Author Topic: Commentary: What should Duterte do with China?  (Read 3307 times)

adroth

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Commentary: What should Duterte do with China?
« on: March 12, 2018, 09:47:09 AM »
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Commentary: What should Duterte do with China?
 PhilStar Global PhilStar Global
Richard Javad Heydarian
3/2/2018

https://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/national/commentary-what-should-duterte-do-with-china/ar-BBJLFEg

< Edited >

Day after day, what we hear are unmistakably defeatist statements, which reflect the creeping grip of strategic fatalism among our leadership. Case in point is the false argument that our options in the West Philippine Sea, and increasingly in the Benham Rise, are a suicidal war or graceful accommodation. 

This could be no farther from the truth, since, as Buddha would have counseled, there is always the third, more moderate path forward. And that is called "strategic resistance." 

We see this approach in the case of other neighboring countries such as South Korea, Vietnam, Japan and Indonesia, which have managed to keep China's maritime ambitions at bay by, first and foremost, refusing to internalize defeat and succumb to Beijing's intimidation tactics. 

Vietnam, a country far poorer than the Philippines and with no superpower ally, has gradually built up its own defensive capacity, knowing it only needs a minimum credible deterrence to protect its precious resources and territorial claims across the South China Sea.

Indonesia, on the other hand, has renamed the waters off the coast of Natuna islands as North Natuna Sea, an explicit rejection of China's vague but expanding claims beyond the South China Sea basin and well into the Southeast Asian country's exclusive economic zone. 

Jakarta, which has similar per capita income as the Philippines and without any superpower ally, is also stepping up its crackdown on illegal fishing by Chinese elements within its waters, while deploying a larger share of its resources to maritime security. 

Both Vietnam and Indonesia, two countries with fiercely nationalist ideologies, have stepped up their military cooperation with America in order to signal their unwillingness to accept Chinese hegemony in the area. Following the Chinese dictum, they are using 'far barbarians' to balance a 'near barbarian'. 

Both Japan and South Korea, which happen to be top trading partners of China, have also resisted Beijing's maritime push into the East China and Yellow Seas, respectively. In several occasions, South Korea went so far as shooting to death illegal Chinese fishermen encroaching into the Yellow Sea. 

All four countries mentioned, meanwhile, have maintained robust economic ties with China, despite resisting the latter's territorial assertiveness. In short, there has been minimal-to-nonexistent tradeoff between standing up to Beijing, on one hand, and maintaining robust trade ties with the world's second biggest economic power, on the other. 

Throughout the decades, one Southeast Asian country after the other, ranging from Thailand to Vietnam and Indonesia, have realized that much of China's promised investment deals have either failed to materialize or/and were embroiled in corruption scandals and major quality, sustainability concerns. 

< Edited >

But, in exchange, what have we received from China, so far? 

Latest data shows that Japan is by far our largest source of Overseas Development Assistance. In the past year, Chinese investments in the Philippines went from a tiny P1.4 billion to P1.61 billion. In contrast, Japanese investment increased by 23.79 percent, from a whopping P25.43 billion in 2016 to P31.48 billion in 2017.

In the same period, Americans invested as much as P8.357 billion, while the South Koreans made P11.82 billion in investments in the previous year. In short, Chinese investments are extremely tiny compared to our traditional partners. Ad there are no assurances that Beijing will commit large-scale investments beyond rhetoric.

< Edited >
« Last Edit: March 13, 2018, 10:36:37 AM by adroth »

adroth

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Re: Commentary: What should Duterte do with China?
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2018, 10:36:31 AM »
Day after day, what we hear are unmistakably defeatist statements, which reflect the creeping grip of strategic fatalism among our leadership. Case in point is the false argument that our options in the West Philippine Sea, and increasingly in the Benham Rise, are a suicidal war or graceful accommodation. 

This could be no farther from the truth, since, as Buddha would have counseled, there is always the third, more moderate path forward. And that is called "strategic resistance."

If the following actions don't constitute "strategic resistance" . . .

Duterte insists West PH Sea et. al. belong to PH

Philippine protests against China under Duterte



. . . then a fourth approach is called for. 

Quote
Vietnam, a country far poorer than the Philippines and with no superpower ally, has gradually built up its own defensive capacity, knowing it only needs a minimum credible deterrence to protect its precious resources and territorial claims across the South China Sea.

It's worth noting that Vietnam already has . . .

An island in the WPS, which was taken from the Philippines that had a sheltered port as of 2014

Expansion of facilities by 2014



While the PAF is still re-learning fighter operations, Vietnam already has . . .

Photo from airliners.net


Vietnam already operates Kilo class submarines



Lễ hạ thuỷ tŗu kilo. Ảnh: TTXVN.

Quote
Indonesia, on the other hand, has renamed the waters off the coast of Natuna islands as North Natuna Sea, an explicit rejection of China's vague but expanding claims beyond the South China Sea basin and well into the Southeast Asian country's exclusive economic zone. 

Jakarta, which has similar per capita income as the Philippines and without any superpower ally, is also stepping up its crackdown on illegal fishing by Chinese elements within its waters, while deploying a larger share of its resources to maritime security.

Like Vietnam, Indonesia has a fully functional air arm

F16.net - Indonesia

Two Indonesian vipers, fully armed with 4x AIM-9 and 2x AGM-65 missiles, flying low (200 ft) over Gulf Of Popoh, South of East Java Province. [Photo by Capt.Agung "Sharky" Sasongkojati]
-
TNI-AU F-16A #TS-1606 in the Indonesian AF's Elang Biru (Blue Falcons) Demonstration Team's color scheme. The team's aircraft have an operational task as well as evidenced by the 4x AIM-9 and 2x AGM-65 missiles on this aircraft. [Photo by Major Agung "Sharky" Sasongkojati]

. . . has the oldest submarine fleet in South East Asia

The Indonesian Navy's first Type 209/1400 submarine, pictured at its launching ceremony on 24 March in Okpo. Source: DSME

. . . and has a very active indigenous defense industry. The PN even bought its two LSDs from them




Quote
Both Japan and South Korea, which happen to be top trading partners of China, have also resisted Beijing's maritime push into the East China and Yellow Seas, respectively. In several occasions, South Korea went so far as shooting to death illegal Chinese fishermen encroaching into the Yellow Sea.

Japan is the third largest economy in the world . . . and South Korea is, among other things, the largest shipbuilder in the world.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 10:56:05 AM by adroth »