders from the world’s biggest economies. But China suspects the West and its allies will try to deny Beijing what it sees as its rightful place on the international stage.

While China wants to make sure its highest profile event of the year goes off successfully, Pres.  Xi will be under pressure at home to ensure he is strong in the face of challenges to his authority on issues like the South China Sea, going by reports in state media.

China has already made it clear that it does not want such matters overshadowing the meeting, which will be attended by U.S. President Barack Obama, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other world leaders.

State media has given great play to the idea that G-20 is for China to show leadership in shaping global governance rules and forging ahead with sustainable global growth, with the official People’s Daily saying this could be one of the G-20’s most fruitful ever get-togethers. (Source: Reuters published at

Can the G-20 meeting in China help boost Xi's nation’s image or his own image in the world community of nations? The mere fact that no matter how he tries to put major issues on the back burner, the heat will be felt and people will be reacting in the process.

One such issue is the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruling on the territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Although the decision has favored the Philippines, there are still incidents of Filipino fishermen being bullied by some Chinese coast guard. The world knows that China never accepted the decision and stubbornly insisted its claim based on their history. And in the process continuously building up structures in the reclaimed land despite protests from its neighbors and other countries passing in the region with their cargos.

Another one is with Japan on the East China Sea, again a disputed territory that has been going on for quite some time now and the issue will continue as long as China will insist on bilateral talks in solving the problem which is not what Japan wants.

These issues no matter how vague, could somehow affect the meeting of the member countries of the G-20. Of course, the main agenda – economy which is not doing well as per all the major economies of the world. And no matter how China manipulates the news on the real economic condition of their country, the truth will surface anyway.

Actually the following ‘incidents’ will show how China is doing in the economic front.

Was it China-phobia that recently forced Britain and Australia to postpone or cancel Chinese investment in their sensitive sectors? The two countries seem to be genuinely concerned about national security issues linked to these investments while China dismisses their fears as unfounded and absurd.   

In its two opinion pieces published on August 11 and 18, Xinhua News, the Chinese government’s official press agency, accused Great Britain and Australia of China-phobia and warned both  countries that their China-phobia could damage cooperation with Beijing.

Though China-phobia or Sino-phobia has long surfaced in some circles, this is probably the first time a key Chinese news agency has publicly mentioned it.

This came following the United Kingdom’s postponement of a $23.5 billion nuclear power station project at Hinkley Point, to which China General Nuclear Power(CGN) is supposed to finance a third, and Australia’s rejection of the sale of Ausgrid, its largest electricity network, to Chinese state-owned State Grid Corp and Hong Kong-based Cheung Kong Infrastructure.

China’s muscle-reflecting and its rather arrogant attitudes, e.g. “you’re wrong and we’re right” or “you’re a small country and we’re a big country” views, have stirred uneasiness and resentment in some countries.

Though it is unsure whether they have actually transformed into “China-phobia”, concerns or even fears over China’s intentions, behaviors and investments exist in Great Britain, Australia and perhaps in other countries.

Those apprehensions also play a key role in defining their relations with China. As shown in the editorial of the Independent mentioned above, China’s behavior in the international sphere, e.g. its assertive and coercive behavior in the South China Sea, affect perceptions and apprehensions of the UK’s government and public.

This demonstrates that like material powers, e.g. economic and military capabilities, non-material factors, perceptions and reputations, are also influential in international politics. (Source: Why some countries are concerned over Chinese investment by Xuan Loc Doan, August 29, 2016 in Asia Times)

These two countries have their concerns and doubts on how they will deal with China because on the surface no matter how China extends its soft power operations, there are still underlying issues that has to be taken into consideration especially when it comes to national security.

Lastly, China’s ‘growing mountain of debt’ as what was reported by Bloomberg that “Some prominent investors are worried about China’s debt. George Soros sees an 'eerie resemblance' between conditions in China now and those in the U.S. leading up to the financial crisis in 2008. It’s similarly fueled by credit growth and an eventually unsustainable extension of credit,” Soros told the Asia Society in New York in April.

