Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Big, sick dominant and ‘cute little submissive’

By Alejandro Del Rosario
The Chinese really know how to stick it to us. In a recent editorial in its mouthpiece tabloid, The Global Times, China belittled t=he joint US-PH Balikatan war exercises.
“After being the cute little submissive of the United States all these years, Manila has gained only a handful of second hand weapons and empty sense of security, let alone real enhancement of its army’s combat capability,” the Global Times wrote.
Somehow there’s a ring of truth to that if we compare our defense capability with that of two other US treaty allies, South Korea and Taiwan, who are equipped with state-of-the-art fighter jets and modern warships.
The Armed Forces spokesman called China “the big squatter” while the Palace talking head said the Chinese are “insecure.” But the allusion to the Philippines as a “cute little submissive of the United States” was lost on both officials.
The description appears to be taken from E.L. James’ erotic romance novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” referring to the principal characters of employee-intern Anastasia Steele and business tycoon Christian Grey.
But the reference to the US is misplaced. It is China, with its tortured past and history of having been brutally colonized by the Big Powers, which now wants to inflict pain not only against puny Philippines but also against other small countries in the region. In the James book, the young Christian Grey was abused by an older woman. Scarred emotionally, Grey turns out to be a sadomasochist to women he fancies including the not-so-innocent Anastasia Steele. Along this line, it can be said China is the “big, sick dominant” who derives perverse pleasure from imposing its will on weaker nations.
China’s latest provocation, driving away Filipino fishermen with water cannons just 100 miles off the Philippine coast, drew a sharp rebuke from the US but nothing else. Although the annual war games held under the PH-US Visiting Forces Agreement have become more frequent, it does not help when US and PH officials deny the war exercises  have anything to do with China’s aggressive actions in the South China Sea.
The growing US concern over China’s land reclamation to build fortifications in disputed waters is mainly over the threat to freedom of navigation. More than half of the world’s commercial cargo including crude oil, coal and iron ore pass through the shipping lanes of the South China Sea. To have a Chinese garrison complete with a runway for warplanes and docks for ships smack in the middle of the South China Sea is like having a toll gate in what was once an unimpeded waterway.
In a statement this week, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte urged China to exercise restraint as he expressed concern for Filipino fishermen who have lost their livelihood to the Chinese who fish in the West Philippine Sea escorted by armed Chinese coast guard vessels.
The first presidential candidate to speak out on a major international issue, Duterte suggested that an incoming administration after the 2016 presidential polls should already be rethinking its policy and bilateral relations with its giant neighbor. Despite the alarm raised by the US and other countries over China’s military buildup in the South China Sea, President Benigno Aquino still refuses to convene the National Security Council which is nearly non-existent under his watch. If he has a National Security Adviser at all, it must be a closely guarded state secret.
Duterte also proposed a revival of the country’s Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) to prepare every able-bodied man to defend the country. Lest he is mistaken for a war freak, Duterte stressed he is for a credible self-defense capability even as he sought a diplomatic solution for Beijing to return to the negotiating table with Manila.
He bewailed that the young men of today cannot even handle a rifle because they are  preoccupied with cellphone texting, glued to Facebook and other modern electronic gadgets.  A mandatory part of the college curriculum, the ROTC was abolished in 2001 and made optional. It’s as good as defunct since hardly anyone opts for the course anymore.
FVR at PAFI forum on BBL
Former President Fidel V. Ramos will be the initial guest speaker at the upcoming round table discussions of the Philippine Ambassadors Foundation, Inc. First topic on the Foundation’s forum on current foreign relations issues is the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law .The roundtable discussion is co-sponsored with the Philippine Council on Foreign Relations and the University of Asia and the Pacific
The following ambassadors are the newly elected officers of PAFI: Lauro L. Baja, Jr., former DFA Undersecretary and Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations as chairman; and Jose Romero, former Philippine ambassador to Italy, president.
Elected to the board of governors were Ambassador Rosalinda Tirona, first vice president; Ambassador Jaime Bautista, 2nd vice president; Ambassador Jaime J. Yambao, secretary general and treasurer; Ambassador Eva Betita, auditor; Ambassador Alberto Encomienda, legal counsel; Ambassador Ike Begonia and Cristina Ortega public relations officers; and Ambassador Ralph Gonzales, governor.

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