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“How shall freedom be defended? By arms when it is attacked by arms, by truth when it is attacked by lies, by faith when it is attacked by authoritarian dogma. Always, in the final act, by determination and faith.”

― Archibald MacLeish

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

DFA Sec.Yasay: Are you Naive or Simply Pro-China Bully?

“At what point do you say, ‘Enough is enough’? Well, the world has to say it — remember that the Sudetenland was given in an attempt to appease Hitler to prevent World War II.” P.Noy
From New York Times
MANILA — Former Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III called on for nations around the world to do more to support the Philippines in resisting China’s assertive claims to the seas near his country, drawing a comparison to the West’s failure to support 
Czechoslovakia against Hitler’s demands for Czech land in 1938.
Mr. Aquino’s remarks are among the strongest indications yet of alarm among Asian heads of state about China’s military buildup and territorial ambitions, and the second time in recent weeks that an Asian leader has volunteered a comparison to the prelude to world wars.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan caused a stir in Davos, Switzerland, when he noted last month that Britain and Germany went to war in 1914 even though they had close economic ties — much as China and Japan have now.
Japan has been locked in an increasingly tense standoff with China over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, and even South Korea, which has been quieter about Chinese claims, expressed alarm last year when Beijing announced that it had the right to police the skies above a vast area of ocean, including areas claimed by Japan and South Korea.
While China’s efforts to claim rocks, shoals and fishing grounds off the coast of the Philippines in the South China Sea have been less high-profile, the Chinese have moved faster there.
"I wish to show those who deny us patriotism that we know how to die for our country and convictions." 
-Jose Rizal 
(inscribed at Fort Santiago Walls)
“It only simply means whatever that the International Tribunal decision will be, let us not come up with provocative statements that will serve no other purpose but to heighten tensions because the Philippine Constitution also mandates that we must settle our disputes peaceably through negotiations. We renounce war strictly as an instrument of national policy.” Yasay
But is war the only alternative? This is what China wants many to believe, that it is, in President Xi Jinping’s words, “not afraid of trouble.” It is unsettling to read the country’s top diplomat misunderstand the nature of, the possibilities opened up by, a diplomatic victory. 
charitable view. The harsher view is he is either naive or pro-China. Consider his explanation of President Duterte’s marching orders, that he was looking for a “soft landing” after the ruling is handed down. From INQUIRER John Nery
"There are no tyrants where there are no slaves."
Jose Rizal
"Imperialism will not last long because it always does evil things. It persists in grooming and supporting reactionaries in all countries who are against the people, it has forcibly seized many colonies and semi-colonies and many military bases, and it threatens the peace with atomic war. Thus, forced by imperialism to do so, more than 90 per cent of the people of the world are rising or will rise up in struggle against it. Yet imperialism is still alive, still running amuck in Asia, Africa and Latin America." Chairman Mao 
“Since [the standoff], we have begun to take measures to seal and control the areas around the Huangyan Island,” Maj. Gen. Zhang Zhaozhong, of China’s People’s Liberation Army, said in a television interview in May, using the Chinese term for Scarborough. (That there are three different names for the same set of uninhabitable rocks tells you much of what you need to know about the region.) He described a “cabbage strategy,” which entails surrounding a contested area with so many boats — fishermen, fishing administration ships, marine surveillance ships, navy warships — that “the island is thus wrapped layer by layer like a cabbage.” FROM NYT
FROM NYT
China's Cabbage Strategy vs. the Philippines
China is currently in disputes with several of its neighbors, and the Chinese have become decidedly more willing to wield a heavy stick. There is a growing sense that they have been waiting a long time to flex their muscles and that that time has finally arrived. “Nothing in China happens overnight,” Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt, the director of Asia-Pacific programs at the United States Institute of Peace, said. “Any move you see was planned and prepared for years, if not more. So obviously this maritime issue is very important to China.”
