US Predicament: If It Loses the Philippines, It Loses Asia


Philippine presidential Philippine President-elect in a campaign rally before he was elected. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

Philippine President-elect in a campaign rally before he was elected. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

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

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3 Comments on “US Predicament: If It Loses the Philippines, It Loses Asia”

  1. Steve says:

    Times have changed. The PH military is too weak and backward to operate advanced weapons of destruction. Even if US provide advanced weaponry, the PH soldiers may shoot themselves in the foot and China is not interested in those weapons. Worst still, the PH islamic militants like abu sayaf may capture the so called advanced weapons. Not long ago, the militants massacred over 40 PH commandos. This secret mission was carried out with the blessings of US intelligence and the PH commandos equipped with advanced weaponry, were unfortunately ambushed and killed. Advanced weaponry requires adequate education as a prerequisite to join the military. Not so sure of PH soldiers qualification.

    It is viable for President Duterte and his cabinet to be pro China and be independent of the US. There is so much to be gained with a strong china-Ph relationship. The PH students can advance their studies in Chinese universities at a much lower cost than the US. Economic ties in the Asian region with China is paramount. China can help establish infrastructure for the PH. The PH economic sectors will definitely flourish with people to people dialogue. The PH military can procure armaments, vessels and training from China at a much lower cost.

    As long as nations chart their economic prowess on a win-win basis with China, prosperity will be the end result. Duterte and his cabinet has to abandon most of Aquino’s dogmatic policies against China, instead invigorate a sustainable partnership with China and eventually become a SCO member state party, rather accepting leftovers from the US and Japan.

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  2. Joseph says:

    The problem for Phillipines is, is it important enough to make demand? The current importance of Phillipines is that it provide military bases and excuse for the American to harrass China. And due to American budgetary constraints, it is not a question of ‘if’, rather, when the American is gone, what is left of Phillipines? All China needs to do is to wait until the American coffer is really dry, and Phillipines can go back to become backwater islets that no body cares. China would never have a reason to even look if Phillipines exists at all. Recent SCS conflict has shown that China has no need for Phillipines to be Chinese military base due to its too close proximity to Chinese Hainan base. However, recent Typhoon Haiyan has shown how dependant Phillipines to outside charity. The outside charity would obviously be China, since IKEA would not alway be around, and the staunch ally but unreliable US would not even help more than IKEA’s US$300,000 in aid. In the end Philippines best arrangement with China was the one that Arroyo made before Aquino broke it in 2012. Before 2012, at least China would help Phillipines as respectable friend. But now after that trust is broken, how cordial can that relationship be? In this case, those 2012 armagedon thing was really true, for Philippines. Ooops.

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  3. Reader says:

    Imperial Washington has already lost the Philippines with the election of Rody Duterte. Now the question is what it is planning to do. Most likely, it will resort to more smear and slander. Its NSA and CIA has surveilled his every keyboard’s moves and it now plan to publicize even more “dirt” on Rody.

    Oh, there are many willing accomplices which a few million dollars will not buy, such as Antonio Trillanes, Benigno Aquino, and Albert del Rosario. Be assured there are many more waiting in line.

    Rody is wise to psyche the populace and international players like Imperial Washington with his tough talks about “killing” journalists and corrupt politicians. That psychological warfare should achieve his goal in putting fear into these sellouts and criminal elements. It should curb their disloyal and criminal tendencies while coalescing the patriotic elements at the same time.

    Filipinos are simple, innocent, trusting, forgiving children who looks up to their leaders as their “parents”. If Rody Duterte is able to able to play the role of a wise, able, courageous and firm father, and brings jobs and prosperity and education to his “children” he will have their affection, gratitude, and loyalty forever; No matter what.

    His job is to help his people – who are 35 – 45 years behind – catch up with Malaysia and Singapore; Another two English speaking countries in South East Asia.

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