Tag Archives: China

[Off-the-shelf] China: An Imperial Power in the Image of the West? – Focus on the Global South

This study seeks to answer the question: Is China an imperial power in the image of the West in its relationship with the global south?

Over the last 15 years, there have been increasing accusations of Chinese state enterprises and private companies being involved in unfair labor practices, environmentally damaging projects, land-grabbing, locking borrowing countries into debt, and indirectly providing support for dictatorships. many of these accusations parallel similar criticisms of the behavior of state-owned enterprises, private capitalists, and local authorities within China itself. China has also drawn criticism for its unilateral moves in seizing disputed maritime formations and violating the territorial and economic rights of its neighbors in the south China sea. Many of these criticisms are valid, and unless China addresses them in a positive fashion soon, these questionable behaviors and practices could congeal into structures of domination similar to those that have marked the relationship of the West with the global south.

Perhaps, equally worrisome is that China’s expansion has its own complex of worrisome characteristics that are not reducible solely to reproducing western patterns but can also lead, if unchecked, to hegemonic behavior. Foremost among these is a technocratic top-down approach to development with a cross-ideological appeal that is resistant to democratic control and insensitive to environmental considerations, fully on display in Beijing’s Belt and road Initiative.

Frank and fearless criticism of China’s disturbing practices, the study argues, is the best way to help prevent it from following in the footsteps of the West.
“Walden Bello has been one of the most powerful intellectual warriors against Western hegemony and an empathetic advocate of independent development in the Global South for decades. Now, confronting the rise of China, Bello pulls no punches in critiquing this new hegemon and analyzing its origins and weaknesses.”

Ho Fung Hung
Wiesenfeld Professor in Political Economy, Johns Hopkins University; author of The China Boom: Why China Will Not Rule the World.

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China: An Imperial Power in the Image of the West?

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[In the news] Civil society groups express support for ‘Recto Bank 22’ -INQUIRER.net

A network of civil society organizations remains in solidarity with the 22 fishermen from San Jose town in Occidental Mindoro who figured in an incident with a Chinese trawler in Recto Bank at the West Philippine Sea.

“The fisherfolk sector provides food in our table, with the farmers, they are the backbone of our society. Yet, they are among the poorest of the poor. Government should protect them because without them the whole nation will go hungry,” said the Philippine Misereor Partnership, Inc. (PMPI) in an emailed statement.

PMPI, a network of civil society organizations, rights groups, peace and faith-based institutions, expressed disbelief and disgust over the position and standpoints issued by the Philippine government regarding the “ramming and sinking” of F/B Gem-Vir by the Chinese vessel in the disputed sea.

The group cried “foul” at the seeming harassment through indirect bribes and intimidation by government leaders and the dismissive statements on the claims of the fisherfolks who said a Chinese vessel rammed and sunk their vessel midnight of June 9.

“These actions show the world that it is ready to submit to China and lose whatever dignity we have as a people,” said PMPI.

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Civil society groups express support for ‘Recto Bank 22’

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[From the web] Hong Kong suspends controversial extradition bill after mass protests -CNN Philippines

(CNN) — Hong Kong will suspend a controversial China extradition bill, its leader said Saturday, in an apparent bid to quell further unrest and mass demonstrations throughout the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

Speaking after consultations with lawmakers, Chief Executive Carrie Lam said passage of the bill would be suspended and a second reading due to take place this month canceled. There is no timeline for discussions around the bill to resume, Lam said, and she indicated it likely will not pass this year.

“We have made many attempts to narrow differences and eliminate doubts,” Lam said. “In the last week, tens of thousands of people took part in protests and gatherings. Serious conflicts broke out … resulting in a number of police officers, media workers and other members of the public being injured. I am saddened by this.”

She added that in suspending the bill she hoped the government could “restore calmness” to society. Failure to do so would “deal another blow to the society,” Lam said.

The climbdown over the bill will raise questions over Lam’s future. Before she became Chief Executive in 2017, Lam said she would resign “if mainstream opinion makes me no longer able to continue the job.”

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[In the news] INSIDE STORY: How Filipino crew were saved by Vietnamese in West PH Sea -RAPPLER.com

When a Chinese vessel rammed and sank their ship on June 9 near Recto Bank, the Filipino crew and their captain saw hope from afar.

“Meron pong natanaw na ilaw mga limang milya po ang layo (We spotted light 5 miles away),” said Junel Insigne, the captain of Fishing Boat Gem-Ver. He was telling reporters on Friday, June 14, aboard BRP Tarlac the story of their traumatic night at sea.

At that point, the 22 men were holding on to their sinking boat to save themselves. The Chinese fishing vessel left a hole in the boat’s rear, causing it to slowly sink from the back. Only a portion of the front remained above water, Insigne said. (READ: Chinese vessel sinks Philippine boat in West PH Sea ‘collision’)

“Pinagsagwan ko sa tao ko (I asked my people to row towards it),” said Insigne, referring to two of his men who used a small boat to row towards the light they saw.

The two men, Justine Pascual and JP Gordiones, were able to float by clinging to one of their small fishing boats.

There was no assurance that the light was coming from a friendly country’s vessel. It was also possible for it to move away while they were still rowing. Still, they rowed on.

“Hindi na namin iniisip ‘yung pagod, takot, gutom, parang wala na ang gutom namin kahit na malayo. Para sa pag-asa lang namin na mabuhay,” Gordiones narrated to Rappler in an interview.

Read more @www.rappler.com/nation

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[In the news] Arroyo defends Duterte response to Philippine boat sinking -RAPPLER.com

Former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo defended the response of President Rodrigo Duterte after a Chinese vessel sank a Philippine boat near Recto Bank (Reed Bank) in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

In an interview with ANC, Arroyo said Duterte and Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr have taken the “right approach.”

Arroyo – one of the Philippines’ most unpopular presidents, who is now speaker of the House of Representatives – said she has “full confidence” in how Duterte and Locsin view the issue.

“Take a calibrated response and be as civil as they have to be. I think that’s the right approach,” Arroyo said in the interview quoted by ABS-CBN News on Friday, June 14.

Stressing the need to boost ties with China, Arroyo added: “China is our big neighbor in the north. Shouldn’t we be friends with our big neighbor in the north?”

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[In the news] China repeating mistakes of past international creditors: civil society group -ABS-CBN news

A civil society group on Sunday said China was repeating the mistakes of international creditors from the 1970s by imposing “conditionalities” on its loans.

Lidy Nacpil, coordinator Asian People’s Movement on Debt and Development, said that like in the 1970s, China has been imposing conditionalities on its loans such as choosing Chinese companies and workers for China-funded projects.

Nacpil said that while China offers lower interest rates for its loans compared to market rates, commercial banks would never tell borrowers what company to hire or which nationalities should work on a project.

“It’s because China has not learned from the many critiques that some of the governments in Europe have already taken heed,” Nacpil said in an interview with ANC.

Nacpil also said Filipinos should be wary of China’s financing for energy projects which tend to favor coal plants and massive hydroelectric projects.

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[In the news] Supreme Court urged to stop, void PH-China irrigation loan deal -CNN Philippines

A petition was filed before the Supreme Court on Thursday to temporarily stop the implementation and eventually void the allegedly onerous irrigation project loan deal between the Philippines and China.

Members of the Makabayan bloc in the House of Representatives asked the high court to issue a temporary restraining order to halt the ₱3.69-billion Chico River Pump Irrigation Project, which has a loan component with a 2 percent interest rate. They said the project, which will begin construction in July, violates the Constitution.

The petitioners, led by Makabayan senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares, said the loan deal has a confidentiality clause “violative of the Constitution that provides for the right to information of the Filipino people on foreign loans contracted by the government.” They said the loan deal was approved after the fact by the Monetary Board, which does not conform to the law that requires prior concurrence.

The group said the loan agreement binds the Philippines to a Chinese arbitration tribunal, which will be officiated by Chinese arbitrators using Chinese laws.

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[In the news] Colmenares, groups ask Supreme Court to block Chinese dam loan -ABS-CBN news

Makabayan Chairman Neri Colmenares and several progressive groups asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to block a $62-million loan from China to fund the construction of the Chico River Dam.

The petitioners argued the deal was unconstitutional because it contained a confidentiality clause that violates the Filipino public’s right to information on foreign loans.

The agreement, they said, was also approved after-the-fact by the Monetary Board, which was against the requirement of prior concurrence under the law.

Under the deal, the project would also be awarded to a Chinese construction firm, thereby doing away with the country’s procurement laws and the Filipino First Policy, the petitioners said.

It also hauls the country to a Chinese arbitration tribunal, officiated by Chinese arbitrators using Chinese laws, in violation of the constitution, they said.

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[Blog] A useless ASEAN will lead to the Sinomization of the entire Southeast Asia. By Jose Mario De Vega

A useless ASEAN will lead to the Sinomization of the entire Southeast Asia
By Jose Mario De Vega

I refer to TJ A. Burgonio’s “PH, Vietnam urge strong Asean action vs China”, Philippine Daily Inquirer, May 12th with regard to the on-going 24th Asean Summit being held at Burma.

Mario De Vega

The world is well aware that besides the usual chores and normal talks of the countries involved in the said region, the highlights of this year’s meeting is not only the first ever time that Burma (a former pariah state) served as the host, but the question of China’s (now, the world’s leading bully besides the US) aggression to the region.

As accurately said by the said report:

“Disturbed by China’s provocation in the South China Sea, the Philippines and Vietnam urged the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) on Sunday to make a united stand to maintain its relevance.

“At a summit hosted by Burma (Myanmar), the Philippines and Vietnam pushed for stronger action to confront China’s aggressive behavior and some Asean leaders expressed concern over China’s provocative moves against the two members of the bloc.”

Comment:

I overwhelmingly concur to the contention that it is only a united and a collective stand by Asean that it can maintain its relevance and honor.

A fragmented Asean is a good for nothing association! The regional bloc must unite to show to themselves; and to the world that it is a solid organization not a mere collection of nations pretending to be united, but sad to say, simply a collection of countries each pursuing their/its own personal self-interests!

I am commending the firmness and bravery of the Philippines and Vietnam in pushing for a stronger and firmer action to confront China’s aggressive behavior.

I am also applauding the utterance of apprehension and expression of concern of some Asean leaders with regard to China’s provocative moves against Manila and Hanoi.

Yet, unfortunately having said that, I am disgustingly disappointed with the said organization for not showing enough resolve, firmness and boldness in condemning China and uniting with the cause of Vietnam and the Philippines on the face of China’s continuous bullying and stand-off with the said two nations.

Again to quote from the report:

“But in their joint statement issued after the summit, the Asean leaders made no direct mention of China, indicating that few were willing to risk their countries’ political and economic relationship with the regional powerhouse.”

Comment:

What kind of bloody organization is this? Two of its members are being victimized arbitrarily and repeatedly by a bullshit bully and some of its nations’ leaders are concern, yet end of the day, the statement that they had issued does not even contain a word about the problem of the region?

How come this so-called organization does not have the guts and the balls to directly and categorically name and mention and point China’s bullyism, aggression and imperialism to the region?

This is absurd!

This year’s summit is the next worst summit next to the meeting held in Cambodia wherein the so-called Asean in its 45 year existence had for the first time failed to issue a joint statement!

This year, yes they did, but what is the point of issuing a joint statement which does not specifically mention the problem?

That stupid so-called joint statement undeniably shows not unity of the Asean but its division, cowardice and playing it safe attitude!

This is a shame!

Technically, this year’s edition of the said summit is just a slightly ‘better’ version of the Phnom Penh meeting, except that if one will look deeply and closely; the end result is the same: which is a shame and a disgrace to the so-called region’s organization!

What is happening now or what is on-going now in Burma is nothing but drama and comedy of the worst tragic kind!

What is the bloody purpose for this so-called organization if they will not come out with a strong and firm and unequivocal statement that indisputably shows their united stand?

