PHIL-CHINA WATCH

By Herman Tiu Laurel

When US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called China’s military drills around Taiwan “significant escalation” he apparently forgets that in fact the US media speculated on worse scenarios, such as Pelosi’s plane being forced down on some airfield before reaching Taiwan. Some Western media even cheered on China to do it.

China staged a calibrated series of actions aimed at delivering an unmistakable message to the US that things will no longer be the same if, when and after Nancy Pelosi landed in Taipei. China’s four-day military drills simulating a blockade of Taiwan made sure Washington now clearly understands the message loud and clear.

We need to flashback on a similar situation in 1995 when China, alarmed at a provocative invitation from Cornell University for Taiwan leader Lee Teng-hui to speak on “Taiwan Democratization Experience”. Although the US State Department then opposed the Lee visit, the US Congress, then as now, forcibly allowed Lee to visit.

China, then as now, conducted protest military drills with accompanying missile test firings. The US in response staged the largest display of American military might in Asia since the Vietnam war with the USS Belleau Wood followed by the USS O'Brien and USS McClusky, and finally USS Nimitz transiting the Taiwan Strait from July on to December 1995.

‘Winning the battle without fighting’

This time around China’s military exercises positioned all around Taiwan effectively blockading the Taiwan island and cutting off civilian sea and air traffic in and out of Taiwan for the duration of the four-day military exercises, and firing off a dozen missiles as of this writing, some crossing over Taiwan island and some splashing down in Japan’s EEZ to the consternation of the US vassal.

China’s final message in this aspect to both the US and the young, belligerent voters of Taiwan, the US can no longer sail its sea forces across the Taiwan Strait when China closes it, hence US security commitments are worthless. On top of that, China also banned up to 2,000 exports of Taiwan to China to remind the misguided pro-Independence groups that Taiwan prosperity depends on the PROC.

After 27-years China has finally won the battle for the Taiwan Strait, achieving control over it against the US in what can be deemed a fulfillment of Sun Tzu’s “Winning the war without fighting” forcing the US now to seek de-escalation and resumption of dialogue and cooperation. This is a victory for the world, preventing further escalation of the US warmongering in the region.

Sans outside intrusion, peaceful reunification inevitable

Every nation seeks territorial integrity and national unity. Only the small DPP clique sustained by the US arms sales graft and distortion of history inculcated by media and the educational system (like Hong Kong) breeds a base among the youth. China buys over 40 percent of Taiwan’s export each year and growing. Sans external meddling this destines, over time, peaceful reintegration of Taiwan with China.

The Western Powers led by the US have for centuries sought to contain China, abort its rise and spearheading of Asia’s rise. Taiwan and other islands around its southern belly have been key containment points. The US attacked Taiwan in 1867, the US supported Japan’s invasion of Taiwan in 1874, sold weapons to Japan in the 1st Sino-Japanese that forced China to cede Taiwan to Japan.

It has only been 73 years from China’s 1949 Revolution to this day, China has risen from one of the poorest, backward nation to the world’s top economy, at par overall in military power with the main powers, at the cutting edge in many fields of technology, and most importantly leading the world to a harmonious “Community of Shared Future for Mankind” – the alternative to the West’s “forever wars”.

The Pelosi charade allowed China to assert its ascendance, then it upped the ante cutting off military dialogue talks, cooperation on climate change and direct sanctions on Speaker Nancy Pelosi and family highlighting the transgressions and lies from the non-existent Tiananmen Square massacre, Hong Kong HR violations and Xinjiang “genocide” which UNCHR chief Michelle Bachelet recently debunked.

With the latest diplomatic and geopolitical shock moves emanating from the Pelosi-Taiwan Straits crisis came the opportunity for China to turn the tables on the US. Now it is the US seeking “de-escalation” of China’s crescendo of punitive diplomatic, economic and political measures against the US. China will now always negotiate with the US from a firm position of strength.

Asia, world safer: Philippines, China, US

The Philippines has been used by the US for many decades as a cohort to US imperialist wars in Asia from the Korean to the Vietnam Wars. President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos Sr. gradually broke the dependency relations with the US culminating in the opening up the socialist states and the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China in 1975.

Eleven years passed after the PH-China entente, the US ousted Marcos Sr. in a 1986 “regime change”. The return with Cory Aquino to neo-colonial status survived 30 years until 2016 when the Filipino nation voted President Rodrigo R. Duterte who thereupon declared “separation” from the US. Succeeding Duterte is President Marcos Jr. who has declared China as the country’s “strongest partner”.

China in the past decade has been passive in the face of abusive US pressure and intimidation, from containment by 800 US military bases ringing its periphery, the US “Pivot to Asia” shift of 60 percent of its military to Asia, the slanders on the 1989 Tiananmen events, four Taiwan Strait crises, 2019 Hong Kong “democracy” riots, the Xinjiang genocide lie, and the “Trade War” disruption. This has changed.

The geopolitical and military equation in Asia vis-à-vis Western imperialism has culminated in a decision “war without fighting” victor for the peaceful Asian power China against the 100-years domination of Asia by the war-mongering US. This Pelosi-Tsai stunt begins the final decline of US power in Asia which makes it safer now to continue its economic recovery and pursuit of prosperity.

President Marcos Jr. reads the signs correctly

President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. in unequivocal terms, by words and deeds, stressed the intention to “elevate PH-China ties to a higher level” while still keeping cordial relations with the US receiving all its diplomatic representations and in the talks with visiting US State Secretary Antony Blinken, Marcos Jr. told him, “The Mutual Defense Treaty is in constant evolution, I’d like to think of it.”

Marcos Jr. is more Sphinx-like with the Americans than President Rodrigo R. Duterte certainly ever was who spoke to them like a sledgehammer. Marcos Jr. is certainly more inscrutable than President Ferdinand Marcos when he told the US Congress that Filipinos would already be dying while the US Congress debated if they would abide by the commitment under the MDT.

The Philippines echoes as its foreign policy “friend to all, enemy to none”, but is that true reflection of independence? Aristotle said, “A friend to all is a friend to none” in that “one cannot have with all the people the same relationship that is based in virtue and character.” Isn’t it time the Philippines choose the “good friend”? We have had 100 years to judge the US, enough time to declare an enemy of peace as an enemy of all.

To achieve this, the Philippines must begin the final disengagement from the warmongering and fading superpower, and be one with the Mankind’s campaign to build a new world of ”forever peace” against the West’s “forever wars”. This begins by finally ending the scam that is the Mutual Defense Treaty and vanishing the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) and the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the US.

Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in the foregoing article are solely the author’s and do not reflect the opinions and beliefs of the Philippine News Agency (PNA) or any other office under the Office of the Press Secretary.

About the Columnist

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Herman Tiu Laurel is a veteran journalist and founder of think tank PHILIPPINE-BRICS Strategic Studies.