usaping tsina

painit nang painit ang usapin.  patindi nang patindi ang mga banat ng tsina sa west philippine sea; itinataboy ang ating mga mangingisda (tinira ng watercannon noong enero) at nanghaharang ng supply boats to ph outposts like the sierra madre wreck sa ayungin shoal.

recently, mula nang i-file ng DFA ang ating 4,000-page memo sa arbitration tribunal, sa media naman tayo binabanatan, panay ang press release ng mga intsik, ipinipilit, idinidiin, iginigiit, na pag-aari ng tsina ang ayungin atbp., as if saying it over and over like a mantra would make it come true.  pinapalabas na tayo pa ang wala sa lugar, tayo pa ang naghahanap ng away, hindi sila.  *sarcastic lol*

nakakagalit at nakakabahala, and yet parang hirap na hirap tayo na i-articulate ang ating niloloob at aminin na nakakabuwisit na (sobra na, ano ba) ang pambubully ng tsina.  baka kasi magalit ang mga intsik at balikan tayo – bigyan tayo ng problema sa koryente, pauwiin ang pinoy OFWs, magtampo ang mga tsinoy nating bossing, o kapamilya o kabarkada?  na oo naman, nakaka-tense, but it’s not as if tayo lang ang mawawalan; ang china rin, mawawalan.  maraming hassle for both sides, at the level of nation and individual both, kung sakaling magkagulo.  i suppose it seems wiser to not say anything, huwag nang dumagdag sa balitaktakan, huwag nang gatungan pa, let’s just leave it to the prez, united we stand divided we fall and all that.

ang problema, not saying anything means consenting to the deal that the prez is working out with the americans behind the scenes, a deal that is said to provide for u.s. jurisdiction pa rin over criminally erring american soldiers (as in, let’s forget the nicole-smith rape case ever happened), a deal that is also said to provide for enhanced american-troop presence practically everywhere, including metro manila and metro cebu.  argh.  what’s going on.  O.A. naman, kahit pa magkaroon ng automatic retailiation clause, eh wala pa rin naman,

samantala, sagutin natin ang mga patutsada ng tsina.  sa kanilang kultura daw, bringing someone to court is an assault?  eh sa ating kultura, bullying is an assault, bullying is harassment.  so quits-quits na lang, as far as that goes.  and what about those alleged promises made by erap and gloria, what’s our official version of the story, what was going on at the time?  what exactly did they promise, in exchange for what?  may dokumento ba?

or is this statement of DFA sec del rosario now the official policy:

“Countries should be judged by their actions, not by their words.”

by our actions, like filing the memo with the arbitral tribunal, that met with the international community’s approval.  actions, like negotiating the parameters of an enhanced u.s. military presence, that meets with the ASEAN community’s approval (wise guys, better us than them).  and not by our words.  hmm, especially those spoken by previous presidents, unless written down and properly signed and witnessed and notarized?  but really?  forget palabra de honor?  um, kung sabagay, sa pulitika, matagal nang nangingibabaw ang  spin at propaganda.

does the same statement explain too why there is no reaction, as in dedma, deadma, patay malisya, to this recent gem from the US state department?

“As a treaty ally of the Republic of the Philippines, the United States urges China to refrain from further provocative behavior by allowing the Philippines to continue to maintain its presence at Second Thomas Shoal (Ayungin Shoal),” she said. State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters.

the u.s. asks china to ALLOW us to maintain our presence in ayungin.  ALLOW.  as in, PAYAGAN.  as if it were settled already, and we were needing china’s permission to stay in ayungin, never mind that it’s ours, it’s always been ours, and well within our territorial boundaries.  it would seem that the u.s. concedes, or gives weight, to china’s claim over ayungin.  ALLOW the philippines.  as if to humor us, sige na, hayaan na natin, it’s just for show anyway?  and this is okay with us?  judge america not by its words but by its actions?

and now lee kuan yew, no less, has weighed in, and he thinks china is seriously wanting to change the rules of the seas.

A resurgent China isn’t going to allow its sea boundaries to once again be decided by external parties. Therefore, I don’t believe the Chinese will submit their claims, which are based primarily on China’s historical presence in these waters, to be decided by rules that were defined at a time when China was weak. And China has judged that the U.S. won’t risk its present good relations with China over a dispute between the Philippines and China.

historical presence, all the way back to ancient times.  and lee kuan yew seems to think it has merit, sort of.  something to look into.  let’s compare historical presences, or something like that.  meanwhile, via facebook i asked china expert chito sta. romana what he thought of lee kuan yew’s take.  this is what he said.

Lee is a veteran in reading & interpreting China’s thinking. Hopefully the arbitral tribunal can provide legal clarity on the validity (or lack of it) of China’s so-called “historical rights” in light of UNCLOS.

do you think china is close to, if not yet at, a point of no return… yung hindi na aatras kasi it would mean losing face… is face still a factor at all, or is it a different concept of face na, globalized na?

I don’t think China is at a point of no return if you mean all-out war. China faces the bigger task of developing from a middle-income to a high-income economy, a war will only upset their economic plan. But China will not yield on what it considers as its “core issue” of sovereignty & territorial integrity. Unfortunately that is how they look at the Spratly & Scarborough issues (rightly or wrongly). Face partly explains why China is opposed to int’l arbitration, it wants quiet diplomacy to arrive (at) a negotiated settlement. But there is still a struggle going on within China between its Confucian face & its globalized face, and everyone hopes China will take the path of a responsible regional & global power.

sana nga.

but these are testy times astrologically (cardinal grand cross, mid- to late april), signifying dynamic changes for both the collective and the individual.  there’ll be an excess of energy all around that would need to be constructively channeled, in our case perhaps by engaging the nation, especially the media, mainstream and online, in a national conversation.  pagusapan natin sa tagalog, sa bisaya, sa ilokano, atbp. itong ginagawa sa atin ng china sa west ph sea.  pagusapan natin sa tv, sa radyo, sa dyaryo, sa internet, over lunch or dinner, sa opisina kahit over the watercooler or coffee man lang, sa mga pabrika kahit pabulong lang, at  sa mga tagayan sa kanto at tunggaan sa beergarden, sabay cheers to our fishermen and soldiers in our fishing grounds and outposts in the west ph sea.

dapat makarating sa ordinaryong mamamayan na sa dramang nagaganap between china and the philippines, hindi tayo ang nambubully, hindi tayo ang nagmamalaki, hindi tayo ang nagkakalat.

pag-usapan natin.  alamin natin kung ano talaga ang nangyayari at bakit.  only when we understand the matter fully, or even just adequately, can we creatively contribute to the discourse.  only when we can discuss it openly and credibly can we hope to participate in policy- and decision-making.  and who knows, once we have a handle on the situation, we might come up with media campaigns reaching out to the chinese, people to people, convincing them that bullying and reef-shoal-island-grabbing is just soooo uncool and uncivilized.