Wednesday, May 24, 2017

China's Double Talk by Erick San Juan

China's Double Talk by Erick San Juan

We are living in very exciting times of war threats and countries being dragged on the brink of actual shooting war. There is the ever threatening North Korea with its stubborn leader and the bully in the region that is making the neighborhood nervous.

In the midst of ‘warm friendly talks’, President Rodrigo Duterte said that China’s Xi Jinping threatened the country of a war if we insist of oil drilling in our territories in the South China Sea. Below is our leader's version of what transpired between Him and President Xi :

“I said, Mr. Xi Jinping, I will insist that it is ours and we will drill oil,” Duterte said in a speech in Davao City.

“Sinabi ko talaga harap-harapan, that is ours and we intend to drill oil there. My view is I can drill the oil. Ang sagot sa akin, ‘Well we are friends. We don’t want to quarrel with you. We want to maintain warm relationship, but if you force the issue we will go to war.’ Ano pa bang sabihin ko?”

The mere fact that this incident came from the President himself, still some people ‘clarified’ the incident as not true or it is not what it was meant to be.

Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying sought to make light of Duterte's comments, noting he and Xi had agreed to "strengthen communication" on important bilateral issues.

"During the meeting, leaders of the two countries exchanged views in depth on future development of China-Philippines relations and relevant issues. Both sides agree to strengthen communication on important issues related to the development of bilateral relations, and to proceed in a healthy, stable and correct path of good neighborly relations and cooperation," Hua said.

"In the future, China is willing to make joint efforts with the Philippines to implement important consensus reached by both heads of state, to properly handle disputes between the two countries through peaceful, friendly and cooperative (methods), to continuously deepen and expand pragmatic cooperation in various fields and to push forward a healthy and stable development of China-Philippines relations," Hua added.

According to some reports, even our very own Ambassador to China denied Beijing’s bullying. Philippine Ambassador to China Chito Sta. Romana, who joined the first Bilateral Consultation Mechanism (BCM) between Manila and Beijing last week, said there was no threat from the Chinese side during the talks.

But pundits believe that as our Philippine ambassador to China, Chito should have waited for China's ambassador to speak to clarify the incident. "Parang sya ang mouthpiece of China"
"But by own experience in the bilateral talks, [there were] no threats, no bullying, everything was frank but friendly, candid but productive," he told ANC.
"The whole idea...therefore that China was bullying us and threatening us just doesn’t pass," Sta. Romana added.

Although the above-mentioned statements clarified that there was no threat, still we have to be wary in dealing with China because Beijing said time and again that they will not honor the ruling from the Permanent Court of Arbitration and that they will settle any disputes only through bilateral talks.
Again, the politicians and the ordinary Filipinos are divided on how to deal with this development in the Manila-Beijing relations. Actually, if we will going to base on the Filipino culture’s view on friendship, it is a big no-no that friends treat each other wrongly like giving threats when they feel that their interest is at stake.
On the other hand, it's not only PRRD but some nationalists have already doubts that the US will come to our rescue if China will attack us.
Some pundits believe that China’s war threat is baseless due to the fact that China just launched its Belt and Road Initiative and going to war or just merely a war threat is not in their immediate agenda. Peace for development is their top priority for now.
But war or no war threat, the reality is China with its soft power using the One Belt One Road op is actually building an empire to export its surplus, giving soft loans and in the process creating the debt trap. And for those who cannot pay in cash will pay in kind like some land and rich mineral resources. Translation- possibly making the indebted Philippines a province of China without firing a single shot. Be vigilant!


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