The whole world are laughing at this preposterous and lousy organization because it is a good for nothing bunch of useless, selfish and coward nations!

To restate my stand and my view, Asean is nothing but an organization that is pretending to be united, but the sad truth is: they are just fooling and duping themselves!

What is the point of holding each other’s hands, when the other members are merely watching from the sidelines while some of their member’s feet and arms are being beaten by a bloody bastard intruder?

What is the point of having a yearly summit or meeting, if they cannot even agree on the common enemy?

What is the point of all these gatherings and photo ops, when they cannot even issue a joint statement that is truly joint and not disjointed?

The answer is clear as the sky: few countries from Asean “were willing to risk their countries’ political and economic relationship with the regional powerhouse.”

Which means that the so-called Asean has no concept of united we stand, but merely divided to the core and that is base on their individual self-interests!

So bloody shame! So sad but true!

Enough of this fiasco, enough of this drama, enough of this lies and pretensions!

There is no such thing as Asean, it is just a matter of: to each his/its own!

Nonetheless, let me issue a stern and dire warning to the so-called Asean for the nth time while it still ‘stands’:

To the idiotic so-called Asean: enough of your words of concern and apprehension; which have no sense nor meaning because words without concrete action are nothing.

Enough of your pretensions and lies and fake solidarity, because it’s been a long time ago that you are not united.

The bloody good for nothing statement that you “jointly” issued has clearly betrayed the betrayal of the very principles which are supposedly the very values and principles why you all have agreed to establish the so-called organization in the first place!

Asean is dead and so as the rest of you! Sad but true, but your so-called organization is nothing but a zombie and a dead horse worthy of nothing!!!

If you idiots will not unite and forge true solidarity amongst your ranks and stand up as One against bullish and aggressive China; then that bastard bully and emerging imperialist shall conquer and overrun you all — one by one. They will turn the whole Southeast Asian region into a bloody red Chinese lake of fire!

Now that you still have time, grab the opportunity to unite as One, confront and fight China’s bullyism, naked aggression, provocations and imperialism in the region!

Why?

Because there is no iota of doubt that — a useless ASEAN will undeniably lead consequently to the Sinomization of the entire Southeast Asia and beyond…

Either you join your ranks and unite or all of you shall perish… one by one like miserable good for nothing bloody chickens…worthy of nothing…

Idiots, you have been warned!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy and Social Science lecturer

College of Liberal Arts
Social Science Department
Technological University of the Philippines

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[People] The Pacific Pivot and Its Regional Consequences. By Walden Bello

The Pacific Pivot and Its Regional Consequences
By Walden Bello

(Conference on “North Korea and Beyond,”  Center of Korean Studies, Binghamton University, April 25, 2014.)

President Obama is currently in East Asia on a much-publicized tour to tout his so-called “Pacifc Pivot” or “Rebalancing.”  He is slated to visit Korea, Japan, the Philippines, and Malaysia, the first three of which are crucial to the strategy.

Retreat

The Pacific Pivot is a refocusing of US military strategy on the East Asian region.  Its most prominently cited feature is the deployment of 60per cent of the US Navy’s strength to the area.  Though the US denies it officially, the aim is the so-called Containment of China.  Though the US also does not admit it, the Pivot actually represents a retreat from thecomprehensive global military dominance that the neoconservative faction of the US ruling class attempted under Bush. It is a feint, a maneuver to serve as a cover for a limited retreat from America’s disastrous intervention in the Middle East and Southwest Asia.  It is an attempt by Washington toretreat to an area of imperial power projection that it sees as more manageablethan a Middle East that is running out of control.

Walden Bello word.world-citizenship.org

Yet in one sense, the Pacific Pivot is not new. It is simply a return to a salient feature of the pre-9/11 global military posture of the George W. Bush administration articulated in the 2002 National Security Strategy Paper, which redefined China from being a “strategic partner” to a “strategic competitor.” The“Contain China” strategy was put on hold after 9/11, owing to Washington’s drive to win allies for its “War on Terror.” But while it is not new, there is an urgency to the containment strategy under Obama owing to developments in the intervening decade.

Smoke rather than Firepower

But aside from the deployment of 60 per cent of the US fleet, what does it mean in concrete terms in terms of US power projection capabilities?  The key movements have been modest: the rotation of a Marine Corps battle group in Darwin, the relocation of the Futenma Marine Corps Air Station to another site within Okinawa, the redeployment of 8000 US Marines from Okinawa to Guam and other sites in the Pacific, and the negotiation of an expanded US militarypresence in the Philippines.

Some analysts like John Feffer have called the Pacific Pivot more “smoke than firepower,” and that the thrust is not so much to add substantially to the US military power in the region but to get US allies like Japan to take more of the so-called burden of defines by strengthening their armed forces via, among other things, arms imports from theUS.  As Feffer puts it, “In an age of economic austerity…the Pacific pivot amounts to a complicated dance in which the United States steps backward as we propel our allies forward.  It might seem a penny-wise way of sharing the security burden, but the realignment is still woefully expensive.  And “Asianizing” thePacific through arms exports and visiting forces agreements only helps to fuel what has emerged as the most significant arms race in the world today.”

Allies on the Forefront

Pushed by the US, Japan has increased its military spending for the first time in over a decade and has agreed to take a more active role in the supporting US allies like the Philippines via military aid.   The US has added 800 troops to its 28,500 troops in Korea as part of the “rebalancing,” but, more significant, Korea has been steadily increasing its funding of US troops and bases there from $731 million in 2009 to $836 million in 2013.

In the Philippines, the US is finishing negotiations for locating a US base within a Philippine base.  The arrangement flouts the Philippine constitution since it prohibits foreign bases in the country without a treaty, but it saves the US a lot of money since it will not have to pay rent to the Philippines nor will it incur the huge costs of maintaining fixed bases such as Clark Air Force Base and Subic Naval Base, which the US turned over to the Philippines over 20 years ago.  As Frank Chang of the Foreign Policy Research Institute writes, “For the United States, the…agreement helps demonstrate to the Philippines and the region its commitment to the Obama administration’s oft-mentioned pivot or rebalance to Asia and to do so without the expense of building or maintaining new military installations.”  He adds, “It clearly offers the United States a cost-effective way to enhance its presence in Asia, something that Washington has wanted to do for a long time.”

So the main significance of the Pacific Pivotis not so much a substantial increase in US military deployments so far, but Washington’s allies taking on more of the burden of maintaining the US power projection capabilities either by increasing their arms imports from the US or heightening their own military deployments, as in the case of Japan, or providing the US with inexpensive basing facilities, like the Philippines.  Now, whether it is a buildup by the USor its allies, the Pacific Pivot is destabilizing.

China’s Drive to Regional Hegemony

Le tme now move on China. China’s controversial moves in the Western Pacific have served as a convenient excuse for Washington’s reaffirmation of its presence in the region. In particular, Beijing’s claim of the whole South China Sea (now also called the West Philippine Sea) as Chinese territory hasallowed the United States to portray itself as indispensable for protecting the region’s smaller countries from Chinese hegemony. A one-time U.S. colony and ally, the Philippine government has been especially receptive to Washington’s siren call.

In2012, Beijing created “Sansha City” to “administer” the whole West Philippine Sea and the islands and terrestrial features it claims. Among these are the Spratly Islands, nine of which are claimed and occupied by the Philippines, along with Scarborough Shoal, Ayungin Shoal, Panganiban Reef, and Recto Bank, all of which are claimed by the Philippines. The Spratlys are  about 370 kilometers (230 miles) from Palawan and some 1,609 kilometers (1,000 miles) from China. Scarborough Shoal is137 kilometers (85 miles) from the Philippine province of Zambales and 700 kilometers (434 miles) away from China.

The last few months have seen a series of provocative Chinese moves to dislodge the Philippine presence from some of these islands as part of what a Chinesegeneral has called the “Cabbage Strategy.” The thrust of the Cabbage Strategy,Major General Zhang Zhaozhong explained, was to surround Bajo de Masinloc,Ayungin Shoal, and other Philippine territories with a massive Chinese naval presence to starve Filipino detachments and prevent reinforcements from reaching them.

What China adduces as a legal basis for its aggressive moves is a note verbale that Beijing submitted to the United Nations on May 7, 2009. It unilaterally asserted China’s“indisputable sovereignty” over all the islands in the West Philippine Sea and their “adjacent waters/relevant waters.”

Accompanying the note was the infamous “Nine Dash Line” map demarcating China’s claims int he region. No official explanation for the nine-dash line was provided at that time or since, though there have been unofficial references to the islands and waters of the West Philippine Sea being ancestral Chinese territories, and to their inclusion in maps of the defunct Nationalist Chinese regime that date back to the late 1940s.

The Nine-Dash-Line not only claims for China the islands and other terrestrial features in the South China Sea but also asserts that the Philippines, and the four other claimants to all or part of the to South China Sea (Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam), are not entitled to their 200 Nautical Mile Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), since the whole area falls under China’s “indisputable sovereignty.” What most of the other claimants are left with are only the territorial waters that extend 12 nautical miles from their respective coasts.

But the South China Sea disputes go beyond the interests of the six claimant countries. For what China is saying with its nine-dash line is that a body of water that is 3.5 million square kilometers in size—which borders six states, and through which transits one third of the world’s shipping—is the equivalentof a domestic waterway like Lake Michigan in the United States. If allowed to stand, many analysts conclude that the nine-dash line claim will amount to one of the greatest maritime grabs in history.

With the exhaustion of all possible bilateral approaches to address theissue and to show its commitment to the use of peaceful methods to resolve its disagreements with China, the Philippines recently brought its case over Bajo de Masinloc or Scarborough Shoal to the United Nations for international arbitration. The process would allow China, the Philippines and the otherclaimants to clarify their maritime entitlements under UNCLOS, paving the wayfor a truly peaceful and lasting settlement of the West Philippine Sea disputes.The five-member United Nations Arbitral Tribunal formally began the hearing on the Philippine petition last year.  China, however, refuses to participate in the process, a clear indication that itrealizes that international law is not on its side.

Sothe big question is why is China behaving this way? China’s interest in the rich fisheries and oil and gas reserves of the South China Sea is longstanding.Its behavior, however, has grown more aggressive recently.

There are three theories about the mainsprings of the more assertive Chinese posture.The first says it stems from insecurity. China’s increasingly aggressive   less from expansionist intent than from the insecurities brought about by high-speed growth followed by economic crisis. Long dependent for its legitimacy on delivering economic growth, China has recently experienced domestic troubles related to the global financial crisis that have left theCommunist Party leadership groping for a new ideological justification. It has found this in virulent nationalism.

The second theory, my view, is related to the first. It is that China is poised to make major changes in its domestic political economy from which new winners and new losers will emerge owing to the exhaustion of the old export-led development model. An aggressive, nationalist stance of pushing territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea and the Western Pacific, near Japan and Korea, would, in this view, be a way of containing centrifugal forces as the party carries out a comprehensive program of reform.

The third, most commonly accepted, theory is that China’s moves reflect the cold calculation of a confidently rising power. It aims to stake out a monopoly overt he fishing and energy resources of the West Philippine Sea in its bid tobecome a regional, and later a global, hegemon.

But whatever the source of its provocative posture, Beijing’s moves have alarmed its neighbors.  The Philippines, as I noted earlier, is finalizing an agreement with Washington that will create US bases within Philippine bases. Vietnam, Washington’s old enemy, has stepped up military cooperation with the United States and has opened the old Soviet naval base at Cam Ranh Bay to the US Navy for its repair and maintenance needs.  While Vietnam has not formally called for a stronger US military presence owing to a desire not to antagonize China, they have unofficially promoted it. When I visited Hanoi a few years ago in my capacity as a member of the Philippine Congress, I was told by a Foreign Ministry official that as an old US ally, the Philippines must push the US to have a heightened military presence in the South China Sea.