BlackRock Chief Executive Officer Laurence Fink was asked about China’s mounting debt on Bloomberg TV in May. “We all have to be worried about it,” Fink said, adding that he remains bullish on China’s economy in the long run.
> And in June a Goldman Sachs report warned that the country’s large and unaccounted-for shadow-banking activities raised concern “about China’s underlying credit problems and sustainability risk.”

Indeed, many segments of the Chinese economy have taken on considerable debt, especially since the global financial crisis. Over the past decade, total debt grew 465 percent. Debt rose to 247 percent of gross domestic product in 2015, from 160 percent in 2005. Bloomberg Intelligence breaks China’s total debt into four components: bank, corporate, government, and household.

This isn’t to say that China doesn’t have some serious problems. Growth is slowing and the economy needs major restructuring. There will be winners and losers and turmoil in the market. Shadow-banking activities add another risk. It isn’t certain that the government will handle the challenges in the next decade as deftly as it has in the past. The country’s economy is far larger and more complex.

Fortunately for the rest of the world, China has a high savings rate. Capital controls aren’t fully lifted, making capital flight difficult. The government has almost complete control of the banking industry. In addition, China’s listed banks get about 70 percent of their funds from deposits. In comparison, U.S. investment banks in 2008 relied heavily on short-term money-market funding.

Such circumstances make it unlikely that China’s debt will spark a global crisis in the near future.”

Indeed, a lot of expectations and worries will come at China’s doorstep as it welcomes this year’s G-20 meeting. Can it help China project the image it desperately wanted? Let’s wait and see, especially how the Federal Reserve meeting on September 20-21 will play on and most likely will increase its interest rate which could create a sliding domino effect for the world in the process.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Don't Be Pessimistic? By Erick San Juan

Our country is once again divided as various issues confront us, vital to our day to day lives. With the personalities up front raging word wars, so are the people especially the netizens.  After the initial two-day hearing on extra-judicial killings at the senate chaired by Senator Leila de Lima, several points were cleared by the PNP chief Gen. Ronald dela Rosa on the war on drugs. After the so many hours spent on the senate hearing in aid of legislation, the 'war' continues and so are the killings.

The so-called war on drugs is concentrated mostly on the poor drug users and pushers, the public is asking time and again, where are the ‘big fish’? So many questions and the answers were so limited and very evasive. Like most killed are reportedly 'assets' of some scalawags in uniform who wanted to silence them and not to spill the beans. The suspected drug lord Peter Lim and family already left through a private jet for unknown destination. The case of father and son tandem – Mayor Rolly and son Kerwin Espinosa, some observers believed that they were treated like VIPs and were released eventually. Reason? No case to file against them, yet. The one was met by the President himself in Malacanang and the other one even stayed in the PNP’s white house. Pundits believe that if these are the ways the ‘big fishes’ were being treated, can we blame the public for asking why such biased treatment is being done if the present leadership is really waging this war on drugs seriously without fear and favor?

Remember we are not alone in this war, at the senate hearing it was mentioned by the Commission on Human Rights head Chito Gascon that there is a possibility that the International Criminal Court can investigate and may impose sanction on the responsible individuals who allowed the rampant extra-judicial killings. In other words, the people in the government should be wary on how to conduct their operations because we are being watched by the international community. Whether the President likes it or not, we are a member in a community of nations who are outside the box looking in for any possible violation of human rights.

But we have to remind the Commission on Human Rights and the United Nations that some alleged 'salvaging' were executed before the Duterte administration.

Yes, we are one with the President in upholding our sovereign rights as an independent nation but diplomacy dictates that we should respect people and organizations who are doing their jobs to maintain peace and harmony among sovereign states. And if we as a member of such group, we should respect and follow its rules for the protection of our citizenry.

As we wrote before, the present leadership of President Duterte is faced with a lot of problems and issues handed down from the past administrations. One is the communist insurgency which is now conducting the peace talks in Oslo, Norway. Some observers are asking why it had to be outside the country, this peace talk?

