Disappointed with Alliance with US, Philippine Will Try Russia, China

Premier Li Keqiang shakes hands with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, right, as Laos' Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, watches during the 19th Asean-China summit, in Vientiane, Laos, on September 7. Photo: AP

Premier Li Keqiang shakes hands with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, right, as Laos’ Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, watches during the 19th Asean-China summit, in Vientiane, Laos, on September 7. Photo: AP

Believing in Philippines’ alliance with the US, the only superpower in the world, former Philippine President Aquino started to ban fishing by Chinese fishermen at disputed Scarborough shoal and thus started Philippines’ Scarborough standoff with China.

However, US navy took no actions to help US ally the Philippines in the standoff. Instead, the US told the Philippines to retreat and promised to make China retreat too. The Philippines has retreated, but China would not. China took full control of the shoal. In retaliation, it bans fishing by Philippine fishermen there.

The US tells the Philippines to file arbitration at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague to restore its fishing and other rights and supported the arbitration all along. The Philippines has indeed won the arbitration, but the US fails to help it enforce the arbitration award. As a result, Philippine fishermen continue to have no access to their traditional fishing ground that they rely for their survival.

They must be allowed to fish there as they had been fishing there for generations. Since China wants others to respect its historical rights and interests, it shall also respect others’ historical rights and interests, to be more specific, Philippine fishermen’s historical fishing rights in the disputed area.

SCMP says in its report “South China Sea fishing rights at top of Philippine president’s agenda in Beijing” today, “Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to discuss crisis management and fishing rights in the disputed South China Sea when he visits Beijing next month.”

The standoff has caused Chinese coast guard ships to patrol the fishing ground and deny Philippine fishermen access to the area.

What is much more serious is the combat patrol by Chinese fighter jets and bombers of the fishing ground due to Hague ruling. There may be military conflict if the Philippines tries to break into the disputed fishing ground.

Therefore, there shall first of all be crisis management and then permission to allow Philippine fishermen to fish there.

The Hague arbitration ruling has made things much more complicated. China utterly rejects the ruling so that it cannot allow Philippine fishermen to fish there if Philippine President Duterte insists that it has fishing rights based on the ruling. However, if Duterte fails to insist, he may be unpopular among his people whose nationalism has surged due to the ruling. Perhaps, the best way out for the two countries is to have an agreement allowing Philippine fishermen fishing there due to long-term friendship between the two countries.

I have reblogged Reuters’ report today on Duterte’s desire to seek alliance with Russia and China. He is obviously clear of the Cold War between the camp of China and Russia and that of the US. China and Russia’s Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) focuses on economic cooperation and regional security. Duterte wants both: cooperation to boost Philippine economy and help him deal with rebel forces.

Duterte is a better president. His predecessor pitted the US against China and began to arm the country, but Duterte wants peace. His predecessor refused China’s invitation of talks to resolve the disputes but he took initiative to talk. If he is sincere in resolving the disputes through talks, alliance with the US is useless for him as it is entirely a military alliance.

“Every alliance has a horse and a rider.” said Stephen Blank, a senior fellow for Russia at the American Foreign Policy Council. Mr. Blank defines US view on alliance very well. The US, as the strongest, always wants to be the rider and treat its allies as the horses. However, the rider fails to take care of the horse’s rights and interests. Duterte is so disappointed that he wants to end Philippines’ alliance with the US. The Philippines is tired of being a horse to serve the US as the rider. It wants to switch to alliance with Russia and China.

China and Russia’s view on alliance is entirely different. Alliance is a very close friendship in which there is no need for a certain member to be the lord over others. For example, the SCO is led by both China and Russia as neither of them wants to be the only leader. The weaker members of SCO in Central Asia enjoys Russian security protection and Chinese economic assistance.

For Deterte, there is the need of security protection to deal with rebels though no need with regard to China if he succeeds in improving ties with China. However Chinese economic assistance will be very attractive.

Comments by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report “Philippines’ Duterte wants to ‘open alliances’ with Russia, China” today which I have reblogged and SCMP’s report “South China Sea fishing rights at top of Philippine president’s agenda in Beijing”, full text of which can be viewed at South China Sea fishing rights at top of Philippine president’s agenda in Beijing.


6 Comments on “Disappointed with Alliance with US, Philippine Will Try Russia, China”

  1. Fre Okin says:

    Everything US touches turn into toxicity for her allies. All her allies become her economic colonies and with that come US bases to project her power.

    Duterte have awoken the Filippinos and show them and fellow Asians US do not ever give a free ride for her ‘protection’. This ‘protection’ monkey business is so obviously deceitful, Asians like the Philippines, Japan especially are duped by US defense treaties with them. The simple reason is these countries are worth Zero to China to invade, so what is there to really protect? A couple of rocks are in dispute and that can never translate into invading the 99.999% of Philippines or Japan with massive population, limited resources, unworthy for any invasion.

    So ‘protection’ for Japan and Philippines are the biggest lie US sell to the world to justify her hegemonic behavior. This protection business is a racket run by the Pentagon/Military Industrial Complex and neocons in Washington DC.

    Duterte is very smart. By courting China and Russia, he will get tremendous economic boost from them. Investments from China to build up Philippines faster. Tourism from the Russians eager to enjoy fine beaches in a tropical island. By encouraging investments into PH from China and Russia, PH will have a very balanced economy within a decade and Nobody, especially US, nobody can ever coerce PH again using economic dependence to dictate her foreign policy. Duterte will make Philippines into a true Asian country, not a misfit with too much US influence.


  2. johnleecan says:

    Maybe being a Muslim is what makes Duterte try his alliance with Russia and China. Muslims are fed up too with how the USA treats them.


    • Joseph says:

      Last time I check, Duterte is not a Moslem. You don’t have to be a Moslem to be fed up with the American. Any sane and dignified persons would be fed up with the America. The American just got used to being looked upon and admired for their propaganda that they do not want to admit the reality that the everyone are actually snaring at them with disgust and contempt for their deeds now.


  3. Steve says:

    What’s worse, Philippines is not even the horse, but just a Cart without horse and rider. It was Aquino’s absolute stupidity to arrest Chinese fishermen with a Naval Warship.?? It’s like a domestic household having a heated argument and instead of calling the police, someone called the Military to solve citizens argument. The Chinese and Filipinos have enjoyed the brotherhood fishing (and maybe some opium) for generations, but it was Aquino’s dogmatic approach for a military confrontation against China with the help of the war mongrel US.

    The only way to return the harmonious relationships between the Chinese and Filipinos fishermen is to sign a MoU or Memorandum of Understanding, but Not a legally enforceable agreement…Why.? because China are the historical rightful owners of Huangyan Island. Should another heated disagreement be initiated by the PH Govt., China can kick them out for the second time. In fact, retired PH Ministers and Senators has said that Aquino is Not a good President at all. He is just an empty cart allowing an American horse and Rider to ride him. In other words, absolutely No Vision for his country.

    Remember, how he related China’s leadership and people to Nazi Germany. Effectively implying that President Xi as to Hitler and the Chinese to the Nazis.? That guy is a Lemonhead.


  4. Simon says:

    Asking China to respect Phillipine historical fishing rights is respecting the illegal PCA. The reason why Fillipino are allowed to fish their for generations came at a time of China waning influence in their century of humiliation by Western powers. Aquino did not respect historical Chinese fishing rights and chose to arrest Chinese fishermen and neither should China. Any fishing rights propose by Philipines should be new and made in respect of Chinese sole sovereignty, pay Chinese taxes and respect Chinese law or the deal is off.


  5. alking1957 says:

    Yes i agree with your very good analysis on this