China’s foot in the global door

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By Ver F. Pacete

As I See It

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


WE DON’T find it amusing but we admit the fact that our country is wallowing in controversies… scam of all kinds, peace and order, unemployment, problems in education, sextortion, state workers’ salary, among others. The latest addition is the debatable Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca).

While we admit that we are bullied by China in our Spratlys, we cannot swallow our pride also that America will be here in our country to protect its interest and to show off of its being a guardian of peace in our region. The Armed Forces of the Philippines is presenting colorful reasons to convince the Filipinos that Edca is a necessity. We are made to believe that it is for capacity building of both countries based on alliance (sounds good) and the presence of US force is temporary (only 10 years but that could be extended if sweeteners are available).

While we are hurling protest and counter protest on Edca, China is finding its best place in global hierarchy. Let us not be deceived by the movies we see about China. Most films are fiction or fantasy. They are produced to hit the commercial market and do not picture out the current social, economic and political stand of China. The communist blink in the Imperial eye should not deceive us. China has a well shod foot in the global door of capitalism.

Western politicians, financiers and consumers have allowed opportunistic strategies to dominate global trade for the ultimate benefit of China. Yet the driving forces behind China’s borders and expansionary controls are often misunderstood and not fully appreciated.

We often hear that the sleeping dragon of past centuries has awoken; breathing fire, brimstone and retribution on all interlopers who have so affronted China in the past. Or so the myth of Chinese economic power clouds the misunderstood reality. I was told by my high school teacher in Oriental History that to fathom China, one has to understand Yangtze River (China’s sorrow). The river ships and shapes China.

To understand China is to know the Chinese, their wishes, hopes and aspirations. The British annexation of Hong Kong many years ago deeply wounded China but the wound opened up the yearning for the modernization of China. The political and economic fortune in Hong Kong was a sign for China to open up shop for inward investment, and to develop Shanghai as a competing national magnet for trade. That would show Taiwan that what Taiwan can double, Mainland China can achieve five times. And how that sphere is expanding!

While Filipinos play politics and a race towards 2016 (game of thrones), the Chinese strengthened their values: trust, love and respect for family and elders; integrity, honesty and loyalty to all; commitment to education; a belief in order and stability; a preference for consultation rather than confrontation. The Chinese love of country is based on a preference for obligation rather than individual rights. (Our politicians should learn from them.)

The Chinese live constantly as part of their extended family back and forward over time. (We do not have this way of considering our relationship, or Filipinos may have just forgotten their cultural heritage.) In China, the domestic economy is creating rich individuals and entrepreneurs, and hierarchical obligations are definitely decreasing. (In our country, the rich get richer; the poor get poorer; the poorest have no choice but to die). Not funny!

The Chinese have learned an expensive lesson in the 1989 Tiananmen Square Tragedy. The modern Chinese managers remain family-oriented but with connection to international China, a global, expansionary China. The China I am referring to is a China which is moving its hierarchical authority overseas reaching Africa, South America and the Middle East. The Chinese global managers are into effective link aging and networking.

Filipino managers want to compete against each other and go to the extent of crippling the opponents, or simply assassinating them. If one breaks down, no one will extend a capital for his resurrection. Our business tycoons here want to create their own empire by overthrowing smaller business kingdoms. We are guided by crab mentality. Crabs pull down other crabs. One crab wants to be a King Crab. All of them wallow in the mud.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on May 13, 2014.

Opinion

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