Like what former National Security Secretary Bert Gonzales said in his article that was published at the Manila Times – “Why can’t the peace talks be held where they are now? Government can easily provide suitable facilities for talks within their detention area. For those in Utrecht, except for Jose Maria Sison, who continues to be on the international terrorist list, they have been freely traveling to the Philippines, anyway."

"Sison claims to be a mere consultant in the talks. His absence should not really matter. The Norwegian third party facilitators certainly will not mind enjoying Manila hospitality. What is important is that doing the talks here will not require the Philippines to bend its laws."

"It is a good time to confront some communist beliefs that threaten national security. Many communists all over the world went through this in their respective countries, where they have now become important political players and are effectively co-existing with other ideologically founded political forces. The talks will not bring peace as intended if these beliefs are not confronted and reconciled with once and for all.”

The peace talks with the communist group is just one of the so many government tasks, there is also the problem with the MNLF and the MILF and the possible new BBL version to reckon with.  And the continuing military confrontations with the bandits of the Abu Sayyaf Group.

That’s not all, even the nagging question of the burial of former president Ferdinand Marcos, whether it should be buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani or not really divides the people. But as of this writing, the Supreme Court came out with its status quo anti order for twenty days on the fate of the Marcos burial. It was put on hold until the day of the oral arguments next month.

We have to remind our people that  I was part of the entourage from Hawaii to Ilocos Norte of the former President Ferdinand Marcos  body and he has long been buried beside his beloved mother, Dona Josefa. What many people are seeing in Ilocos is the refrigerated wax replica of Marcos patterned to Lenin's open museum at the Red Square in Kremlin that we saw during the visit of former President Fidel Ramos in Russia.

These are just among the so many hurdles that President Digong had to face day in and day out. Maybe the severity and scope of these problems had made the president looks uneasy sometimes and tend to say words that later on regrets as saying. For whatever its worth, he is the elected president and we should support his administration but not to forget also that we are still in a democracy with all its flaws, let us all be vigilant and pray for the best that this nation will survive despite all the problems.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Will All Hell Break Loose Soon? By Erick San Juan

Will All Hell Break Loose Soon? By Erick San Juan

Or Who Will Strike First?

If the world thinks that after the PCA’s (Permanent Court of Arbitration) ruling on the territorial disputes between the Philippines and China, conflict in the region or a possible war will be farfetched, think again.

Despite the diplomatic talks between the US and China and military to military arrangement like the recent meeting between US Army chief of staff Gen. Mark Milley and China's Peoples Liberation Army Gen. Li Zuocheng Tuesday, August 16 in Beijing, the war cycle is still on.
In the recent study from the Pentagon’s think tank RAND Corporation - War with China, Thinking Through the Unthinkable, it stated that “premeditated war between the United States and China is very unlikely, but the danger that a mishandled crisis could trigger hostilities cannot be ignored. Thus, while neither state wants war, both states' militaries have plans to fight one.”

How can one avoid the crisis (by design) if it is a programmed one and yes it can be delayed but it will happen whether we like it or not. Unfortunately, in this case, it could be sooner than we think.

As the present administration is busy solving problems here and there, even the problem with China using the backdoor (so to speak), according to RAND’s report, the US-China war could start in the East China Sea. In this case, the Japan-China territorial dispute at the Senkaku islands could be the trigger that will start the war between US and China. The bad part of this ‘studied scenario’ is the glaring reality of the US virtual military bases here via EDCA (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement) and before we know it, we are waging the American war against China just because we allowed it or should we say, our past leaders did it as slaves to a perceived master.

Another irony (according to RAND Corporation) is the use of conventional warfare if ever the US-China war will happen. No nukes! Seriously?

In this age, if one is in the league of nuclear-armed superpowers, and not to use nuclear weapons if threatened or in the line of fire and in the middle of a war, is insane.

To continue the RAND study it states – “As Chinese anti-access and area-denial (A2AD) capabilities improve, the United States can no longer be so certain that war would follow its plan and lead to decisive victory. This analysis illuminates various paths a war with China could take and their possible consequences.

