Why we Filipinos owe China a big favor
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2012-07-22
In a way, we Filipinos can thank China for the bullying it has been doing to us due to the Scarborough Shoal row. If China didn’t shift its policy of applying soft power – to what we can now call a mailed fist policy – Filipinos may not have awakened to the single biggest threat to our national security.

Before China started bullying us in Scarborough Shoal, we went about our business as if the Annabelle Rama versus the rest of showbiz brouhaha topped our national priority. Many of our countrymen were more concerned about the battle of fishwives than they should be about being dragged into the frontline of a US-China conflict.

It’s terrifying when you look at how many Filipinos have this penchant for making the unimportant important and the important unimportant. We indulge in too many inanities, a good deal of it provided by our media, with nary an idea of what’s developing into a perfect storm that can kill us, our family and friends – even raze our country to rubble.

What’s this development that poses a serious threat to Filipino lives and property? It’s the escalation of US and China preparations for what both sides have deemed an unavoidable conflict in Asia, with us in the middle and very possibly the frontline.

Your Chair Wrecker had raised the alarm over five years ago, even connecting the special interest of the US in our Mindanao Muslim problem to American preparations for the projected conflict. In my November 30, 2008 and December 2, 2008 columns about the NIC (National Intelligence Council of the US) Global Trends 2025 Report many of the signs that lead us to where we are today were discussed. The NIC, the highest US intelligence body, predicted the decline of US power and influence and the rise of China in what is called the China century.

Very few in our media have seen this as a great danger to our lives and property and so they hardly discussed it. Geopolitical conflict is not the stuff that our showbiz, scandal, gossip addicted media would consider as topics that deliver revenues. The only time this development has grabbed front pages and major broadcast headlines was after the Chinese made a grab for Scarborough/Panatag Shoal.

Yet even when we were agitated over Chinese bullying, hardly anything in our media alerted us that this is just the tip of the iceberg that can sink our country. The worse case scenario is if this escalates to violent conflict between the two mightiest nations in the world. Only an idiot – a person who does not recognize the truth – would deny this dire possibility of a worse case scenario. The signs are all there for idiots to recognize.

China suddenly veered from its diplomatic and economic approaches to attain its geopolitical objectives and is now aggressively asserting what it claims to be part of its territory. On the other side, the US is shifting its naval forces to the Pacific and is targeting the relocation to Asia of 60 percent of US naval strength. The stakes are very high. We are into the Asian century, led by China. The US and European economies are in disarray and a superpower like the US cannot afford to have a weak military presence in Asia.

In our neck of the woods, we’ve never seen this face of China as a bully before. We’ve heard of how they’ve bullied the Tibetans but over here in Southeast Asia, China was content to seduce us with its economic power. The change of posture isn’t arbitrary but deliberate – consistent with what Chinese leaders see as a desperate US attempt to maintain its Pacific imperial strongholds. Clearly, both the US and China see an eventual conflict between two big bullies and they both saw this over a decade ago.

One of the reasons why most Filipinos fail to see the big picture is because most Filipinos have been conditioned to become short-term thinkers. Many just think from meal to meal, as forced by economic circumstance. Many Filipinos hardly bother to learn geopolitical developments, not realizing that these developments, no different from World War II and the Cold War, do affect us in a major way. Malayo sa bituka (far from the stomach) is how many Filipinos would view a conflict between Russia and the US or China and the US. It’s a classic case of what they don’t want to know will kill them.

We are indeed very fortunate that we have a leader today who has earned the respect of the world – President Noynoy Aquino (P-Noy). Imagine us facing this developing crisis with Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (GMA) still at the helm. During her unlamented regime, many suspected that China had her in their pockets – what with all those mega contracts awarded to Chinese firms and the subsequent scandals they spawned. Assumed to be under the control of China and thoroughly distrusted by the US – GMA is the last person we would want representing us in this crisis.

The number of top caliber world leaders or movers that have called on P-Noy is testament to the respect that he has earned in the world community. Recently, he became the first Philippine president to be invited to a working meeting with the UK leaders, led by Prime Minister David Cameron. He just returned from another working visit to the US where he met with President Barrack Obama. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has visited P-Noy here, as did the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US armed forces and the head of the US Pacific Command.

When you’re being given this much attention, rest assured that the superpowers are finding ways to use us and our country to attain their ends. It’s also for this reason that we must be thankful that we have P-Noy as our president today. With him at the helm, we can be assured that he will only see things from one perspective and that’s Philippine national interest.

P-Noy will need the active support of every Filipino if we’re to protect our families and property from foreign bullies. Let’s drop our silly debates over the most inane of topics and give our leader the support he needs in order to save our country. Those armchair generals trying to dictate military and diplomatic policies sans a complete grasp of the geopolitical realities should stop demonstrating the little they’ve got.

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Shakespeare: “Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.”

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Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

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A great disservice to P-Noy

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