At the meeting of its foreign ministers at the end of June, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) reminded China of its “collective commitment under the [2002] Declaration of Conduct [of Parties] to ensuring the resolutionof disputes by peaceful means in accordance with universally recognised principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), without resorting to the threat or use of force, while exercising self-restraint in the conduct of activities.”

Unrepentant Japan

U.S.-China sparring is worrisome enough, but there is a third source of destabilisation in the region: Japan. Right-wing elements there, including the current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, have taken advantage of China’s moves in the West Philippine Sea and Japan’s dispute with Beijing over the deserted Senkaku Islands to push for a more aggressive military posture.  Under Abe, Japan has pushed for a bigger role in the military configuration in the Pacific, advancing the doctrine of “collective defense,” which means Japan will go the aid of the USand other allies of Japan in the event of conflict in the Western Pacific.  Abe, who is, incidentally the grandson of former Japanese Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, an acquitted Class A War Criminal, has also called for the abolition or amendment of Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, which currently prohibits war as an instrument offoreign policy and prevents Japan from having offensive military capabilities.

The ostensible aim is to counter China’s rise.  But the strategic objective is to have a foreign and military policy more independent from the United States, which has managedTokyo’s external security affairs ever since Japan’s defeat during the Second World War.  As Abe’s allies put it,they want a Japan that is once again a “normal” nation, that has shed its“semisovereign” status.

Many of Japan’s neighbors are convinced that a Japan more independent from the United States will develop nuclear weapons. They fear the prospect of a nuclear-armed Japan that has shed its post-war pacifism and not yet carried out the national soul searching that in Germany embedded responsibility for the atrocities of the Nazi regime in the national consciousness. This failure to institutionalize and internalize war guilt is what allowed the mayor of Osaka, Toru Hashimoto, to make his shocking statement two years ago that the estimated 200,000 Korean, Chinese, and Filipino “comfortwomen“—women captured and forced into sexual slavery by Japanese troops in the Second World War—were “necessary” for Japanese troop morale.

Even more scandalous was Abe’s visit to the Yasukuni Shrine last December, the first visit of a Prime Minister in six years. Yasukuni Shrine, the home of Japan’s war dead, includes among those interred14 convicted war criminals, and Japan’s neighbors have long condemned the ritual visit of Japanese leaders to Yasukuni as a sign of the country’s unrepentant attitude for its conduct during WorldWar II.

Abe’s perceived repudiation or minimizing of Japan’s war guilt has alienated not only China but South Korea.  The relations between the two pillars of Washington’s Pivot strategy have become so bad that President Obama felt compelled to hold a trilateral meeting with Abe and South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague in late March.  Paradoxically, the Pivot strategy, with Japan’s heightened role in it, may in fact be strainingrather than consolidating political and military relations among some USallies.

Strategic Dilemma for South Korea

In this connection, let me just focus on some of the implications of the Pivot for the two Koreas:

The first is that, with Japan becoming more assertive and less repentant, South Korea would be less willing to participate in a multilateraleffort to pressure North Korea on its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Second, the US will find it much harder now to enlist Chinese support to retard North Korea’s nuclear and missile efforts, and we all know hat it there is only one country that North Korea listens to and that is China.

Third, with China being now so central to South Korea as a consumer market, a source of components, an investment area, and a constraint on North Korean behavior, South Korea will feel quite ambivalent filling the good solid ally role that the US wants it to play.  South Korean attitudes toward China have also been changing, with a 2002 poll showing that 86 per cent of younger generation Korean opinion leaders wanting to see Korea-China relations strengthened.

So rather than make a definitive statement, I would like to pose a question t: isn’t Obama’s Pacific Pivot creating a something close to astrategic dilemma for South Korea’s elites?

To return to the regional picture, China’s aggressive territorial claims, Washington’s “pivot,” and Japan’s opportunistic moves add up to a volatile brew. Many observers note that the Asia Pacific military-political situation is becoming like that of Europe at the end of the 19th century, with the emergence of a similarconfiguration of balance of power politics. It is a useful reminder that while that fragile balancing might have worked for a time, it eventually ended up int he conflagration that was the First World War. None of the key players in East Asia today may want war.  But neither did any of the Great Powers on theeve of the First World War.  The problem is that in a situation of fiercerivalry among powers that hate one another, an incident like a ship collision—intended or unintended–may trigger an uncontrollable chain of events that may result in a regional war, or worse.

Let me end with some words on the alternative.  The only viable ealternative to the balance of power strategy that is now pushed by the US,Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines is a collective security arrangement.  This would include China, Japan, the two Koreas, and the ASEAN countries. This was the direction that the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) was heading towards in the 1990’s, despite the opposition of the United States.  The Clinton administration, which saw itself as the sole guardian of regional peace and security,  tried very hard to undermine this process, calling the ARF a “talk shop.” Unfortunately, the Asian financial crisis in 1997, by pulling the rung from under the credibility of ASEAN, dissipated the momentum of the ARF.

It will be difficult, but I feel strongly that we in the region must once again pick up the ARF project of creating a mulilateral body with a set of rules adhered to by every participating government to ensure regional peace and security. The alternative is a future where crisis will follow upon crisis as the positive dynamics of the region towards towards trade, cooperation, andpeaceful engagement gets subordinated to superpower conflict.

*Representative of Akbayan (Citizens’ Action Party) in the House of Representatives of the Philippines.

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[Blog] China’s criticism on the MH370: unjust, unfair and totally below the belt. By Jose Mario De Vega

China’s criticism on the MH370: unjust, unfair and totally below the belt
By Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

I refer to “MH370: ‘Under siege’ Malaysians hit back at China”, Free Malaysia Today, March 28 with regard to China’s stinging and strident criticism of the Malaysian authorities’ handling of the MH370 incident.

To quote from the said report:

“Authorities in Kuala Lumpur have been on the defensive since the Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines flight went missing on March 8 with 239 people aboard, most of them Chinese citizens.

Mario De Vega

“In addition to near-daily displays of fury from Chinese relatives, China’s tightly controlled state media have heaped opprobrium on the Malaysian government and airline, while its secretive Communist government has urged more transparency in the investigation.

“A letter from the relatives, blasting Malaysia’s behaviour as “irresponsible” and “inhumane”, demanded China now mount its own investigation. And a US law firm says it is consulting with Chinese families on possible legal action against Malaysia Airlines and aircraft maker Boeing.”

By virtue of the fact that China is Malaysian’s primary trading partner and the world’s second largest economy, Putrajaya “has largely held fire” and conducted itself in a cool manner, but now, “the strain is starting to show”.

I have always been critical of the Malaysian government since day one, but on this specific issue, I am of the view that those bastard Chinese has gone too far and utterly overboard! Their harsh criticisms in my view are already below the belt and completely uncalled for.

Consider the following report of Jaime A. FlorCruz for CNN, “China treads carefully amid the anger and grief of MH370 relatives”, March 27:

“Zhang Ziyi, an actress known for her starring roles in Hollywood hits such as “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” took to Weibo, China’s Twitter-like micro-blogging service, to berate Malaysia. “Malaysian government, you are wrong not to revere life. You are wrong not to respect the universal quest for truth,” she wrote.

“Chen Kun, a popular actor who has 72 million Weibo followers, appealed for decisive action. “For the clownish prevarication and lies of the Malaysian government and the MAS (Malaysia Airlines), and your disrespect of our people, please let me, coming from my heart, boycott all Malaysia-related commercial products and tours related. Not just for the brief moment when the missing plane is in the heat of attention, but indefinitely.””

Commentaries:

To Zhang Ziyi, you stated that the Malaysian government is wrong not to revere life.

In fairness to the Malaysian government, I never read or heard that they said that they did not revere life. Hence, I am wondering, what the hell entered your mind (if you have one) that made you say what you said?

What or where is your evidence in charging them of your baseless charge and undeniably unfair accusation?

You are also indicting the Malaysian government for not respecting the universal quest for the truth, my question to you is: why the hell your country is lying blatantly about the so-called 9 Dash Line at the West Philippine Sea?

Why the hell your bastard and greedy country is claiming almost all of the territories (when in truth and in fact, those territories are well within the exclusive economic zone of those nations) of sovereign countries at the South China Sea which is a grave violation of international law?

You talked about the truth, now can you also tell us the truth?

Hence, I say categorically: shame on you, you hypocrite pseudo actress! In fact, I cannot blame some people if they are calling you as a slut, because it seems to me that you are such!

To Chen Kun, you are saying that the Malaysian government does not respect your people. What is your basis or evidence in saying so? When in truth and in fact, it is your government and your people who are lampooning and bastardizing the Malaysian government and its beautiful people.

The Malaysian government is not perfect, but I believe that they did the best that they could to respond to this incident using all their resources and military might.

Not content with your stupid accusation and utterly preposterous claim, you are also calling for the boycott of anything that is Malaysian. That only goes to show your myopic view and idiotic mind.

I am so pleased and very happy that not everybody agrees with your stupidity, discrimination and idiocy.

Again to quote the CNN report:

“One Weibo user retorted: “Malaysia is nice — I stayed there for a week in 2007 and had pleasant memory of the place. To boycott the airline because of the incident is like stop eating after choking on food. To boycott the whole country because of the unreliability of the Malaysian government is also a personal loss for you. It’s not the Chinese government is that reliable.””

If your country is so good, how come it does not use all of its power (instead of bullying those small countries at the South China Sea, Japan, India, etc.) and might in helping Malaysia to locate the said plane?

In fact, it was France, the US and Australia that are vigorously helping the Malaysian authorities in locating the whereabouts of this plane? What the hell is the contribution of your country, except your good for nothing criticism?

Instead of acting like a bully and a crybaby, the right thing to do under the circumstances is to mobilize your forces and use all the resources of your empire to find the said plane.

Your cries and pinpointing will do nothing!

If the Malaysian authorities are not reliable, then what the hell can you say to your country? Both of them it seems are unreliable, then, what the hell is your qualms and complaint?

Shame on you, bloody bastard!

I understand what those grieving families are going through, but it does not mean that because of what they suffered it is a license for them to run down and blast the whole of Malaysia.

They must make a critical and crucial distinction. The Malaysian government and the Malaysian people are not the same. If the Chinese believes that the former is incompetent or not doing its best in discharging their function, then call their attention and criticize them heavily, but in a reasonable and just manner.

Assuming that that is indeed the case, that the Malaysian government is not good enough, the question here is: why the hell the Chinese will involve and drag the whole of the Malaysian people to their anger?

They (China and the families of the missing) failed to understand that no sane person wanted this accident to happen and that this tragedy is a lost to all of us, because we are all human!

It is on this great and direct sense that I would like to say to China: hey, you does not owned all of the grief in the entire world! You lost a number of your loved ones, but remember that Malaysia too and other nations for that matter had lost their families! It is not only you that is grieving, because the truth is: all of us are… Do not monopolize the sadness, because we are also in pain.

Hence, do not act as if you are the sole victim here, because in truth and in fact, we are all victims here but virtue of our collective Humanity!

You want the Malaysians to divulge all the information with regard to this tragedy, well that is good, but you must also divulge all the information with regard to the SARS epidemic, the Tiannamen Square uprising and your imperialism at the West Philippine Sea!

If Malaysia must come out clean, then you too must also do the same!!!!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy lecturer
College of Liberal Arts
Department of Social Science
Technological University of the Philippines

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[Blog] The Truth must be told: China is the aggressor of the contemporary world order. By Jose Mario De Vega

The Truth must be told: China is the aggressor of the contemporary world order
By Jose Mario De Vega

I refer to Keith Bradsher of the New York Times, “Philippine Leader Sounds Alarm on China”, February 4 concerning its unabated and continuing aggression on the Asia Pacific region.

To quote from the said article:

“President Benigno S. Aquino III called on Tuesday 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.

