China: An ally or an enemy?

READER’S VIEWS (The Freeman) - May 5, 2021 - 12:00am

Long before the world condemns China because of the pandemic and the recent intrusion let's go back to history. The condemnation against China for the incursion of Philippines sovereignty in the West Philippines Sea is ironic.

China has long been our friend and good business partner before the country was colonized by the western world, like Spain and America who conquered the country and exploited our resources. It is strange Filipinos hate China yet reap from its economic benefits. Many are still practicing Chinese culture, eating Chinese foods, and using its products. How sad our oldest business partner in Asia is treated as an enemy, while past enemies are treated as allies.

Today China's strategic positioning in the west of the Philippines Sea is nothing compared to America's military bases located in Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, Guam, Hawaii, and Australia in the Pacific. Many are criticizing and protesting against China's military buildup in the Philippines Sea but silent over US bases in the Asian region. Should we continue to despise China and support America who wants to control the world? Does America care to defend the West Pacific region from the threat of China or has its interests to protect it? Is China a big threat to regional security? After Word War II, America started military expansion in the Pacific.

Today the US still maintains nearly 800 military bases in more than 70 countries and territories abroad. They are like mushrooms proliferating around the globe. It aims to protect its allies from foreign threats and aggression accordingly. However, America is facing a serious threat by both internal and external forces of disgruntled citizens and terrorism. America is no longer a haven for its people so how can Uncle Sam protect its allies from all forms of repulsive forces of atrocities?

The country should learn from Sabah's claims. How unfortunate we lost the case against a small country like Malaysia. However, we gain a good and amicable relationship with this Muslim country over the years. It pays to be peace-loving people with our Asian neighbors. Our recent case regarding the Spratly group of islands against China and the rest of Asian countries is a huge challenge with the monumental complexity of the issue. We won the case in the international court but we lost the island.

What is the sanction of the UN against China for not conforming to the decision of the high tribunal year after? So far there was none. Some legal minds urged to pursue the case no matter what, others say it’s enough we won the case anyway. The next step is to persuade China to obey the ruling without ruining our diplomatic relationship.

We can't afford to engage in a war for an island and lose anyway. When all measures are exhausted the ability to move on is not being complacent but to be wise. In case you forget, the Philippines has 7,107 beautiful islands to explore.

Renester P. Suralta

Pardo, Cebu City

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