Pinching China-A A +A
As I See It
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
THAT was not funny! The Chinese did it! While our vessels were afraid of the medium-size waves, the Chinese fishing vessels persevered. They were backed up by the larger boats that are actually rescue ships. Just like in the movie directed by Clint Eastwood, the Chinese dramatically erected their flag on top of a protruding stone in our Scarborough Shoal (Panatag), known as Masinloc Baja for the old-timers of Zambales.
The Chinese braved the storms because they believed that the area is theirs. It is their Zhongsha Isles. At first I thought that the disappearance of Philippine boats would be some kind of a Trojan horse strategy. I was wrong. That was really a retreat. Masinloc Baja had a lighthouse in the biggest rock used by Zambales fishermen since the Spanish and American regimes. The said landmark deteriorated later.
The Chinese got horns only in claiming that portion in 1995. The US Navy bid farewell to Subic Base in Zambales in 1990 because Pres. Erap wanted a country without a weapon of mass destruction. That was a very cinematic exit. There was some kind of lament in history because in the 1898 Treaty of Paris, the shoal was not included when Spain ceded the archipelago to America.
That was not the end of the story. Our Coast Guard maintained the lighthouse until the end of its day. It was reported in the International Maritime Organization for publication in the List of Lights. That could be one proof that the shoal is ours. Our navy also grounded a vessel or a banca there. Well, it's according to records. When the Little President was in office, our Scarborough and Kalayaan were treated as "regime islands" only. That simply means that they are to be disputed islets and water. Ask her.
This cute conflict between the Philippines and China created also a cute impact in our economy. Our proud bananas and admirable pineapples were put on hold in the seaports of China. There was some kind of infestation. It reminded me of the movie Virus. That was an acid test for our economy. China just wanted to prove that the Chinese can have their diet without our fruits. Anyway, after a few days, everything returned to "normal."
The economic injury did not end there. Our banana and pineapple growers felt that they were outsmarted in that part of the globe. Like crybabies, they found sanctuary in our government. Just recently, our Bureau of Customs under Commissioner Ruffy Biazon is strictly monitoring the entry of mercury-tainted milk in the market. Sketchy report said that the origin of these products could be China.
It was reported that few days ago, the Inner Yili Industrial Group in China recalled Quan You milk due to its mercury content. If we remember, in 2008 the then Bureau of Food and Drugs and the Department of Health imposed a temporary ban on China milk products because of a melamine scare. We are now starting to pinch China economically.
In the girls' world, there is also a complaint that some whitening beauty products coming from China have irritated the face of our women. This is another scare. The toys and crayons used by our children coming from China are believed to have toxic materials not good for health. This is an additional scare. This may be funny but it scares. We want to stop this pinching business. If there is truth to the allegations, then our government should go out with an official public statement.
China invaded us a long time ago. Their people have become citizens of our country. They are the business tycoons dominating our economy. We cannot stop them now. We belong to one Asia. Our leaders should look forward and find means for comfortable co-existence. We can tolerate a sleeping giant. There is no more sleeping giant now. The giant with open eyes is in front of us.
There could be a better idea than pinching.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on June 26, 2012.