Mario De Vega

“Like Czechoslovakia, the Philippines faces demands to surrender territory piecemeal to a much stronger foreign power and needs more robust foreign support for the rule of international law if it is to resist, President Aquino said in a 90-minute interview in the wood-paneled music room of the presidential palace.”

I wholly concur with the contention of the Philippine president that:

“If we say yes to something we believe is wrong now, what guarantee is there that the wrong will not be further exacerbated down the line?

“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.”

Last month, it was the Japanese Prime Minister that caused a stir in Davos, Switzerland when Mr. Abe delivered a strong speech against militarism and aggression in the region, albeit without naming China.

Hence, I joined the call of Japanese Prime Minister Abe and the Philippine President Aquino on their respective call to the international community to join ranks and unite as one to stand up against a bullish and aggressive China.

The world as a whole must show their togetherness and bond to counter China’s imperialist designs and evil expansionist maneuvers at the Asia-Pacific region.

The act of not acting or worst, just allowed this bully and do nothing would undeniably be costly and disastrous for the people of the said region and to humanity in general.

I am one of the few voices from the vast wilderness of humanity that consistently and persistently calling the attention, again and again of the world in repeatedly and patiently warning them of the naked aggression that habitually and feloniuosly being committed by shameless China and the grave danger posed by this imperialist and arrogant giant.

I am inviting once again the attention of the reader to check on the following articles and commentaries that I have written concerning this pestering regional and raging universal issue:

The dispute over Scarborough Shoal, The Malaysian Insider, April 18, 2012

ASEAN-CHINA RELATIONS: Time to contain hostilities in South China Sea, The New Straits Times, Malaysia, July 19, 2012

Call for the United Nations to tell China that it cannot do as it pleases, The Southeast Asian Times, Australia, July 21, 2012

Cambodia’s subservience to China: a tale of treachery and selfishness, The China Daily Mail, August 6, 2012

Bullyism: the new face of imperialism (China’s invocation of its so-called historical right), The China Daily Mail, August 8, 2012

China’s imperialist designs; showing its ugly head and bloody arms (South China Sea), The China Daily Mail, December 4, 2012

China is the troublemaker in the South China Sea; opinion from the Philippines, The China Daily Mail, December 17, 2012

China: Restaurant bans Japanese, Filipinos, Vietnamese and dogs: China acting not only as a dirty dog, but as a lousy bully and a racist freak, The China Daily Mail, March 1, 2013

China’s stupid contention on South China Sea: most idiotic territorial claim in human history, China Daily Mail, June 20, 2013

A Counter-reply to Schell’s unsubstantiated comments and my exchanges of barrage with Chankaiyee2 Part I and II, CNN ireport, June 22, 2013

China’s stupid contention: The most idiotic territorial claim in Chinese History, Exposing the Truth, June 27, 2013

Philippines must stand up against China with help of international law and ASEAN, China Daily Mail, August 21, 2013

China’s hypocrisy, shamelessness and paranoia, China Daily Mail, December 25, 2013

It is on this great sense that I welcomed the categorical speech and brave call by the Japanese Prime Minister, in Davos.

As reported by Angus MacKinnon of AFP, “Japan tells world to stand up to China or face consequences”, January 23:

“In a landmark speech to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued what amounted to an appeal for international support in a potentially explosive dispute with its superpower neighbour over islands in the East China Sea.”

To quote some portions of the said explosive address:

“We must restrain military expansion in Asia … which otherwise could go unchecked…

“If peace and stability were shaken in Asia, the knock-on effect for the entire world would be enormous…

“The dividend of growth in Asia must not be wasted on military expansion.”

On behalf of humanity, I will not mince my words, but the truth must be told, no matter how inconveniently and uncomfortable it is: China without a doubt is not merely acting as the Nazi Germany of the contemporary world order, but they are even worst, than Hitler!

Consider the words of the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei:

“The disputes in the South China Sea between China and the Philippines mainly stem from the Philippines’ illegal occupation of some islands and reefs of China’s Nansha islands. The fact is crystal clear. Our two countries also have disputes over the delineation of maritime boundaries. China firmly opposes the Philippines’ occupation of China’s islands and reefs. As an unwavering upholder of international justice, China made huge sacrifice and indelible historical contribution to the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War. It is inconceivable and unreasonable to place China-Philippines South China Sea disputes in the same category with the WWII history. The Chinese side is shocked at and dissatisfied with the remarks from the Philippine side.”

Comment:

So, those bastards are accusing Manila of illegal occupation of some islands and reefs of their so-called Nansha islands.

The thing is: the one that they are accusing have resorted its claim before an international court. How come those idiots, who claimed that they are “upholder of international justice” is not recognizing the jurisdiction of the said international court?

They claimed that they are shocked and dissatisfied with the remarks from the side of the “illegal occupants”, yet I am wondering how come they are not shock (does it mean that they are satisfied?) to their action of illegally occupying the Scarborough Shoal which is within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Philippines by virtue of the undeniable fact that it is within its exclusive economic zone?

After the Philippine President’s interview to the New York Times, the Chinese, specifically the Xinhua News Agency commentator Ming Jinwei called Aquino “an amateurish politician who was ignorant both of history and reality.”

This so-called commentator even added that: Aquino “has never been a great candidate for a wise statesman in the region.”

Comment:

This is the height of argumentum ad hominem. Those bastards instead of responding reasonably to the issue have resorted to mudslinging and slanderous character assassination.

This is a shame!

How could Aquino be ignorant of history when in fact he knew the Sudetenland incident?

How could Aquino be ignorant when he has critically drawn a historical parallelism with regard to the status of Nazi Germany then to that of the emerging aggressiveness of a bullish China now?

On the question of being a wise statesman

I do not know what the hell is the definition of the Chinese of a wise statesman? Does it make a statesman wise if he or she will not talk back and fight China?

If that is their definition, in my view that is not being wise, but being a slave, a political prostitute and a puppet! That so-called ‘statesman’ is not worthy to be called as such but a dirty dog worthy of nothing!

Shame on that so-called statesman and shame on his or her bastard patron!

Ellen Tordesillas reported that: Aquino Friday responded to the Xin Hua commentator by thanking him in Filipino for “reaffirming the validity of our position.”

Needless to state, I completely concur with Mr. Aquino’s addition that: “There is a saying that if you can’t answer the issue, you resort to name-calling.”

Warning to China

May we remind you too, that we also fought Hitler and so as his counterpart on this part of the world which is no other than the Japanese Imperial Army.

While the Japanese just rolled on your country, we gave them hell here on our land.

Don’t dare us, don’t bully us and don’t even provoke us! We may be small, but we do have the guts and the balls to stand up and fight a bloody bully like you, that was have shown and exhibited many times.

May I remind you that during World War II, your country was ravaged and raped by Japan, yet my country had never surrendered to those barbaric Japs. We fought those bloody bastards from day one up to the end of the war.

In fact, because of the bravery and heroism of the Filipinos, we in a sense saved Australia and New Zealand from the Japanese advance. That gave MacArthur time to regroup and organize his army.

By your evil acts and greedy deeds, you are acting like the new Nazi Germany and the then militaristic Japan; well, we don’t give a damn about that! We stood up and fought fiercely against the Japanese Imperial Army; if it is necessary, we are prepare to stand up and fight you too — to the death!

Don’t forget that we are the first country in Asia to overthrow a foreign power and declare a republic!

During World War II, we stood and fought the Japanese Imperial Army from day one up to the end!

We fought a dictator for more than two decades and had two revolutions. In fact, when your people tried to copied our own 1986 revolution in 1988 at Tiannamen Square, your government viciously crackdown on the people and the students who led the same!

Hence, do not take us lightly, in the same vein that we are not taking you for granted, too.

We may be small, yet we are capable of inflicting damage to you too!

You may be the Dark Lord Sauron of this region and you may have a lot of Orcs with you, yet our people have the persistence and patience of Frodo and Sam, the wisdom of Gandalf and the courage of Aragorn.

Do not take us lightly, because you cannot push us around!

As a Filipino writer puts it so succinctly, Jose Ma. Montelibano, Philippine Daily Inquirer, April 13, 2012: “China may risk killing some of us but it will find too costly to kill millions of us”.

Lastly, I am not threatening you, but warning you that we have our history of courage and greatness, too.

Hence, I implore China to learn from history: do not ever forget the lessons of the Battle of Thermopylae.

It is always the case that the tiniest of the dust often cause the greatest irritation and discomfort to the biggest bloody eyes! Again, we are also warning you!

Finally, if the international community will not unite and bond together to contain this bastard and aggressive bully, then the whole of the Asia Pacific region will become a Red Sea and from there, those freaks will invade the entire globe!

THE WORLD MUST COME TOGETHER TO FIGHT THIS BLOODY MONSTER!

If not, then Seumas Milne’s grim prophecy may come true. Writing for the Guardian on January 8, 2014, “First world war: an imperial bloodbath that’s a warning, not a noble cause”:

“For the rest of us, this year’s anniversary should be a reminder that empire in all its forms, militarism and national chauvinism lead to bloodshed and disaster. It also contains a warning about the threat from the rise and fall of great powers. China is no imperial Germany, but the US – allied with Japan – is a declining global power in a region in which it is tightening its military grip. It’s not 1914, but the dangers are clear.”

DOWN WITH CHINESE BULLYISM, AGGRESSION AND IMPERIALISM!!!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy lecturer
College of Arts and Letters
Polytechnic University of the Philippines

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[Blog]Moral Honesty is the key for a Historical Closure. By Jose Mario De Vega

Moral Honesty is the key for a Historical Closure
By Jose Mario De Vega

I refer to the AFP news report, “Germany urges Japan to deal ‘honestly’ with WWII past”, December 31.

To quote from the said article:

“Germany said Monday it tried to deal “honestly” with its World War II past and urged Japan to do the same after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe‘s visit to a controversial war shrine.”

Mario De Vega

I commend the German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert when he told categorically to the reporters that:

“I do not wish to comment on questions related to Japanese domestic politics…

“But in general all nations must honestly live up to their role in the horrible events of the 20th century. Only on the basis of this honest accounting is it possible to build a future with former foes. This is a conviction Germany takes to heart and which in my opinion applies to all states.”

These are exactly the words stated by Seibert when he was asked “about the surprise Yasukuni shrine visit which enraged China and South Korea.”

I commend the German government and its people for their honesty of acknowledging their historical crimes against humanity and their courage to admit before the world their grave and deadly atrocities committed against the people of the international community.

They did not only apologize for what they did, but they also paid some compensation to the victims, that is besides erecting some monuments and also by yearly remembering the countless dead and victims.

That shows the distinctive character of the German people.

I applaud them for their sincere and earnest efforts to atone for their crimes.

I cannot say the same with regard to the Japanese government and so as its people.

Up to today, they have yet to admit their crimes and it seems that they will never apologize for their wartime barbarism. This is a shame and undeniably a curse to all of them!

Just recently, prior to the Japanese Prime Minister’s surprise visit to the said infamous Shrine, the Tokyo governor has again shocked the people of Southeast Asia on his pronouncement about the Comfort Women.

That bastard freak, instead of being sorry has rather defended the rapes, barbarism, mayhem and mass murder done by the Japanese Imperial Army.

What a shame!

Japanese Prime Minister Abe’s visit has “sparked anger in China and South Korea last week by visiting the Tokyo shrine, which honours Japan’s war dead, including several high-level officials executed for war crimes after World War II, and serves as a reminder of Japan’s wartime aggression.”

Though, I am on the side of Japan with regard to China’s bullyism, aggression and imperialism on the question of their territorial dispute with reach other, nonetheless, on this specific, crucial and undeniably important historical issue, I joined South Korea, China and all the people who were offended by this utterly and unmistakable act of Japan, specifically its Prime Minister.

The world opinion is already with Japan with regard to their dispute with China. In fact, I also believe base on the temperament of the ASEAN that they are also siding with Tokyo, but all of these was destroyed by that idiotic and immoral visit of Abe to that bullshit Shrine of Shame, Crime and Mass Murder.

