Duterte-and-the-stability-of-the-world

Duterte-and-the-stability-of-the-world




Whether we like it or not, Geo-politics is in play in the unfortunate Recto incident, involving 22 Filipino fishermen that was allegedly abandoned by the Chinese vessel whom the former are pointing to as the cause of the collision.

 

Netherland based Filipino in her article for the Manila Times last June 20, made a very interesting and somewhat eye opener in all of this frenzy.



 

She calls President Duterte as a dragon whisperer as against the stance taken by the Pnoy administration as dragon poker “whose historical idiocy led him to liken China to Nazi Germany.


President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (photo credit to owner)


“The SCS is the throat of China’s maritime-dependent economy. The Center for Strategic and International Studies’ (CSIS) China Power Project shows how this sea is existentially important to China: in 2016, “nearly 40 percent of China’s total trade…transited through the South China Sea;” and about 80 percent of its oil imports pass through it. Since the SCS is critical to China’s survival, it will do everything to protect that trade route, just as Britain sought to protect their trade route in 1914.



“So far, Duterte has been doing good in being a statesman who refuses to be a slave to public opinion shaped by a media engaged with relentless yellow journalism. His brand of diplomacy is devoid of dogmatism, prudent and pragmatic. He refuses to poke the dragon as these ignoramuses want him to do."



For the full understanding and the sake of full transparency, we are quoting in full the article written by Sass Rogando Sassot titled “ Duterte and the stability of the world”  in the Manila Times for the benefit of all our readers.

 

Duterte and the stability of the world



THE stability of the world relies on President Rodrigo Duterte and his successor’s ability to remain a dragon whisperer rather than revert back to being a dragon poker, like his predecessor, Benigno Aquino 3rd, whose historical idiocy led him to liken China to Nazi Germany.
Derived by Graham Allison from Thucydides’ analysis of the proximate cause of the Peloponnesian War, the Thucydidean trap posits that war is the likely outcome of the power struggle between a declining superpower and an emerging one. Provoked by fear of the other, the former will launch a war to secure its position or the latter will initiate it to speed up its ascent. American military involvement in the South China Sea (SCS) conflict might just pave the way for this doomsday scenario.


Historians of international history have all been predicting that a new world war is looming, and the SCS is one of the potential flash points. In her 2013 essay “The Rhyme of History: Lessons of the Great War,” historian Margaret MacMillan saw parallelism in what’s happening now with China and the United States and “the national rivalries [that] led to mutual suspicions between Britain and the newly ascendant Germany before 1914.”
At that time, Germany was controlling Belgian ports. Since these ports were close to their coasts, the British saw this as a threat to their trade routes. So, when Germany attacked France in 1914, which would give it more access to the maritime throat of the British economy, Britain declared war.
The SCS is the throat of China’s maritime-dependent economy. The Center for Strategic and International Studies’ (CSIS) China Power Project shows how this sea is existentially important to China: in 2016, “nearly 40 percent of China’s total trade…transited through the South China Sea;” and about 80 percent of its oil imports pass through it. Since the SCS is critical to China’s survival, it will do everything to protect that trade route, just as Britain sought to protect their trade route in 1914.
The United States is currently involved in an ever-escalating trade war with China. Destabilizing the SCS is an attractive option to disrupt China’s economy. The US doesn’t need to launch a conventional warfare. Encouraging a low intensity conflict would do. Or it could even clandestinely encourage military adventurism of its ally, the Philippines. Both of which could get out of hand.
In the 1950s, during the Cold War, the great advocate of neutral Philippine foreign policy, Claro M. Recto once warned about our “dangerous and provocative entanglements” with the interests of the United States. “It exposes our people to the fearful consequences of another war,” he stressed. “A war which will be fought on Asian soil with only expendable and bewildered Asians for sacrificial victims on the altar of power politics and international intrigue.”
MacMillan highlighted the role of public opinion, “fanned by the new mass circulation newspapers,” in pushing the relationship of Britain and Germany “in the direction of hostility than friendship.” And just like during World War 1, Macmillan observed, “public opinion can make it difficult for statesmen to maneuver and defuse hostilities.”
Philippine mainstream media, the Catholic Church, the Liberal Party and its allies, their social media propagandists, and the Left have been shaping a dogmatic brand of nationalism in the consciousness of Filipinos. To use a term by sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, these political forces are promoting the “religionization” of international politics.


Armed with the chauvinistic mindset, they have been transforming “a conflict of interests calling for negotiation and compromise (the daily bread of politics)…into an ultimate showdown between good and evil that renders any negotiated agreement inconceivable and from which only one of the antagonists can emerge alive.”
So far, Duterte has been doing good in being a statesman who refuses to be a slave to public opinion shaped by a media engaged with relentless yellow journalism. His brand of diplomacy is devoid of dogmatism, prudent and pragmatic. He refuses to poke the dragon as these ignoramuses want him to do.


When some of my Filipino friends here in the Netherlands invited me to stage a protest outside the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague when the arbitral case against China was filed in 2013, I emphatically refused and told them that the whole thing was a mistake and that would cost our country a great deal of money, diplomatic capital, and put our country closer into the crosshairs of the US-China rivalry.
When Duterte spoke during the June 2015 Asia CEO Forum, I was surprised at his stance on the SCS crisis. He understood the dangerous geopolitical position of the Philippines. During the campaign, Duterte kept on mentioning his proposed conciliatory approach towards China. I was thrilled because, for me, he would seriously turn the tide of history.


For those infected with infantile nationalism, Duterte’s rapprochement with China is cowardice. To the learned, Duterte’s Recto-like foreign policy is planting the seeds of protection against tragedy — the Philippines being used by the US as its proxy belligerent with China. And since that would avert destabilizing the SCS sea lane of communications, Duterte is also doing the rest of the world a great service, by preventing a crisis that would seriously undermine the global economy and peace.
But until when?









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Report from The Manila Times

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