Technological advances in the ability to target opposing forces are creating conditions of conventional counterforce, whereby each side has the means to strike and degrade the other's forces and, therefore, an incentive to do so promptly, if not first. This implies fierce early exchanges, with steep military losses on both sides, until one gains control. At present, Chinese losses would greatly exceed U.S. losses, and the gap would only grow as fighting persisted. But, by 2025, that gap could be much smaller. Even then, however, China could not be confident of gaining military advantage, which suggests the possibility of a prolonged and destructive, yet inconclusive, war. In that event, nonmilitary factors — economic costs, internal political effects, and international reactions — could become more important.

Political leaders on both sides could limit the severity of war by ordering their respective militaries to refrain from swift and massive conventional counterforce attacks. The resulting restricted, sporadic fighting could substantially reduce military losses and economic harm. This possibility underscores the importance of firm civilian control over wartime decision-making and of communication between capitals. At the same time, the United States can prepare for a long and severe war by reducing its vulnerability to Chinese A2AD forces and developing plans to ensure that economic and international consequences would work to its advantage.

Both sides would suffer large military losses in a severe conflict. In 2015, U.S. losses could be a relatively small fraction of forces committed, but still significant; Chinese losses could be much heavier than U.S. losses and a substantial fraction of forces committed.

This gap in losses will shrink as Chinese A2AD improves. By 2025, U.S. losses could range from significant to heavy; Chinese losses, while still very heavy, could be somewhat less than in 2015, owing to increased degradation of U.S. strike capabilities.

China's A2AD will make it increasingly difficult for the United States to gain military-operational dominance and victory, even in a long war.”

Now they are talking about a severe long war. A perpetual war? God forbid!

We have to be ready and if there is still time correct the mistakes of the past leaders and demand what is due us from our treaty allies if war really is inevitable.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

After Ramos, Narco-Politics Proliferate by Erick San Juan

After Ramos, Narco-Politics Proliferate by Erick San Juan

“I don't want to defy economic logic and say supply creates demand, but to a certain extent it feels that way,"  Steven Dudley, co-founder of InSight Crime, a foundation that studies organized crime in Latin America.

Because as long as there are people willing to produce and supply the illicit drugs to users and would-be users, demands will be created in the process for something that is very addicting creating the demand would be that easy.

This perennial problem of drug trafficking tackled at the meeting of diplomats and top officials from governments around the world in mid-April this year at United Nations headquarters in New York to discuss what to do about the global drug problem. Over the course of four days and multiple discussions, the assembled dignitaries vowed to take a more comprehensive approach to the issue than in years past — but they also decided to keep waging the war on drugs.

The "outcome document" adopted during the UN General Assembly's special session (UNGASS) calls for countries to "prevent and counter" drug-related crime by disrupting the "illicit cultivation, production, manufacturing, and trafficking" of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and other substances banned by international law. The document also reaffirmed the UN's "unwavering commitment" to "supply reduction and related measures."

Yet according to the UN's own data, the supply-oriented approach to fighting drug trafficking has been a failure of epic proportions. Last May, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) issued its 2015 World Drug Report, which shows that — despite billions of dollars spent trying to eradicate illicit crops, seize drug loads, and arrest traffickers — more people than ever before are getting high.

The UNODC conservatively estimated that in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available, 246 million people worldwide, or 1 out of 20 individuals between the ages of 15 and 64, used an illicit drug, an increase of 3 million people over the previous year. More alarmingly, 27 million people were characterized as "problem drug users." Only one out of every six of these problem users had access to any sort of addiction treatment. (Source: The Golden Age of Drug Trafficking: How Meth, Cocaine, and Heroin Move Around the World by Keegan Hamilton, April 2016)

The efforts of the Duterte administration on its war on drugs for its first month has already shown how this drug problem has deeply penetrated the very roots of our society. Unfortunately, President Rody Duterte said that the so-called big fish is not here in the country. Supplies are just coming in from abroad and the contacts here – the drug lords and its minions are the ones selling the “merchandize” to the locals.