Hence I cannot understand the mind-set of Abe in doing what he has done?

Why the hell is he honoring those murderers, rapists and barbaric thugs?

For indeed, the said “visit came at a time when Japan’s ties with China have turned particularly sour over a territorial dispute regarding islands in the East China Sea.”

Suggestion to Japan, to Prime Minister Abe and the Japanese people

In my view, the only way wherein the people of Southeast Asia can truly forgive you and your people is by admitting before the whole world your World War II barbarism, mass murder, rapes and inhumanity.

Confess your crimes, follow the act of Germany, apologize and pay compensation to the surviving victims.

Close that Shrine and instead erect a monument highlighting your remorse and guilt with regard to your historical crimes.

I believe that these acts are the only key in order for your government and people to end the curse, for they are precisely the necessary keys for our collective closure. Yes, our collective closure, because despite the fact that you helped us during the super typhoon; still I cannot forget what you did to my people and the people of Southeast Asia during World War II.

Apologize and we will forgive and then, only then, that we can truly and fully forgive!

What is the purpose or the point of an official apology?

It is my firm view and so hold that the ultimate purpose of an official apology is to admit one’s crimes, to bear responsibility to the said wrong act, to atone for the sins and transgressions of our predecessors, to remember the dead, to honor their memory, celebrate their legacy, to vow that this gruesome event will never again recur and to forge a sense of closure, both personal and historical; both to the perpetrators and so as to the victims.

Am I responsible to the crimes and sins of my forefathers?

I heard the question. I beg the indulgence of the reader if I will ask the great Professor Alasdair MacIntyre to offers a powerful answer to that question:

“I inherit from the past of my family, my city, my tribe, my nation, a variety of debts, inheritances, rightful expectations and obligations. These constitute the given of my life, my moral starting-point. This is in part what gives my own life its moral particularity.”

Hence, we may not be legally and personally liable for the crimes and transgressions committed by our forefathers to others; yet we cannot escape the historical liability; we are morally responsible not only to the past, but also to the present.

Our duty is to acknowledge the mistakes and the wrong that has been done and vow that the same would never ever happen again.

In a sense, our ethico-moral duties and historical obligations is to correct the mistakes of the past and remedy the historical errors and blunders.

If we will evade and deny this task, then, history will continue to haunt us; because the vengeance of history is a hundred times more terrible!

To quote the prophetic words of Bobby Sands: “Our vengeance will be the laughter of our children”.

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy lecturer
College of Arts and Letters
Polytechnic University of the Philippines

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[Press Release] Philippines Visit Should Highlight Rights -HRW

Australia: Philippines Visit Should Highlight Rights
Foreign Minister Should Raise Concerns About Paralyzed Criminal Justice System

(Sydney, December 6, 2013) – Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop should ensure that human rights are a part of her discussions with Filipino leaders, Human Rights Watch said today. She will visit the Philippines from December 7 to 8, 2013, after China and Indonesia. The new Australian government should reverse its policy of downplaying human rights in its contact with other governments, particularly in Asia.

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“It would be an affront to the victims for Bishop to stay silent in the face of serious human rights abuses in the Philippines, Indonesia and China,” said Elaine Pearson, Australia director at Human Rights Watch. “The new government thinks silence on human rights buys goodwill with Asia’s leaders, but a democracy like Australia should care more about its standing with the region’s people.”

Bishop’s visit to victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines should not ignore human rights concerns in the country, Human Rights Watch said. Australia’s close military ties with the Philippines put Bishop in a strong position in her meetings with Foreign Secretary Albert Rosario and other cabinet ministers to call for an end to security force impunity for extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and torture.

She should also raise concerns about the impact on freedom of the media of the reported 10 killings of journalists in the past year, and the killings of a total of 24 media workers since President Benigno Aquino III took office in 2010.

Bishop should raise with the Philippine government efforts to promote the rule of law and its stalled proposal to create a “superbody” to investigate and prosecute extrajudicial killings, one of the Aquino administration’s promised reforms to the criminal justice system.

“Bishop should be asking questions about the Philippines’ paralyzed criminal justice system that fails to prosecute the people responsible for killings and disappearances,” Pearson said.

Given the recent tension over spying allegations, Bishop should take a united stand with Indonesia against indiscriminate practices such as mass surveillance, interception, and data collection, both at home and abroad, and support the recent United Nations General Assembly resolution on digital privacy, Human Rights Watch said.

Bishop should also urge Indonesia’s leaders to end the military’s unlawful surveillance of peaceful activists, politicians, and clergy in the easternmost province of Papua. This is part of a repressive policy that includes requiring foreign journalists and human rights groups to obtain official permission to travel to Papua. Bishop should publicly call for lifting these restrictions.

Bishop should raise the lack of protection mechanisms in Indonesia for asylum seekers and migrants, including unaccompanied children. Asylum seekers and migrant children are subject to arbitrary and indefinite detention in squalid conditions at Indonesian immigration facilities, where they face torture and other ill-treatment from guards. Even when asylum seekers are released – which can take over a year – they cannot legally work or move freely in the country and their children cannot go to school.

“If Australia really wants to address the influx of asylum seekers coming by boat, then it should help Indonesia develop its capacity to assess asylum claims and provide safe and humane conditions for refugees,” Pearson said.

In China, Bishop should publicly call on the administration of President Xi Jinping to enact major reforms to protect human rights. She should raise human rights issues alongside commercial and security concerns, especially in discussions with Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Foreign and Strategic Dialogue. Acknowledgement of the scale and scope of human rights abuses by the Chinese government has been noticeably absent from Australia’s public diplomacy with China, Human Rights Watch said.

Bishop should specifically press for the release of political prisoners, including the Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo, who is serving an 11-year-sentence for “incitement to subvert state power,” and an end to the unlawful house arrest of his wife, Liu Xia.

Although the two countries have an annual human rights dialogue, it is largely ineffective, lacking in transparency and benchmarks, while allowing human rights issues to be sidelined from high-level meetings. Bishop’s position should reflect the view that Australia’s long-term business interests in China depend on genuine rule of law and respect for fundamental human rights.

On Tibet, Australia’s Coalition government has said it will continue to push for “Chinese respect for Tibetan human rights.” Bishop should raise religious repression and ethnic discrimination that have fueled self-immolations to protest Chinese policies toward Tibet. Bishop should stress that counter-terrorism efforts should not justify ethnic repression and discrimination in Xinjiang or other areas of China.

“Having once-a-year chats with Chinese officials behind closed doors at a low level and with the wrong people does little or nothing to address large-scale human rights abuses in China,” Pearson said. “Bishop has spoken about being inspired by the Burmese Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi. Jailed activists in China, including the Nobel winner Liu Xiaobo, also deserve her attention.”

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on Australia, please visit:
http://www.hrw.org/asia/australia

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on the Philippines, please visit:
http://www.hrw.org/asia/-philippines

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[From the web] “Its time to stop this madness” – Philippines plea at UN climate talks -www.rtcc.org

“Its time to stop this madness” – Philippines plea at UN climate talks.
http://www.rtcc.org

Photo extracted from www.rtcc.org

Photo extracted from http://www.rtcc.org

Philippines lead negotiator Yeb Sano has just addressed the opening session of the UN climate summit in Warsaw – calling for urgent action to prevent a repeat of the devastating storm that hit parts of his country at the weekend. A full transcript of his speech is below.

Responding-to-Climate-Change

Mr. President, I have the honor to speak on behalf of the resilient people of the Republic of the Philippines.

At the onset, allow me to fully associate my delegation with the statement made by the distinguished Ambassador of the Republic of Fiji, on behalf of G77 and China as well as the statement made by Nicaragua on behalf of the Like-Minded Developing Countries.

First and foremost, the people of the Philippines, and our delegation here for the United Nations Climate Change Convention’s 19th Conference of the Parties here in Warsaw, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your expression of sympathy to my country in the face of this national difficulty.

Read full article @www.rtcc.org

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[Statement] Hagel in Manila: The Beast Walks on a Four-Legged Visit to Asia -Kilusan

Hagel in Manila: The Beast Walks on a Four-Legged Visit to Asia

kpd logo

For the second time, Manila plays host to US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, as the last stop in the four–country visit and right after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ADMM) Defense Ministers Meeting Plus which was held in Brunei last August 28.

The ADMM Plus meeting is composed of the ten ASEAN members (Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) and its eight dialogue partners (the US, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, India, New Zealand and Russia.

His presence is designed to spur the on-going negotiations for increased US military presence in the country which has started last August 14.

Philippine officials anticipate that it would take three more rounds of talks before an agreement can be ironed out. The new agreement on increased rotational presence seeks to ‘augment an already robust US force operating in and out of the Philippines’.

As an additional incentive, the PENTAGON is seeking a 50 percent increase in funds to support foreign militaries and training in the Southeast Asian region. In other words, the US is not above bribing countries to see things his way—especially in terms of ever-increasing US military presence in the Pacific theater of operations. It is for their benefit—economically and militarily, to secure the key trade routes and sea lanes in this part of the world, especially from perceived rivals like China.

Knowing that the presence of US troops in the country is a contentious issue, the Department of Defense and the Department of Foreign Affairs are quick to assure the public that increased rotational presence does not mean putting up new bases.

This is misleading the public, since what the US is really after is open-access to the host nations’ military facilities, equipment and other logistics. For instance, Subic Economic Freeport Zone, is not only accommodating port visits from various US nuclear ships, nuclear submarines and missile destroyers but is now doing ship repair, tie up with a subsidiary of U.S. shipbuilder Huntingdon Ingalls Industries and Subic-based Korean Shipbuilding company Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction (HHIC).

The new types of bases developed by the US military does not put a premium of physical bases but rather developing and cultivating a series of ‘cooperative security locations’ or lily-pads where their troops can jump on and off, coming or going to specific targets. And the more access they have, the more muscle they can project to deter potential or perceived rivals, with host countries none the wiser to their activities.

In a recent interview, US Ambassador Harry Thomas refused to give a straight answer on how many US military troops are stationed in Zamboanga, the Joint Special Operations Task Force-Philippines (JSOTFP) headquarters, preferring instead to say that the troops stay six months at a time and that commanders are rotated after a year. Clearly, these troop are no longer visiting but can be consider as being stationed here!

All this one-sided benefit is given a plausible excuse under the guise of modernizing the AFP, putting up a ‘minimum credible defense; and that our Filipino troops would benefit the most from currying more military favors from the US.

This excuse has been around since the time of the Bases and it did us no good to be an appendage of US foreign policy and a blind follower of its military agenda then, it will not do us any good now. All we ended up with was a stunted AFP who still had to contend with refurbished (read: antiquated hand-me-down) equipment and vehicles from the US military.

Shall we give up our territorial integrity and sovereignty for the measly 3 million dollars that purportedly these port calls generate? Would we sell out our dignity for the proverbial thirty pieces of silver? As it stands, the historical victory of the Filipino people in 1991 when we booted out the US bases is being overturned as we speak.

What our country needs is to grow a nationalist backbone and enough political will to wean itself away from its dependency to the United States. We should send a clear message to Hagel: his war eagles are not welcome in Philippine soil!

PRESS STATEMENT
August 30, 2013
Reference: Fidel Fababier, Vice Chairperson, KILUSAN (0946 1115073)

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[Blog] The Philippines must continue standing up against China with the help of International Law and the ASEAN by Jose Mario De Vega

The Philippines must continue standing up against China with the help of International Law and the ASEAN

Mario De Vega

I refer to Amado Doronila’s analysis “Deal with China? Winner takes all”, PDI, August 5, 2013

As he reported:

“The Philippines’ second warship acquired from the United States, the BRP Ramon Alcaraz, arrived on Sunday at the former US naval base in Subic Bay amid conflict between Manila and Beijing over ownership of territories in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

“The Philippine government hailed the arrival of the Hamilton-class cutter, a World War II vessel that had been decommissioned by the US Coast Guard, as a step toward beefing up the Philippine Navy’s capability to counter what Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario denounced as China’s “massive military buildup in the West Philippine Sea.””

The Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario, speaking at an expert’s conference on maritime security in the Belgian capital last month said that China’s assertion of ownership of all the West Philippine Sea “could restrict freedom of navigation in sea-lanes critical to global trade.

Indeed, the bully’s “overwhelming naval and maritime presence far beyond its mainland shores” will undeniably raise “regional tensions” in the sea.

To date, the Chinese brigand has committed numerous and multiple incursions of its vessels into shoals and islets “well within the Philippines’ 360-kilometer exclusive economic zone.”

As Doronila pointed out:

“Del Rosario castigated China for its “unilateral coercive actions,” saying these seemed an assertion of sovereignty over territories within Beijing’s self-proclaimed “nine-dash-line” map that embraces most of the sea, including waters within the economic exclusion zones of Southeast Asian nations.”

Del Rosario warned that:

“The delineation of the nine-dash-line zone “is extremely close to the coasts of other littoral states…”
Further, he stated that:

“Arbitrary claims to maritime territory could also be arbitrarily invoked to regulate passage of ships through the large maritime areas the nine-dash line encloses…”

Hence, “on its face, this expansive claim could turn an international body of water into a lake of one nation…”

Arbitration bid

Undeniably, “in the Brussels conference, the Philippines was lining up support for its arbitration bid in the United Nations seeking a peaceful settlement of conflicting territorial claims in the West Philippine Sea involving China, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan.”

I vehemently disagree with the writer that “this diplomatic initiative has so far failed to gain ground” by virtue of the fact that despite the Philippines “which has one of the weakest navies in the region” has consistently stood and fought with China since April of last year.

Though, this country is small and militarily weak, we have the guts and the balls to stand up against a bloody bullish giant.

In fact, in the region, it is only the Philippines and Vietnam that is brave and vocal to warn their fellow ASEAN members and the world with region to China’s aggression, bullyism and imperialist/expansionist designs.

Though, the territorial conflict has the dangerous tendency to degenerate towards “the brink of gunboat confrontations among China, the United States, Japan, Vietnam and, to a lesser extent, the Philippines, which has one of weakest navies in the region” the latter has chosen the most reasonable and civil way of asserting its sovereignty claims and that is by invoking international law and voluntarily bringing into arbitration process its issues and claims.

Nonetheless, the Philippines while relying on international law and custom, has also begun to upgrade and modernize its military and navy.

As Doronila reported:

“The second Philippine warship, the Ramon Alcaraz, which arrived on Sunday after a two-month voyage from South Carolina, is to join its sister ship, the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, also a decommissioned Hamilton-class cutter acquired by the Philippines from the US Coast Guard in August 2011.

“The two ships will patrol Philippine coastal waters in the face of China’s growing naval power and assertiveness in the West Philippine Sea.”

Comment:

I commend the Philippines for its desire to develop and upgrade its military and naval defense, but I am also wondering why it is that what they are buying is decommissioned and old ships? What can these obsolete machines do in face of China’s vast and modern navy?

I agree with the critics that these are mere junk. Why the hell a so-called supposed friend will give a rubbish product to its so-called “old and reliable friend”?

Another pertinent question on my mind is that: why always buy at the US? Why not ask and approach Germany, France, and UK (including Russia) for modern weapons and armory? We have good trading and diplomatic relations with these countries, why the option is always Uncle Sam?

Does it mean that up to this day, this so-called independent republic is still, in fact a lapdog of US imperialism?

If the Philippines cannot defend its territory and sovereignty without always calling the “help” of “big brother”, then ought we not to admit a brutal and horrendous truth: That we don’t deserve to be a free and independent republic?!

My view on the whole matter is simple and clear cut: Down with US and Chinese imperialism!

The US imperialists since day one were here, not because they are our friends, but simply to protect their interest on this part of the world.

Only an idiot of the highest order would say that the US military is a friend of the Filipinos and a creature is a super dunce indeed, to say that the American will help us in fighting the bloody Chinese in case of a full-scale war that might erupt on the region!

Let us not forget that those bastard Americans abandoned us during World War II. Practically, it was the Filipinos who fought and struggled against the Japanese Imperial Army.

When those American “brothers” returned, they did not only liberate the country, they also destroyed Manila. Because of that great feat of the Americans, Manila landed on world history “as the second most destroyed city during World War II next to Warsaw”.

The greedy Chinese bastards, realizing that Uncle Sam’s star is already waning and knowing for a fact that the Philippines’ military is weak are here to assert their new found global dominance and to “test the waters” repeatedly to the prejudice of the different ASEAN members.

I wonder whether these Chinese freaks had already forgotten their destruction during World War II. Do I have to remind them about their “Rape of Nanking” of 1937 committed barbarically by the Japanese invaders?

To the Chinese military

Both of our countries had suffered during World War II, both of us stood and fought valiantly resisting the invaders; now my question is: why are you trying to do to us and to the other ASEAN members what those bastard and greedy Japanese did?

Are you now the new Japan?

For the nth time, may I remind you that the Philippines may be small, weak and its leaders may be stupid, but you must clearly make your distinction!

There is an extreme difference between the Philippine government and the Filipino people! We will fight you not because the government ordered us to do so, but because that is the right and the moral thing to do!

The Filipinos are known all over the world as one of the fiercest warriors! Please don’t dare us, because we will surely fight you — to the death!

You may capture all our cities, invade our seas and even occupy the country, but you can never ever conquer our hearts and souls; you can never ever defeat our minds and character, for we have the guts and balls to struggle until the very end! We will resist you in whatever method and means we can — until the end!

If necessary, you have killed us all in order for you to completely own this land! Yet, be put on notice that we will also try to kill all of you, too — in our own small and “humble” way!

Hence, you have been warned!

The Chinese fleets’ incursion and aggression

I agree with the writer that, “since May last year, Chinese fishing fleets, escorted by gunboats, have entered and left Philippine waters virtually at will. The Inquirer has reported that Chinese ships, after disappearing for a few days early last month, have returned to Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal), a rich fishing ground west of Zambales province and within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.

“Three Chinese vessels have also converged on Ayungin Shoal (Second Thomas Shoal) in the Philippines’ part of the Spratly archipelago in the middle of the West Philippine Sea.

“The impunity with which Chinese ships penetrate Philippine waters while mocking claims of Philippine sovereignty over disputed territories has led to the establishment of a de facto Chinese rule of law in the region, a sort of Pax Sinica enforced at the point of the guns of the Chinese Navy.”

Comment:

The Philippines cannot rely to the US, because the US is a false friend and another opportunist imperial empire.

In the same vein that the Philippines cannot talk with China, because to talk with China under their own terms is for us to lose everything; that includes not only our sovereignty, worst our dignity, respect and sense of shame as a nation and as a people!

We must not surrender either to the US or to China. In my view, both of them are the same!

The Philippines’ must continue to stand up and fight China relying on its own with the help of its true friends and that is the ASEAN.

Finally the ASEAN unity

As reported by AFP, “ASEAN vows unity on South China Sea”, August 18th:

“Southeast Asian nations on Wednesday vowed unity in pressing China to accept a binding code of conduct for handling disputes in the South China Sea, the Thai foreign ministry said.

“Competing claims to the sea have for decades stirred tension in the region and the waterway, which is believed to sit atop vast deposits of oil and natural gas, has long been seen as one of Asia’s potential military flashpoints.

“Foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations agreed “to speak in one voice” while seeking an “early conclusion of a code of conduct”, a foreign ministry spokesman told AFP, without giving a timeframe.”

Further, a spokesman at the said event categorically stated that:

“ASEAN will have to speak with one voice and be unified. This does not mean speaking against anyone… ASEAN is united so it’s easy to discuss and talk with it…”

“The code of conduct should have the objective of enhancing confidence between ASEAN and China… and preventing any untoward incidents from taking place in the South China Sea.”

Hence, in my view, these two (the Philippines’ invocation of international law and its ASEAN membership) are the primary weapons of the country in fighting China. Yet, as a realist, I know that they might not be enough; therefore while the Philippines are utilizing these areas of struggle they must at the same time develop and upgrade (in the real sense of the word) their military and navy to boost their naval defense.

The Filipinos must first and foremost rely upon themselves!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy lecturer
College of Arts and Letters
Polytechnic University of the Philippines

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[People] The return of US bases to the Philippines by Fr. Shay Cullen, Mssc

The return of US bases to the Philippines
By Fr. Shay Cullen, Mssc

325-fr-shay-cullen

Subic Bay, Philippines – After 44 years working for human rights and social development in Olongapo city, the former home port of the US 7th Fleet, I have seen the futility of using military violence to solve political and territorial problems. The Korean, Vietnam, and Middle Eastern wars were launched or supported from here. The massive loss of human life and destruction makes war untenable. The return of the US marines, navy and air force to the Philippines will not advance a peaceful negotiated settlement of the sea dispute between the Philippines and China. It’s like calling in the neighborhood strong man to threaten a school yard bully. Dialogue is better and wiser than the threat of violence and confrontation especially when the US has no intention to carry it out. A non-enforceable threat fizzles out like a damp squib. The so-called negotiations between the Philippine government and the United States for “rotational” US troop deployments here to oppose Chinese expansionism make little sense. It will be a basing agreement which is unconstitutional. There must be another hidden purpose.

The Philippine government made the correct move in taking the dispute over the occupation and claims of China to Philippine shoals and islands to the United Nation, bringing in the US military as a threat will not help. What the Philippines needs to do is to summon up its courage and stand up for itself to China, the bully boy of Asia, and shake off its colonial dependency on the United States to rattle its sabers at every incursion of Chinese ships.

If the Philippine government officials will take an independent, non-violent stand to defend its sovereign territory in the strongest words possible, it will win international respect and cooperation and there will be a worldwide protest and outcry against the aggressive occupation and claims of China to Philippine territory. Rushing to hide behind the iron skirts of Mother America is shameful, an indication of moral weakness and an unnecessary embarrassment for the brave Filipino people who can fight non-violently for their rights.

The one thing that a proud nation like China wants to avoid is the shame and criticism that might be heaped on it by the world if it persists in its baseless claims to Philippine territorial waters. It has to protect its “face”, that aura of dignity and honor that it believes it needs to convince world opinion that it is acting in a right and just way when in fact it may not be. It’s time for China to back away with dignity and “save face”. World opinion is a mightier weapon than US warplanes and ships.

China will want to show to the world that it is a responsible member of the international community and not be dubbed a predatory, aggressive, sea-grabbing nation. This negative incursion into territorial waters will damage its credibility in Africa and South America where it is trying to win friends and spread its influence. When international criticism and the ire of nations grows and less trade is the result, it may all the sooner relinquish its baseless claims to Philippine territorial waters and shoals. No amount of oil and gas resources buried beneath the waters will be worth international repudiation.

China will not be intimidated by a show of force anyway. As a proud, ancient civilization, one of the oldest on earth, they know that the US will never be so foolish to resort to threats of military violence or engage in conflict on behalf of the Philippines. So the increased presence of the US military will not frighten China, only increase its resolve. Political action on the world stage by the Philippines and its supporters is the way to resolve this problem.

It was long argued if the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty between the Philippines and the US covered such disputes as occurred over the Spratly Islands, and the US made it clear at that time it was not bound to act in such a dispute. US Military assistance is only offered if the Philippines is attacked. So why is the US so eager to come back to the Philippines as part of its “pivot” towards Asia, what’s in it for them?

