Duterte bows to imperialist China the nth time
For the nth time, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has bowed to imperialist China and its President Xi Jinping and surrendered the country’s internationally recognized sovereignty and sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea.
As in the past, Duterte’s treachery was rewarded with an ostentatious imperial reception with costly banquets fit only for the highly corrupt. He, himself, traveled by private jet revealing his lavish tastes.
Duterte merely went through the motions of bringing up the decision of the 2016 Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in his discussion with Xi. In the end, it was a purposeless exercise. Based on reports, there was no further discussion on the matter. Duterte merely acquiesced to Xi Jinping when the superpower president reiterated that China does not recognize the ruling.
Having treacherously set aside the matter of Philippine sovereignty, Duterte’s officials entered into various lopsided agreements with China. The worst among these is the plan to push through with the “joint plan” to explore and exploit the oil resources in the area just off Reed Bank. With control of capital and the technological and industrial means, China will surely be able to take full control of the oil drilling operations to the detriment of the Philippines.
Duterte also entered into another lopsided loan agreement that will primarily serve Chinese interests. The $3.5 billion loan involves the construction of the Manila-Bicol railway system to be undertaken by Chinese companies, and likely using Chinese surplus steel and cement. Not different from previous Chinese loans, the loans will be paid for by the Filipino people at 2%, at least ten times higher than similar official loans from Japan.
The Duterte government also signed several agreements that will strengthen Chinese trade and economic interests in the country. Highly questionable are those which will give China an increased role in Philippine customs.
The Filipino people must make this the last time that Duterte bows to China.
As patriots, they can: (a) assert that the PCA ruling be brought before the United Nations and other international agencies in order to compel China to comply with the ruling; (b) insist that China dismantle its military facilities and withdraw its armed forces as well as distant water fleet of fishing boats in the features within the West Philippine Sea; (c) demand payment for all the damages caused by land reclamation and overfishing; (d) demand that the details of all the agreement be disclosed.