We should follow our ‘one China policy’
(The Philippine Star) - May 19, 2013 - 12:00am

There is absolutely no question that Taiwan’s hardline stance and their rejection of President Aquino’s apology after demanding it was totally out of line. Now more than ever, we should concentrate on our relationship with the People’s Republic of China and continue to find ways and means to settle our territorial disputes. Even if we already elevated our case before the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) we should do everything we can and reach out to the true China. A large majority of the Filipino-Chinese business community couldn’t agree more, and in fact are ready to help in this regard through back-door channeling considering they have major businesses in China.

 This whole issue about Taiwan showing aggressive petulance is totally uncalled for. Rejecting the attempts of the Philippine government to salvage the relationship by issuing apologies – plural mind you – is a slap on the Filipino people. After all, Taiwan is just a renegade province of the People’s Republic of China. With our “one China policy,” we do not consider it as a country and in fact, is no longer recognized by most nations. They only recognize the People’s Republic of China (PRC), not the Republic of China (or ROC which is the official name of Taiwan) as the legitimate Chinese government. 

 It is high time we invoke our “one China policy” and adhere to it strictly. Obviously, strengthening our relationship with the PRC is more important anyway considering that China is now the second biggest economy (some argue it has overtaken the US) in the world, with both Asia and Europe banking on the big market offered by the Chinese. China is also the third biggest trading partner of the Philippines and accounts for some 15 percent of our total exports, taking up more than 50 percent the Philippines’ biggest export which is electronics. Despite the bumps, businessmen are looking forward to enhanced and more stable business relations with China in many industries that include agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, construction, mining and services.

 Now that President Noy has been given a “new mandate” on account of the administration coalition’s domination in the recently concluded senatorial elections, perhaps the new Senate should revisit our foreign policy and issue a resolution reiterating the Philippines’ foreign policy that recognizes only “one China,” and that we will continue to strengthen bilateral relations with duly recognized nations that have a major bearing in our political, trade and cultural relations.

 It’s interesting to note how Taiwan’s “provincial” leaders reacted when the administration indicated that it will deal with the Balintang Channel issue based on our “one China policy.”  There is also very strong perception that Taiwan is leveraging on the shooting incident involving Taiwanese suspected to be poachers to push for maritime concessions in areas that are considered part of our exclusive economic zone. If any agreement is drawn at all, it should be between two sovereign countries – the PRC and the Philippines. If Taiwanese officials insist, then they should make a pact with our nearest province to Taiwan like Ilocos Norte.

 We commiserate and feel for our overseas Filipino workers being harassed by the local Chinese in Taiwan, with reports that our OFWs are being called insulting names like “dogs” and refused entry in supermarkets and other commercial establishments. We should evacuate them immediately. Surely DOLE, POEA and OWWA can step up efforts to look for other countries where our workers will be more than welcome because of their experience and good work ethics. Certainly, the Taiwanese will feel the void since Filipinos are the best workers in the world especially in the electronics manufacturing sector – one of Taiwan’s major industries. Lets not allow a “provincial governor” from Taiwan to push us around.

Karma in politics

 A clear case of political karma took place in the last elections. All of the negative issues thrown by the followers of Alan Peter Cayetano and Loren Legarda – despite the fact that both belong to the same coalition – caused the phenomenal rise of Grace Poe to the number one position. All of which only goes to show that in politics, there are no permanent friends or enemies; only permanent interests. In the end, the negative slinging resulted in Legarda and Cayetano X-ing each other out with ‘Amazing’ Grace shooting up to number one.

 Admittedly, the biggest political capital of Grace Poe is her father. She already had a “puhunan” of 11 million votes with some people describing them as “sympathy votes” from her father’s supporters who believe Fernando Poe was the real winner and should have been president in the 2004 elections. Grace admitted herself that her name helped and that it is now time for her to deliver on her promises as a senator. 

 Actually, a lot of people from all sectors of society are happy to see Grace come out as number one. She is a fresh face who is articulate and humble. Hers is a refreshing presence and people are already looking to her as the new benchmark for senators. People who voted for her say they were looking for someone who did not do the usual throwing of issues left and right to bring down this or that candidate.

 Filipinos are now ready to see their senators elevate the discourse to a higher plane. During the campaign period, Poe showed strength of character and refused to delve into “personal” denigration – which is what people liked about her. Call it being statesmanlike or stateswomanlike – something some of our legislators should emulate.  We can expect Grace Poe to add a little more ‘grace’ to the Senate.

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Email: babeseyeview@yahoo.com


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