A more realistic purpose for the return to bases in the Philippines is to position troops, drones, planes and ships in proximity to areas where militant Islamist organizations affiliated with Al-Qaeda are active. Resurgent groups in Mindanao, Indonesia, Malaysia could pose a threat to American interests and for the US to have the capability of a fast response to present and future threats is an important advantage. The closing of 19 US embassies recently is an indication of the level of that terrorist threat and the Philippine bases are an ideal location for propositioning US forces to counter it and at the same time guard international sea lanes from pirates. The recent bomb blasts (including the first car bomb) in Philippine cities could well be the response of the jihads to this planned return. The Filipino people will be the first to suffer.

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[Blog] The most outrageous use of “Doublespeak”: The People’s Daily as the warmonger mouthpiece of China’s so-called ‘Communist Party’ by Jose Mario De Vega

The most outrageous use of “Doublespeak”: The People’s Daily as the warmonger mouthpiece of China’s so-called ‘Communist Party’

Mario De Vega

I refer to the Reuter’s “China media warn’s Philippines of “counterstrike” in South China Sea”, June 29th.

As reported by Sui-Lee Wee and edited by Michael Perry:

“China’s state media warned on Saturday that a “counterstrike” against the Philippines was inevitable if it continues to provoke Beijing in the South China Sea, potentially Asia’s biggest military troublespot.

“The warning comes as ministers from both countries attend an Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting in Brunei, starting Saturday, which hopes to reach a legally binding code of conduct to manage maritime conduct in disputed areas.

“At stake are potentially massive offshore oil reserves. The seas also lie on shipping lanes and fishing grounds.”

Comment:

As a humanist, a universal intellectual and an international revolutionary, I condemned to the utmost this latest provocative and hostile pronouncement coming from China.

Immediately, some Chinese bastards and nationalist freaks will quickly say that this warning did not come from the Chinese government and it is not an official state policy.

The problem with this defense is the fact that it is imbued with hypocrisy and undeniably notorious for being a big lie.

Who in their right mind would ever believe that the said state media report, though does not amount to an official policy does not reflect the government’s thinking?

What such hypocrisy? Such arrogance!

How could it not be the official state policy when the said outrageous pronouncement had appeared at the People’s Daily which is the official organ of China’s so-called “Communist” party of China?

It is on this inescapable and indisputable sense that the Chinese government is engaged in the preposterous use of doublespeak.

According to Wikipedia:

“Doublespeak is language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words. Doublespeak may take the form of euphemisms (e.g., “downsizing” for layoffs, “servicing the target” for bombing), in which case it is primarily meant to make the truth sound more palatable. It may also refer to intentional ambiguity in language or to actual inversions of meaning (for example, naming a state of war “peace”). In such cases, doublespeak disguises the nature of the truth. Doublespeak is most closely associated with political language.”

China always said that they are for peace, yet consider their obvious overt acts. They are for peace, yet they are bullying and harassing various claimants in the disputed waters. Worst, they are now occupying territories that is not their own.

They claimed that they are for piece but now there are threatening everyone of a so-called “counterstrike”.

What do they mean by that is only available to their own dictionary. Nonetheless for the benefit of those idiot freaks, the standard meaning of a counterstrike is a counterattack.

Now, the question here is: how could these idiotic war-freaks threatened to launch a counterattack when in fact they are the one attacking, harassing and bullying other countries at the South China Sea?

How idiotic and ignorant one country can be?

I can no longer find the exact words how to describe China’s idiocy, preposterousness, outlandishness, ignorance and shamelessness!

Bloody hell!

Imagine: they are the one attacking and yet they have the galls to say that they will unleash a counterattack?

Holy cow!

So, in a sense, while China is caressing one with the right arm, while its bloody left arm is twisting another! What a shame!

On this critical juncture, I would like to invite the attention of the world-public to the concept of Doublespeak that is closely related with Doublethink.

Edward S. Herman, a political economist and media analyst, has highlighted some examples of doublespeak and doublethink in modern society. In his book, Beyond Hypocrisy he laid down the principle characteristics of doublespeak which is:

“What is really important in the world of doublespeak is the ability to lie, whether knowingly or unconsciously, and to get away with it; and the ability to use lies and choose and shape facts selectively, blocking out those that don’t fit an agenda or program.”

The whole world knows that “both China and the Philippines have been locked in a decades-old territorial squabble over the South China Sea, with tensions flaring after the Philippines moved new soldiers and supplies last week to a disputed coral reef, prompting Beijing to condemn Manila’s “illegal occupation””.

China through the years has labeled the Philippines various tags such as “trouble-maker” and “illegal occupier”. Now, the latest of China’s brouhaha and series of allegation is the fact that according to them “the Philippines had committed “seven sins” in the South China Sea.”

According to the Reuters report:

The “seven sins” includes,
1. the “illegal occupation” of the Spratly Islands,
2. inviting foreign capital to engage in oil and gas development in the disputed waters,

3. promoting the “internationalisation” of the waters,

4. has called on the United States to act as a “patron”,

5. the Philippines, knowing that it’s weak, believes that ‘a crying child will have milk to drink’; and

6. Manila’s resort to many “unscrupulous” tricks in the disputed waters.
Not content with that, China also accused the whole of ASEAN for its being an “accomplice”. For the record, that is allegation number 7.

Comment:

Again, look how China uses doublespeak and doublethink. Look close how it distorts the use of language for its greedy political and economic purposes.

For the benefit of the global public, let me respond to the ridiculous and out of this world accusation of China.

The Philippines submitted to an international court sanctioned by the United Nations its claim to those parts of the Spratlys and so as the Scarborough Shoal it is claiming.

Question:

How about China? Why does it is not submitting itself to the jurisdiction of the said court?

The answer is as clear as the sky in the early morning.

First, it has no evidence to back up its claim (except its so-called “historical evidence”, which in my view is the most idiotic territorial claim in the history of humanity) and second, it does not recognize the jurisdiction of the said court. Which is a shame and a brutal display of arrogance and a betrayal of their gross ignorance of international norms, laws and statutes!

Why?

Does it mean that China consider itself above or superior to international law? Does China consider itself exempted from international rules and universal convention?

It is a well-trenched rule in all civilized jurisdiction that an independent and sovereign state has all the right to use, exploit and develop its natural resources and defend/safeguard its territory. The act of the Philippines in inviting foreign capital to engage in oil and gas development in the disputed waters; is a sovereign act of an independent state.

Therefore, it has no right whatsoever to tell other countries how those countries will decide their own fate. Though the said waters are in dispute, it is undeniable that they are well within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines.

Hence, China has no business to meddle or interfere with the Philippines’ internal affairs.

The Philippines is not a greedy nation. Though we maintain by law and in fact that we own those disputed waters, we are not and we will not deny the right of “innocent passage”.

The South China/West Philippine Sea is an indispensable navigation of regional and international trade. We are not arrogant and ignorant, like China, to close that important sea lane which in undeniably under international waters.

As I’ve stated in my article, “China’s imperialist designs; showing it’s ugly head and bloody arms (South China Sea)”, The China Daily Mail, December 4, 2012:

As Matthew Bigg noted:

“Several countries have overlapping sovereignty claims in the South China Sea, which is believed to be rich in oil and gas. It is the region’s biggest potential military flashpoint.

“A summit of Asian nations this month was overshadowed by disagreements between China and the Philippines over the dispute. Tensions were fanned again by China’s move to issue new passports containing a map of its maritime claims.”

Promptly, the Philippine government, in response to China’s latest imperialist design, immediately decided not to stamp the said passports that shows a map of its maritime claim.

This is the latest showdown between the two countries concerning the disputed territory that begun last April!

Now, let us consider in detail China’s version of “double speak.” As already stated, China said it attached “great importance” to freedom of navigation in waters that have some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. Yet, what kind of “great importance” it attaches to the “freedom of navigation” in the said disputed waters which is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world? By boarding and inspecting those foreign vessels in passing through the said lanes?

Who the devil are they to declare whether a vessel is guilty of illegal entry or not? It is my considered view and so held that they are the one who are illegally entering a territory that they do not own!

They are acting as if they owned the said international waters and disputed territories! Said unreasonable act, in my view, constitutes bullyism and indiscriminate flexing of its muscles as against the convention and accord agreed upon by China with the ASEAN way back in 2002.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry is engaged in a contradictory and hypocritical stance.

“All countries have freedom of navigation in the South China Sea in accordance with international law … At present there are no problems in this regard”. However, Hong added that “Beijing wanted to resolve the dispute with neighbouring countries through negotiations”.

This is good, if this is true, yet when “asked on Thursday about the police boarding plans, Hong said that management of the seas according to the law” was “a sovereign nation’s legitimate right.”
China is duping and fooling the world in trying so hard to portray that it respects the freedom of navigation, yet at the same time those who will pass through the said lanes will be boarded and inspected. Wow! That is how they respect international law and attach importance to negotiation and civility to the other claimants of the said territories.

Beautifully preposterous, to say the least!

Question to China

Do you own the said sea? Are you aware that beyond your EEZ are already international waters?
How could you own those waters, which is part of international waters? Are you out of your mind?
For purposes of the record, let me state that I disagree with the Philippine government’s decision of asking the help of the United States of America. The said is true with regard to Japan’s help.

As I’ve stated in my article, “China is the troublemaker in the South China Sea; opinion from the Philippines”, The China Daily Mail, December 17, 2012:

Nonetheless, I strongly disagree with Foreign Affairs Secretary, Alberto Del Rosario that the Philippines “would strongly support a rearmed Japan” as a balance and an added counterweight to Chinese aggression and provocation.

We must not also forget Japan’s bloody and imperialist past!

It would be the heights of stupidity and absurdity to trade one monster from another. One imperialist is not better from another imperialist. Both of them must be closely guarded and seriously countered!

Hence, the help that is being offered by the US and Japan must also be closely studied by the Philippines.

Troublemaker

This is another form of China’s doubletalk. Calling us then as “troublemaker”; now calling us as “weak”.

Let us consider briefly the ‘logic’ of these freaks: how could a supposed weakling act as a troublemaker? Well, China may be big, yet there is no scintilla of doubt that its leaders, especially it’s so-called “Communist party are a bunch of old idiotic dinosaurs; worst they are idiots of the highest order! What a shame!

This bastard provocative bully has tagged us as weak, yet this so-called “weakling” has the guts and the balls to stand up against this arrogant idiotic giant.

Don’t ever forget, this small country is the first in this region and in this continent to overthrow a foreign Western power.

1896, this tiny nation is already an independent and sovereign republic. How about you? When did you become a republic? 1911?

As I’ve stated firmly in my article, “The dispute over Scarborough Shoal”, The Malaysian Insider, April 18, 2012:

Don’t forget that we are the first country in Asia to overthrow a foreign power and declare a republic!

During World War II, we stood and fought the Japanese Imperial Army from day one up to the end!
We fought a dictator for more than two decades and had two revolutions. In fact, when your people tried to copied our own 1986 revolution in 1988 at Tiannamen Square, your government viciously crackdown on the people and the students who led the same!

Hence, do not take us lightly, in the same vein that we are not taking you for granted, too.

We may be small, yet we are capable of inflicting damage to you too!

As a Filipino writer puts it so succinctly, Jose Ma. Montelibano, Philippine Daily Inquirer, April 13: “China may risk killing some of us but it will find too costly to kill millions of us”.

Lastly, I am not threatening you, but warning you that we have our history of courage and greatness, too.

Hence, I implore China to learn from history: do not ever forget the lessons of the Battle of Thermopylae.

It is always the case that the tiniest of the dust often cause the greatest irritation and discomfort to the biggest bloody eyes! Again, we are also warning you!

Unscrupulous tricks

This bastard bully is accusing us of resorting to many “unscrupulous” tricks in the disputed waters. Bloody hell! I do not know what kind of mind-set or thinking these idiots have.

The Filipinos since day one have always resorted consistently to maximize the diplomatic channel and agreeable for the ICJ to assume jurisdiction!

Question: Will China voluntary submit its claim to the jurisdiction of the ICJ?

