Covetous China-A A +A
Thursday, October 31, 2013
GOING through the other day’s newspaper, I was instantly alarmed and worried at the mention of a potential clash between China and Japan. The latter, it seems, is concerned over the presence of Chinese nuclear-powered submarines in the area where a chain of islands is located that both nations have claimed.
Japan is said to have bought three of the islands in the chain from private Japanese owners. The chain lies on the East China Sea.
It is also in the neighboring seas where a chain of islands that the Philippines and China claim as their own is located. That island chain is nearer to our Palawan than to China, and is even said to lie within the 200 miles zone of the West Philippine Sea.
In the Japan-China row, the Chinese Coast Guard has reportedly penetrated the sea where Okinawa lies. And Japan has long shown interest on the island that China is also said to covet.
Where do we locate our Philippines in this developing conflict?
Recently, we have ceased to say that we are in the South China Sea. Now we are saying that we are in the West Philippine Sea, as in fact, we really are. It is just because of our “smallness” as a nation that we are not able to express the true sentiment that is in the Filipino heart.
They say that the natural resource found in the chain of islands that we have every right to own is actually what other people covet.
However, we are a nation that cannot fight alone for our right. Hence, we made friends with the other smaller nations in our part of Asia and, together with them, we formed a group called the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean).
Together we stand as a united group against the economically and militarily powerful China. This as Japan is also trying to make friends with Asean as a matter of common defense against China.
When I was a kid in knee pants, my grandfather who had reached first year high school in the city at the University of San Carlos, was a true blue nationalist. When he had a little too many, it was natural for him to drag a small chair to the side of the street in our town in front of our house and deliver an impassioned speech for freedom and independence.
He was, thinking of my grand-father Moises now, a dyed-in-the wool nationalist, and was willing to challenge China anytime.
But flippancy aside, the current circumstance facing our country now necessitates the Asean member-nations to really stick together against the threat of political might and muscle of China.
It is good that Japan is on Asean’s side because the situation gives deeper hope and chances of political and military survival. China, with its political and military might on top of its economic clout, makes individual Asean member-nation potential mincemeat.
Thus, we humbly bow our heads and pray that the Asean will forever stick together.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 31, 2013.