War with China

TO THE QUICK - Jerry Tundag - The Freeman

It is perfectly possible for tensions in the South China Sea to rise to such significant levels as to actually trigger physical clashes between Chinese and Filipino forces. But physical clashes do not necessarily lead to war. And war is something that I do not think is in the best interest of either country to wage against each other.

In fact I think even China knows it. It can bully us and harass us, largely because it can. But go to war against us? There is nothing for China to gain militarily from us in a war. On the other hand it has everything to lose. A war with the Philippines will certainly bring in the US and its allies into the conflict, regardless of the means they may choose to engage.

Economically, it can just be as disastrous for China. The Philippines makes up just about two percent of China's global trade, too puny to risk the much-bigger slices of the trade pie that the US and its allies like Japan, Europe, Australia, etc. represent. Moreover, China is on the brink of launching into a new orbit of influence, BRICS. It can't risk that as well.

Indeed, China has actually blinked. In talks only last Thursday and Friday with Malaysian and Singaporean officials on the current situation in the South China Sea, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, a member of Communist Party politburo in China, said it is imperative for his country and the Philippines to expeditiously work to control the situation.

What I understand that statement to mean is that it is very important (imperative) to quickly (expeditiously) find ways to stop things from proceeding to where everybody will only regret it later. Of course there is no way of knowing if Wang Yi is just talking through his teeth. But then again, for whatever it is worth, talking is always better than shooting.

Now I do not know if the Philippines is willing to seize this opportunity to engage China in talks. It is difficult to know because the air has become very clouded with reckless and irresponsible talk peddled by some jingoistic Philippine officials with a twisted sense of loyalty and patriotism.

The way these officials sound, it is as if they have no qualms going to war with China. Now let me make my position very clear: If we have to go to war with China, or any other country for that matter, then so be it. I am and always will be for my country. Always on the side of my homeland the Philippines.

But that does not mean I will not exert every effort to avoid one. War is a terrible thing. If things are difficult and challenging as they are right now, it will be many times more so in war. If we all agonized during the COVID-19 pandemic which was no less a war by itself, how much more for a real shooting war.

Right now we feel terrible about the prospects of being denied access and potentially losing submerged rocks far out into the sea that we claim as ours due to the bullying tactics and harassment by China, which claim the same submerged rocks as their own. We bristle at losing an inch and flirt with war where we can lose the whole country.

When the missiles start raining in a real war, my beloved Cebu, the place of my birth, will be wiped out as an EDCA site. So goes with other sites. Entire cities and individual homes will be destroyed. Families will be scattered. Lives will be lost. If talk can help, it is the patriotic and loyal duty of everyone to push for it. Those who risk our patrimony are traitors.

vuukle comment



  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with