US Predicament: If It Loses the Philippines, It Loses AsiaPosted: June 3, 2016
Philippine President-elect Duterte is clever in conducting double dealing with both China and the US. It is the wise way for a weak country sandwiched between two strong powers.
As both United States and China want to win over the Philippines, Duterte can benefit from both if the two are contending with each other in earnest. The Philippines may benefit from both China and the US if it adopts equal-distance diplomacy.
Duterte’s problems is that the US wants to have primacy in Asia but lacks the financial strength. It has promised support to those who intend to confront China but does not give them substantial support. If those US supports want weapons to counter China, the US shall give them advanced weapons free of charge or at very low prices. If they want to fight, the US shall send troops to join them.
The situation now is that US support means those it supports can buy weapons from the US to enable the US to make considerable profits.
And the situation now is that when China confronted the Philippines with its navy, according to Philippine honest President Aquino, the US did not send its navy to help its ally but told its ally to retreat.
If the US earnestly wanted to return to the Philippines after it has been driven out by Philippine people, it had to be generous to please them. Give the Philippines advanced weapons free of charge as the Philippines cannot afford buying them. Philippine military may not be able to use the weapons effectively and the weapons may be captured by China if a war between China and the Philippines breaks out. However, it is a gesture to show that the US really wants to give support to those who want to confront China instead of creating tension to facilitate US weapon sales. With that gesture, the US will be able to win over quite a few weak Asian countries to its side.
Think of it. It is better to supply advanced weapons that US troops complain not available to them, to Iraq and let Iraq gives the weapons to ISIS.
ISIS is now fighting a war against the US with US weapons!
Chinese troops used the advanced US weapons that the US supplied KMT in China’s civil war to kill American boys in Korean War.
There really can be repetition of such stupidity again and again!
If my memory is not wrong, North Vietnam became a military power in Asia after it had annexed South Vietnam and captured all the advanced weapons the US supplied South Vietnam with.
It is sadder for Duterte that China is not so stupid as to want the primacy the US seeks. What China wants is to keep the legacy left by its ancestors and friendly relations with its neighbors to facilitate economic growth of both itself and its neighbors; therefore China will not make any concession regarding to sovereignty but is willing to conduct joint exploitation of resources in areas claimed by both China and its neighbors.
Aquino suffered as he could not use the US to pressure China to retreat from Scarborough Shoal. Can Duterte get anything from the US in exploiting US pressure on China? At best, he can get some retired old warships from the US.
Under such circumstances, Duterte’s double dealings are doomed to failure. The Philippines cannot get any meaningful support from the US. When Duterte realizes that, the US will lose the Philippines.
Moreover, that will make Japan isolated and lose confidence in the US. Both Russia and China are trying to win over Japan and Japan may be greatly benefited from improvement of its relations with China and Russia.
If Japan has been won over by China and Russia, the US will lose Asia entirely. However, it means no harm to the US as the US is not an Asian country. What the US wants is but primacy in Asia, which, I said in my previous post, neither the US nor China had ever had and could ever obtain.
Warning to China: Do not pursue primacy in Asia when the US has been driven out of Asia. The burden to maintain hegemony in the world has made the US hard up and lots of American people poor. China shall learn lessons from US failure.
Article by Chan Kai Yee