Many are perplexed and ask what our President will tell his counterpart President Xi Jinping, in his upcoming visit to China.
Many observers are having their suspicion about the possible outcome of the visit for it seems our ambassador has laid down the substance on what the two are about to discuss.
Surely, the President is not about to discuss the demand of the US to increase their number of military bases in the country for that would be inappropriate for the two to raise, it being interpreted by President Xi as an internal matter for the Philippines to resolve.
China can only pretend that everything was threshed out.
It is awkward and monotonous for the country to keep silent for its reason why it opted to increase the number of US military bases. This will remain a lingering issue as if the threat to Taiwan is a threat to the Philippines.
First, we have no military commitment to militarily defend Taiwan. We we committed ourselves to the one-China policy in exchange for our recognition of the People’s Republic of China.
Even if Taiwan is invaded by China, that country is outside the scope of our legal responsibility and obligation.
Taiwan could be an ally of the US but it does not make sense to send our troops in defense of Taiwan.
Second, BBM’s decision to increase the number of US bases does not speak of the real situation in the South China Sea.
US bases in the Philippines do not indicate aggressive design to contain the threat from China.
Yes, there is a threat but there is no possibility we can pre-empt the invasion.
Our decision to increase the US bases is more sophomoric than real; that we can ask why we have to invite the US to cross the Pacific Ocean to contain China in the South China Sea?
Our permission to allow our territory to be used by foreign military forces under the guise of a lease agreement or as training ground of foreign forces is unconstitutional and a violation of our defense treaty with the US.
Notably, a defense pact among allies does not explicitly point to a particular country as enemy.
Every state must have its own keen sense of determining whether a particular country has the possibility of attacking it, and often this can be gleaned by the conduct of its policy.
Insofar as our relation with China is concerned, China has not exhibited signs they are against our decision to increase the US bases including our decision to allow the reopening of a US naval base in Luzon.
China continues to patrol the whole stretch of South China Sea as it is their prerogative to patrol that area of responsibility.
Some say that the added task of monitoring of foreign ships cruising the Philippine archipelago is heightened by the tension with China.
It is the US navy that persists in patrolling the area by allowing foreign warships to routinely pass our territorial waters and make anchor as if to taunt the Chinese navy, which is, by geographical location, just a few miles from our territory.
Chinese navy is practically free to navigate the whole area of South China Sea except on areas demarcated territorially as internal waters.
It is indisputable that the US and the Philippines did not provoke China to create the tense situation in the South China Sea.
Many could only ask why we encourage the US navy to cross the whole of the Pacific Ocean and allow themselves to establish military bases in this part of the globe?
The proximity of the US bases to China can never be reversed to insinuate that China could provoke the attack.
Remember, it was the Philippines and the US that established a military alliance here, and common sense will tell that the alliance is directed against China, not against Japan, South Korea. UK, Australia, Canada or Taiwan or countries alien to the region.
Will the US together with the Philippines not attack China?
The fact that US armed forces are already strategically prepositioned against China in the South China Sea is indicative that the US already positioned itself for war with China.
It is the US that has been bullying China.
Aggression is an act of war that is quite difficult to refute.
There must be an overt act of aggression to constitute a violation of the UN charter, and not just a mere cruising of warships in international waters.
US intrusion into the Taiwan Strait can be interpreted in a strict sense as an act of war because both sides of the waterway are considered internal waters to the warring factions.
Taking all these into consideration, will China not express doubt on our motivation to allow this issue to dangle unnecessarily?
Will this not result in a serious impact to our dealings with ASEAN as many of them are now racing to achieve a degree of industrialization through favorable trade with China?
By increasing the US bases here, would it not affect our bargaining leverage with China like seeking to augment economic assistance from China?
Will our posturing for more economic, medical, and increased export for our agricultural products etc. appear not anachronistic to our demand when, on the other hand, our president is begging the US for more military assistance?
Will the position of BBM not appear as ambivalent?
Even China could sense that we want to get most in our dealings with that country.
We can never bridge the gap that separates us apart from our ASEAN neighbors.
This explains why, even if we made a good start in our dealings with ASEAN through China like our endorsement of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, our somewhat hesitant ratification of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and our ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, many of these Asian international organizations still see our dealings with China as insincere.
In substance, the issue tends to divide Asia.
This is apparent in our purchases and acquisition of arms and in the training of our soldiers.
All these speak that we are hardly loyal to our Asian neighbors.
We often prefer to send our officers for training and for higher education to Western military institutions.
Our choice for expensive armaments such as submarines, frigates, fighter aircraft, helicopters, radars, and telecommunication equipment indicate our preference for Western armaments despite the fact that we are geographically very much a part of Asia.
When BBM’s ambassador manifested our position of increasing the number of US military bases in the country, he virtually deprived our President of what he is going to discuss with his counterpart.
He can never open the discussion to secure more economic and military assistance.
That will surely put the country in bad taste, but will likely not to be favored by China.
In effect, it was our ambassador who pre-emptively sabotaged the agenda of the presidential visit.
The US and its lackey in the person of the Philippine ambassador to the US will be having their smirking smile knowing just how they turned our President to some kind of “yoyo.”