China’s foot in the global door, 2

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By Ver F. Pacete

As I See It

Thursday, May 15, 2014


I AM very emphatic with my views because I know that the visit of President Obama in our region does not make America the messenger of peace. America is into business and the best possible business partner in our region is China. President Obama would like to show the world that with Chinese funds flowing into the Western economy, there is no doubt that Asia has easily opened the door of capitalist opportunity.

The Chinese are there in our islands (small islands in the tip of our territory) because we are not there (and we have not made those islands productive). The Chinese are not only there. (It’s a small deal for them.) The Chinese have outposts in Vancouver and San Francisco, London, Amsterdam and New York, Jakarta and Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City and Manila (the capital city of the Philippines). Are we not aware of this?

Overseas Chinese executives are the humming live wires of vast networks of fixers, godfathers, shock absorbers, power brokers and go-betweens with China for finance, trading, sourcing, technology, partnership, agencies and investment. In their host countries, they are just silent but they are making huge profits. They do not engage in local politics but they are in global market place.

We seem to forget that former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo made big deals with Chinese firms during her administration and that is the reason why she is into several plunder cases. (What happen to the cases now? Are they soon to be forgotten?) That could be another story. Is the PNoy administration willing to deal with China again? Are we afraid of China? Fear can only be caused by a serious lack of familiarity.

World experts in economics, politics and culture have come into a serious study to read and gain Chinese insights. Chinese strategy is simple: create opportunities by whatever means but exploit them through a set of relationship based on mutual obligation and reciprocity. (This was tested and proven by Mayor Erap Estrada of Manila when he went to Hong Kong to say, “I am sorry”.)

Diplomatic, military and economic treaties often create such obligations. Legal enforcement of the resulting exchange is then unnecessarily and agreements can be continually amended between signatories. (We suggest that PNoy will do this. He is also a Cojuanco and his Chinese blood will sweeten a relationship with China.) I think this is better (although not tried yet) than to be cry babies. Sometimes we become funny if we always call for Uncle Sam.

Global expansion is thus between networks, not between countries or organizations, but between those who represent their networks. The Americans are doing this now. They have come to realize that in doing business with China now, they are not dealing with emperors (old leaders) but they are dealing with the new generation of managers.

We have to understand that the Chinese are adapting Western styles of doing business to create their own competitive advantage. We are all witnessing a change in the strategic locomotion of world power. The present credit crunch and stock market collapse are rapidly writing down Chinese investment in the West, yet paradoxically are strengthening Chinese economic buying power across the world.

I do not want to sound like an economic combatant but the Chinese learned from the Opium War, “To control the foreigner, first learn his ways.” This was said by Wei Yuan. I am referring to “crossvergence,” a new business concept. Crossvergence depends upon both economic ideology and individual values being taken into account. A move from Chinese communism to Western capitalism will result to hybrid style of management, free from historical values of national culture or economic ideology.

The United States of America is doing this. (President Obama forgot to mention this in his Balikatan Farewell Speech when he visited our country.) USA maintains its capitalist ideology but embraces the principles of Chinese relational networking, then US managers are crossverging their strategies. These are transnational strategies which are simultaneously locally responsive and globally integrative.

Philippines and America are allies (we were told). We share the same bed but we have different dreams.

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on May 15, 2014.

Opinion

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