We are alone

WE are being bullied by China and yet not a single word of sympathy or concern from our fellow Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) members or even the United States, an indication that we are on our own.

It seems that we are now reaping the seeds that Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo have sown when in 2004 she unilaterally decided to allow China to explore for oil in the disputed waters, which by definition includes Panatag Shoal (Scarborough), in exchange for a $4 billion in loan. This contravenes the intent of our 2002 Code of Conduct in the South China Sea which calls for a collective defense against China on the disputed areas.

Arroyo’s agreement with the Chinese was apparently construed as a betrayal of the 2002 agreement and of our fellow ASEAN member hence the absence of any kind of support from them in our current predicament.

This is why it is imperative for us to regain the trust of our neighbors by intensifying our diplomatic efforts to forge closer ties with them, especially those who have similar claims in Scarborough and the Spratly Islands like Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan. We cannot afford a confrontation with China, even with U.S. backing.

In fact it is foolish for us to militarize the issue because we don’t have the capacity to fight China with our meager navy and non-existent air force. There is also very little chance that the U.S., could assist us in a timely fashion due to the vast distance that its reinforcing armed forces have to cover before reaching our shores. This simply means that we would have already suffered the consequences
of war before they could help.

We also have to consider a more likely scenario that the U.S. won’t even lift a finger to help as they are not obliged by any defense treaty to automatically do so.

The U.S. is deeply indebted to China and its economy is tied up with them. It is reasonable to suppose that they won’t choose us over China, their major trading partner.

At the same time the government should double its effort to modernize our armed forces and prepare them for external conflict. We must have a credible armed force that would make a foreign nation think twice before messing with us.

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Does boredom wear you down or is there just a nagging feeling that you want to get away from the metropolis and be with mother-nature?

Then go and visit Bato Springs in Barangay San Cristobal, San Pablo City. Located at the foot of the mystical Mt. Banahaw, Bato Springs is just one hour and 30 minute drive from Manila. You have a spacious parking space that could even accommodate tourist buses and first class amenities for all your business and pleasure needs.

For more information call Ms. Elaine Garchitorena at 0495620976 or (0916) 372-3926.

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