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Saturday, April 20, 2019
DAVAO

Estremera: Remembering the Silk Road

IT'S been a week since we've returned from our trip to China and I'm still bowled over by the insights I got there. My mind is still trying to grasp the whole literal and figurative length and width of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the century-long vision the Chinese people seem implanted with from the egg and sperm stage.

Before anything else, let me say this: To all naysayers of President Duterte, sad to say, the Philippines isn't even within peripheral vision of the BRI. It's just you and your pumped up ego that make you believe you are more important than you actually are.

China is looking at hubs and spokes and is thus focused on developing and enhancing toward Singapore and Europe, benefitting the countries along the way including the Horn of Africa. This means, partnering and building vital infrastructures not only in Singapore but all those along the way -- Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar. Look at the map, find Beijing, and see where the line will pass through if you want to firm up your infra partnership with Singapore, and realize that the Philippines is out of the way, and out of sight.

Aside from firming up transportation networks with these Southeast Asia it is also looking toward Europe with the Chongqing-Pingxiang-Europe International Railway.

It's the Silk Road of the 114 BCE to 1450 CE all over again, except that, this time, China is bringing in their most advanced technologies for greater connectivity.

I can understand why the President wants to be part of that. It's a World Vision that connects all except America ... consequently (and sadly), the Philippines.

That strategic location the Philippines has, which we were fed during our Philippine geography classes in high school, was only strategic for the United States from across the Pacific Ocean, and yes, the typhoons.

All you naysayers would best learn by reading up on the Silk Road, and realize that our part there were but by the more adventurous, the outcasts, and those just wanting to sell a little more porcelain and silk.

It helps, too, if we deflate our egos a little, to see beyond the propaganda our friends have been churning in their desperate attempts to grasp a firmer hold on the last tendrils of power that their greedy hands are still clinging to.


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