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"See how wicked people think up evil; they plan trouble & practice deception.But in the traps they set for others,they themselves get caught. So they are punished by their own evil &are hurt by their own violence.I thank the Lord for his justice;I sing praises to the Lord." Psalm 7:14

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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

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

President Duterte: Are You Simply Naive or Really Pro-China Bully?

"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)
“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.
By Federico Pascual, Philippine Star
THE ALARMING transformation of the West Philippine Sea into a security flashpoint with military outposts bristling with missiles should jolt President Rodrigo Duterte into abandoning the naïve notion that he can tackle China by his lonesome.
From the very beginning of his dalliance with Beijing in 2016, under the pretext of striking out on an independent foreign policy, Duterte should have held reservations about his “love” for his counterpart President Xi Jinping and China’s abiding “good faith.”
Recent developments in what used to be tranquil Philippine seas have shown not only the error of being too trusting and the folly of reducing relations to a game of chance – betting national interests against illusions of winning massive aid, loans and investments.
Events have shown that while the mayor of Davao is cunning enough in local politics, he does not have the deep background and expansive perspective needed by one thrust into the role of architect and spokesman of the country’s foreign relations.
With due respect, Duterte’s basic blunder is his believing that by himself he could handle the veteran Xi Jinping and the Chinese ambassador in Manila, he with the unsettling grin of a Cheshire Cat.
We’ve had just two years of Duterte, not yet into the end game of his six-year term, but it is clear to a growing number of Filipinos watching nervously that Duterte has been outplayed by the Chinese. 
THE ALARMING transformation of the West Philippine Sea into a security flashpoint with military outposts bristling with missiles should jolt President Rodrigo Duterte into abandoning the naïve notion that he can tackle China by his lonesome.
From the very beginning of his dalliance with Beijing in 2016, under the pretext of striking out on an independent foreign policy, Duterte should have held reservations about his “love” for his counterpart President Xi Jinping and China’s abiding “good faith.”
Recent developments in what used to be tranquil Philippine seas have shown not only the error of being too trusting and the folly of reducing relations to a game of chance – betting national interests against illusions of winning massive aid, loans and investments.
Events have shown that while the mayor of Davao is cunning enough in local politics, he does not have the deep background and expansive perspective needed by one thrust into the role of architect and spokesman of the country’s foreign relations.
With due respect, Duterte’s basic blunder is his believing that by himself he could handle the veteran Xi Jinping and the Chinese ambassador in Manila, he with the unsettling grin of a Cheshire Cat.
We’ve had just two years of Duterte, not yet into the end game of his six-year term, but it is clear to a growing number of Filipinos watching nervously that Duterte has been outplayed by the Chinese. 
"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
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 former 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.
Former President Obama and his representatives had 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.”