It is also very important to the United States, as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made clear at a gathering of the Association of Southeast Nations (Asean) in Hanoi in July 2010. Clinton declared that freedom of navigation in the South China Sea was a “national interest” of the United States, and that “legitimate claims to maritime space in the South China Sea should be derived solely from legitimate claims to land features,” which could be taken to mean that China’s nine-dash line was illegitimate. The Chinese foreign minister, Yang Jiechi, chafed visibly, left the meeting for an hour and returned only to launch into a long, vituperative speech about the danger of cooperation with outside powers.
President Obama and his representatives have reiterated America’s interest in the region ever since. The Americans pointedly refuse to take sides in the sovereignty disputes. But China’s behavior as it becomes more powerful, along with freedom of navigation and control over South China Sea shipping lanes, will be among the major global political issues of the 21st century. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, of the $5.3 trillion in global trade that transits the South China Sea each year, $1.2 trillion of it touches U.S. ports — and so American foreign policy has begun to shift accordingly.
In a major speech in Singapore, Leon Panetta, then the secretary of defense, described the coming pivot in U.S. strategy in precise terms: “While the U.S. will remain a global force for security and stability, we will of necessity rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region.” He referred to the United States as a “Pacific nation,” with a capital “P” and no irony, and then announced a series of changes — most notably that the roughly 50-50 balance of U.S. naval forces between the Pacific and the Atlantic would become 60-40 Pacific by 2020. Given the size of the U.S. Navy, this is enormously significant.
The United States helped broker an agreement for both China’s and the Philippines’s ships to leave Scarborough Shoal peacefully, but China never left. They eventually blocked access to the shoal and filled in a nest of boats around it to ward off foreign fishermen.
There can be no question that the cabbage strategy is in effect now at Ayungin and has been at least since May. General Zhang, in his interview several months ago, listed Ren’ai Shoal (the Chinese name for Ayungin) in the P.L.A.’s “series of achievements” in the South China Sea. He had already put it in the win column, even though eight Filipino marines still live there. He also seemed to take some pleasure in the strategy.
Of taking territory from the Philippines, he said: “We should do more such things in the future. For those small islands, only a few troopers are able to station on each of them, but there is no food or even drinking water there. If we carry out the cabbage strategy, you will not be able to send food and drinking water onto the islands. Without the supply for one or two weeks, the troopers stationed there will leave the islands on their own. Once they have left, they will never be able to come back.”
By Michelle FlorCruz (IBT)
The Shanghai-based news-blog, The Shanghaiist.com, a particularly strident pro-government local newspaper, Weweipo, published a war-mongering article describing the “Six Wars China Is Sure to Fight In the Next 50 Years.”
The article essentially predicts that most of China’s current border disputes will eventually lead to war.
Over the next 50 years, the article expects China to be engaged in war over the following issues:
1.       Taiwanese unification (2020-2025)
While China and Taiwan currently have fairly peaceful relations, the mainland continues to strive for “unification.”
2.       South China Sea islands (2025-2030)
According to a translation of the original article, as published by StratRisk.com, following the inevitable "return" of Taiwan, “South East Asian countries” will “already be shivering.” This momentum will be the driving force behind negotiations to “reconquer” South China Sea islands like the Spratlys, which neighboring governments like Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam all lay claim to.
3.       “Southern Tibet" (2035-2040)
Though China and India share a long border along China’s southwest region, a Himalayan area claimed as "southern Tibet" is the main point of contention between the two huge nations. The article suggests that “the best strategy for China is to incite the disintegration of India” by dividing the nation into several smaller countries so “India will have no power to cope with China."
4.       East China Sea islands (2040-2045)
Unsurprisingly, the newspaper reaffirms that the East China Sea island groups of Diaoyu and Ryukyu, known in Japan as Senkaku and Okinawa, belong to China. While the article says the conflict won’t take place until 2040, other scholars have estimated that a war between China and Japan, and likely the U.S., could happen sooner.
5.       “Outer” Mongolia (2045-2050)
“If Outer Mongolia can return to China peacefully, it is the best result, of course; but if China meets foreign intervention or resistance, China should be prepared to take military action,” the article reads.
6.       “Recover the territory seized by Russia” (2055-2060)
The article recognizes the current good relations between China and Russia but insists that “China never forgets the lands lost to Russia” in past centuries, adding that “when the chance comes, China will take back the lands.”