How to stop drug trafficking is the number one problem now because experts believe that the rise of globalization and high-speed and hi-tech form of communications made the trafficking or transactions of illegal drugs much easier.

Of the three most used illegal drugs - meth, cocaine, and heroin, it is the methamphetamine (or shabu) that is very popular here in the country.

According to Hamilton in his article, demand for methamphetamine has soared since the UN's last drug summit in 1998, and it has become one of the most popular — and profitable — illicit substances in nearly every corner of the world. From Australia and Asia to Africa and North America, meth is the poster drug for the global narco economy.

The quantities of meth confiscated by authorities over the past decade reflect its rise. According to the UNODC, global meth seizures nearly quadrupled from 24 tons in 2008 to 114 tons in 2012. Meth seizures in Mexico increased from 341 kilograms in 2008 to 44 tons in 2012. In Australia, meth seizures in Australia soared by more than 400 percent in a single year, climbing from 426 kilograms in 2011 to 2,269 kilos in 2012.

In Asia, meth is primarily produced in China, where the precursor chemicals needed to synthesize the drug are abundant, and in the lawless Golden Triangle region of Myanmar and Laos. Douglas, the UNODC rep in Southeast Asia, said that "crystal meth is exploding in the region." According to the UNODC's preliminary estimate, 25 tons of meth were seized last year across the region.

Douglas said part of meth's appeal for drug traffickers is the relatively low startup and overhead costs. Producing heroin requires paying hundreds of farmers to tend crops that can produce only a limited amount of poppy gum per harvest. For meth, it takes only a shipment of relatively easy-to-obtain chemicals and a little bit of scientific knowhow. The drug can be shipped to countries like Australia, which offers the highest price per kilo of meth anywhere in the world, and sold for an enormous profit.

But for the most part, the chemicals used to make the world's meth originate in China, where a booming pharmaceutical industry manufactures all the raw ingredients to produce "ice," the common name for glassy shards of high-purity crystal meth. According to data presented by the Chinese government at UNGASS, the country seized a whopping 20,338 tons of meth precursor chemicals from 2009 to 2015. Busts have shown that individual villages are capable of producing enormous quantities of the drug. On a single day in 2013 in Boshe, a village northeast of Hong Kong on the Chinese mainland, authorities seized three tons of meth and more than 100 tons of precursors.

"With crystal meth, the leader appears to be China, but they also produce significant amounts in the Philippines and in Indonesia, and also to some extent in Myanmar," Douglas said. "But what we've seen in recent years is industrial-scale production from a few labs in China."

In 1995, i wrote an article, 'After FVR, Narco-Politics in the Offing', published by several newspapers. I'm now vindicated.

It is about time that all of us should be ever vigilant and help the Duterte government to put a STOP to this drug menace and really pray harder that his administration will have the strength to continuously fight this ‘war’  and that he may live longer to see its success. May God bless us all.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Left, Who's the Real Leader? by Erick San Juan

The Left, Who's the Real Leader? by Erick San Juan

More power to President Rodrigo Duterte and his goal to unify the nation since day one of his term, a sweeping unity making waves across the political spectrum but unfortunately it was not rightly reciprocated by the other party from the left. The President’s offer of a unilateral ceasefire to the CPP-NPA-NDF announced during his State of the Nation Address was recently cancelled.

According to reports, President Duterte issued the ultimatum after a government militia man was killed and four others were wounded in what the military said was an ambush by the NPA (New Peoples Army) in the southern province of Compostela Valley last Wednesday. The rebels owned up to the attack, but said they were thwarting an Army offensive.

The response from the communist party was later given after three hours from the deadline. It is now clear that local NPA's are not the ideologues that we know in the past. There appears to be 'phantom' leaders for every faction within. They could be corrupt politicians, scalawags in uniform, dubious businessmen in the provinces and covert power blocs. Even Joma Sison does not control the local combatants. I don't even believe that he has the real say in that NDF(National Democratic Front) office in Utrecht. So why talk with a Christian for National Liberation inspired NDF?