Now, who is the one engaged in resorting to unscrupulous tricks and evil means?
Allegation number 7 is the worst of China’s allegation. Due to her obsession, fanaticism and greediness, she even accused the ASEAN for being an accomplice.

Comment:

So to China, you are a good guy, if you follow her dictates? This stupid rule of them is only applicable to Cambodia (see my article, “Cambodia’s subservience to China: a tale of treachery and selfishness, The China Daily Mail, August 6, 2012), but not to the Philippines and/or to Vietnam.

These two valiant countries are consistent and firm on their stand and principle. They will not sell their soul to the devil!

As further continued by the Reuters report:

Beijing’s assertion of sovereignty over a vast stretch of the South China Sea has set it directly against Vietnam and the Philippines, while Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia also lay claim to other parts of the sea.

Comment:

Not included in the list is Japan. The bully has also a territorial dispute with Japan; this pertains to islands of Senkaku.

Below are the lists of incidents and controversies last year wherein China is involved with various countries concerning their massive territorial disputes:

1. Philippines versus China, April, 2012. This high profile incident concerns the stand-off of the two countries at the Scarborough Shoal. As of the moment, said issue is not yet resolve.

2. Vietnam versus China, May, 2012. This pertains to China’s move in calling for foreign investors and gas explorations on a contested part of the Spratly which is near Vietnam’s jurisdiction.

3. Japan versus China, June, 2012. The issue of this dispute is about the ownership of the islands of Senkaku.

4. Taiwan versus China, July, 2012. This concerns the issue of Taiwan’s intention of widening the run way of an airport, on a contested Spratly island.

5. Just days ago, one of China’s ship “accidentally” run aground at the Spratly, clearly within Philippine territory. (See my articles, “ASEAN-CHINA RELATIONS: Time to contain hostilities in South China Sea”, The New Straits Times, Malaysia, July 19, 2012; “Call for the United Nations to tell China that it cannot do as it pleases”, The Southeast Asian Times, Australia, July 21, 2012 and “Bullyism: the new face of imperialism (China’s invocation of its so-called historical right), The China Daily Mail, August 8, 2012)

Hence, it is my fervent and firm view, without slightest iota of doubt that the true blue undisputed TROUBLEMAKER, BULLY AND WARMONGER in this part of the world is no other than China.

As categorically reported by Agence France-Presse, “Philippines accuses China of military buildup at sea”, June 30, 2013:

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alberto Del Rosario told his fellow foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on the first day of a security forum in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei that:

The Philippines views “with serious concern the “militarisation of the South China Sea…

“The overwhelming presence of Chinese ships, including military and paramilitary ships, and the issuance of threats pose serious challenges for the region as a whole.”

Further, “in a press statement, Del Rosario said there was a “massive presence of Chinese military and paramilitary ships” at two groups of islets within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone, called Scarborough Shoal and Second Thomas Shoal.

“He described the Chinese presence as “threats to efforts to maintain maritime peace and stability in the region””.

The Philippine Foreign Secretary added that:

“We are prevented in our own EEZ (exclusive economic zone) from fishing, from sourcing our own natural resources and from enforcing our own laws…”

I concur with the said Secretary that “the Chinese actions violated a pact in 2002 in which rival claimants to the sea pledged not to take any actions that may increase tensions.”

The problem is that said pact is a non-binding declaration by ASEAN and China and though the latter also committed with the claimants to settle their disputes “without resorting to the threat or use of force” — China does not respect agreements, worst it does not even recognized international law and universal convention.

The world international community knows that “China claims nearly all of the sea, even waters approaching the coasts of neighbouring countries.”

Now, under the given prevailing circumstances, this bastard bully is the one threatening us of “doomsday” and warning us of a so-called “counterstrike”. What a shame!

They are occupying a portion of my territory which is not their own and yet they have the face and the galls to threatened us?

This bastard and shameless bully instead of bringing its disputes with various countries through diplomacy and international forum rather — has viciously resorted to force, blackmail, doublespeak, doublethink, doubletalk, treachery, bullying, threatening, etc.

Nonetheless, I concur with the position undertaken by the Philippines and other claimants in dragging China to the ambit of international law. If China will not respect the decision that will be rendered eventually by the competent international court then, it will lose all dignity and recognition before the international community, worst, she will be shame and humiliated to the maximum by the bar of global public opinion!

Due to China’s evil tactics the 10-member ASEAN that hopes to reach a legally binding Code of Conduct to manage maritime conduct in disputed areas has for now unfortunately only managed a watered-down “Declaration of Conduct” in place.

This is a shame and a tragedy.

I reiterate my call to the ASEAN to stand up and unite, because if not, they will wake up one day that the rest of Southeast Asia is already under the bloody red empire of the bastard “Communist” party of China.

Another sharp and fine example of China’s war-freak and hostile intimidation is the fact that “on Thursday, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned that countries with territorial claims in the South China Sea that look for help from third parties will find their efforts “futile”, adding that the path of confrontation would be “doomed””.

Comment:

Now, this pronouncement coming from the no less than the Chinese Foreign Minister is as clear as a crystal. Either those countries that are in dispute with China kow tow to it, bow down as slaves and follow her so-called “China leading Asia policy” (which is a much vulgar and bastardized form of Japan’s Greater East Co-Prosperity Sphere) then, if not, they will be doomed?

Question:

I wonder what the hell that fellow Wang Yi is trying to express. Is that freak saying that if we will not give in to China’s demands, China shall/will:

1. Break all diplomatic relations?
2. Suspend all economic activities/trade?
3. They will resort to war? Is that their ‘meaning for the so-called ‘counterstrike’?

A Challenge:

Mr. Wang Xi, I do not know the level of your English proficiency and the depth of your English grammar and vocabulary, yet I am challenging you, SPEAK CATEGORICALLY: ARE YOU GOING TO ATTACK US? WILL YOU ENGAGE US TO A WAR?

Don’t use some vague words and ambiguous terms. You want a piece of us? Then, say so — directly. You want to fight us? Then, enough of your bloody good for nothing words. I challenge you, you and your bastard government: DO IT! JUST DO IT!

As I’ve stated in my latest article, China’s stupid contention on South China Sea: the most idiotic territorial claim in human history, The China Daily Mail, June 20, 2013 and Exposing the Truth, June 25, 2013:

It is beyond dispute that China has no evidence whatsoever and only shamefacedly using force and bullying its neighbours, because of her greed!

As one commentator said:

“China is rebuffing the Philippine map of 1874 when their map only indicated that their territory by 1904 is only up to Hainan to the South.”

The Philippine claim is being supported by Spain, Germany and other nations of the international community, while China is being supported only by China. What a shame!

Further, I doubt if the Chinese people themselves are supporting their government’s idiotic contention with regard to the territorial dispute.

We all know the truth; the whole world knows the facts: China is acting as the new face of imperialism in the region.

I am wondering is there now a scarcity of food in China, or perhaps their resources are now beginning to dry up; that’s why they are bullying, invading and fishing at other countries’ EEZs?

To the Communist Party of China:

Are you now having problem with your unsustainable growth? That is why even at the expense of your people’s welfare and other countries’ interest, you are concocting stupid historical stories to grab territories of other nations?

Warning to China

Don’t dare us, don’t bully us and don’t even provoke us! We may be small, but we do have the guts and the balls to stand up and fight a bloody bully like you, that has been shown and exhibited many times.

May I remind you that during World War II, your country was ravaged and raped by Japan, yet my country had never surrendered to those barbaric Japs. We fought those bloody bastards from day one up to the end of the war.

In fact, because of the bravery and heroism of the Filipinos, we in a sense saved Australia and New Zealand from the Japanese advance. That gave MacArthur time to regroup and organise his army.

By your evil acts and greedy deeds, you are acting like the new Japan; well, we don’t give a damn about that! We stood up and fought fiercely the Japanese Imperial Army then; if it is necessary — we are prepared to stand up and fight you too — to the death — now!

You want a Part II of the April 2012 incident? Then, so be it! You want a piece of us? C’mon, come and get it; that is if you can: we dare you!

Enough of this rubbish cabbage talk, let’s prepare to rumble!

Jose Mario Dolor De Vega

Philosophy lecturer
Polytechnic University of the Philippines

June 30, 2013

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[People] The fishing wars by Fr. Shay Cullen

The fishing wars

by Fr. Shay Cullen

325-Fr. Shay Cullen

Last week, a Taiwanese fisherman died when a Philippine Coast Guard patrol boat open-fired after one of the four Taiwanese fishing vessels reportedly tried to ram the coast guard vessel. The incident occurred 43 nautical miles east of Balintang Island, in the West Philippine Sea well inside the 200 mile limit.

Recently, the Chinese government sent a fleet of 30 fish boats to the hotly disputed area around the Spratlys Islands in the West Philippine Sea which it claims as its territory. Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines reject these claims. The area is rich in marine life and possibly, oil and natural gas. The Philippines has made a formal complaint under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and a UN tribunal will examine and rule on the complaint. China is very annoyed about that.

The Fishing Wars are beginning to heat up. It is not only oil and gas that is in contest but fish are needed to feed the growing world population, now at 7 billion and there will be another 9 Billion humans by 2050. How to feed them all is the big question. The imbalance of resource allocation leaves one billion people, mostly children, hungry every day and several more billions struggling to survive on two dollars a day, some on every less. It’s not a fair just world.

The planet’s resource of fish is among the most prized, many think it is free and there for the catching, but how wrong they are. The fish stocks are being decimated by destructive wasteful over-fishing and ocean pollution and will not be there much longer.

As I write this, I am looking online at a digital population clock that is running like a slot machine spinning its numbers non-stop (http://countrymeters.info/en/World). As I watch, the numbers of new births is rapidly increasing dozens by the seconds. The death rate is not keeping pace. Modern medicine keeps the old alive longer. The biggest population growth is in Asia and the Southern hemisphere, China is the most populous (1.3 Billion) and is aggressively expanding its power and sending fishing fleets into the seas and disputed waters to supply fish to feed all these people.

China and Peru are the biggest fishing nations followed by the US and Japan. China eats most of what their ships catch. Peru is the next biggest fisher nation but eats hardly any and exports most to Japan. Russia sends factory ships to the Pacific to harvest millions of tons of fish. The Philippines is number ten on the list of fishing nations and eats most of its catch. In Europe, Scotland and Spain have perhaps the biggest fleets of the North Atlantic where fish stocks are collapsing. But bans on catching certain fish species are helping the fish to recover.

The planet as it is now is being misused, exploited, and over-heated and may not be able to sustain such a huge population. This week, the planet has reached the highest level of Co2 gas in the atmosphere for more than 3 million years and the planet was hot. A report published last week says huge declines in the plants and animals will be devastating as world temperatures continue to rise. The poorer developing countries will be the hardest hit, as of now, world food supplies are at their lowest level in 40 years. Several nations are leasing land in developing countries by millions of hectares to grow food, not for the hungry local population but to feed their own populations.

Some scientists and biologists predict that the oceans could be without fish in 25 years. The over-fishing is killing the oceans as a source of healthy protein. The United Nations report (SOFIA) on the state of the world’s fisheries and aqua-culture has established that as much as 80% of the oceans’ fishing grounds are fully or over-exploited and on the edge of being depleted, that means they are in a state of collapse and will reach a tipping point when there are not enough fish left to breed and replenish themselves. Some species are already extinct or nearly so. North Atlantic herring is on the edge of extinction from non-stop fishing. Cod is endangered because cod feeds on herring and it too is over-fished. A Fishing War erupted and almost turned violent when Iceland banned cod fishing in 100 kilometers radius of its coast. The cod are slowly recovering. Strict enforced controls on the amount that can be landed must be enforced. We humans have to act now to save the oceans and their fish before full collapse of most species occur. Soon it will be all over and unhealthy chemical based fish farming is all that will be left. shaycullen@preda.org

(Fr. Shay’s columns are published in The Manila Times, in publications in Ireland, the UK, Hong Kong, and on-line.)

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