Historically, PKP (Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas) was infiltrated by foreign agents like US clandestine operator William Pomeroy and even the so called 'muscovites'. Pomeroy studied in UP, met and married Celia.

Taken from their website CPP       (Communist Party of the Philippines), the Philippine Revolution Web Central, this is what they say about Pomeroy.

"It is clear why sharp attention has been given to Pomeroy. He has been the most valuable among the Lava revisionist renegades in spreading in the Philippines and abroad counter-revolutionary revisionist ideas. His writings have been published and circulated by the Soviet, American and Philippine revisionist renegades."

"Pomeroy is liable to have spread noxious ideas more than the Lavas themselves, the dynastic chieftains of the Philippine revisionist renegades, whose writings are sparse and crude. As a matter of fact, his writings are often quoted and cited by the Lava revisionist renegades who look up to him as some sort of ideological authority."

Among the Lava revisionist renegades, Pomeroy enjoys today the status of being the most trusted agent of Soviet social-imperialism. Under the cover of revisionist phrase-mongering, he also exercises his role as a special agent of U.S. imperialism. There is ample proof to show that he has been an undercover agent of U.S. imperialism, with the specific task of sabotaging the Philippine revolutionary movement.

His counter-revolutionary record is well-known in the Philippines. He collaborated with the notorious anti-communist Luis Taruc in writing the “autobiography” of betrayal, Born of the People. Under the pretext of gathering material for this book, he gathered intelligence data for U.S. imperialism. At the same time, he glorified Taruc in a sleek maneuver to spread counter-revolutionary ideas and the black line of capitulationism. To keep himself planted in the old merger party, he followed the Jose-Jesus Lava clique in its shifts from Right opportunism to “Left” opportunism.

After giving himself up to the enemy in the course of Operation “Four Roses” in 1952, he spent time in prison only to be part of the reactionary government’s campaign to break the spirit of political prisoners and sponge for information that filtered in from the revolutionary mass movement. He wrote in prison the first draft of the pessimistic book, The Forest, despite the objections of others. It was upon the intercession of the U.S. government that he was released from prison in late 1961, a decade ahead of the release of those who had been sentenced like him to life imprisonment at the least. His release was in line with the U.S. imperialist support for the splitting activities of the Khrushchov revisionist renegade clique in the international communist movement. His ability to write opportunist trash qualified him for a new task from his U.S. imperialist master. (Pomeroy's Portrait: Revisionist Renegade, April 22, 1972)

There is so much to learn from history. This is the reason why we are being faced with this perennial problem created by the so called communist rebels. Even the late President Ferdinand Marcos created his own clandestine operation of leftists through the late General Galileo Kintanar then of ISAFP but some of his people used them in extracurricular and illegal activities and blamed the NPA.

Same thing happened to the late Popoy Lagman’s Alex Boncayao Brigade. At first it was instrumental in the killing of scalawags in uniform but in his last days he got worried that his ABB was being used and tagged as behind some criminal activities.

And now we have the leadership of an action man who will do whatever it takes to unify the nation peacefully, we hope and pray that with the support of the whole Filipino populace, such peace and unity can be achieved.

For the other questions that still unanswered in the course of understanding the so-called ‘reds’ like - how was the NDF created without the sanction of the Politburo of the CPP/NPA? And why was PKP dismantled and metamorphosed into CPP without the approval of the hierarchy of PKP/HMB(Hukbong Mapagpalaya ng Bayan)? Who are the puppet masters and puppets behind the scene? Is Benito Tiamzon the real head of our local communists? Who is George Madlos of NPA in Mindanao working for? What was the real participation of the late Jesuit priest Fr. Jose 'Derp' Blanco of Ateneo in the recruitment of former UP Professors Jose Ma. Sison and Nur Misuari to destabilize the Marcos regime? Please read my book DOSSIERS, to know more. It will be out in the market very soon. Also read my other 5 conspiracy books at