Stop serving as pawn to the US imperialist game of chess against China


The recent hostilities at the Ayungin Shoal are clearly the result of provocations (in the guise of “supply missions” carrying “construction materials”) being jointly carried out by the US government and the Marcos regime, and the increasingly aggressive and antagonistic reaction of China to these operations. The incidents, accompanied by acerbic exchanges, have further deepened mutual distrust on both sides.

Some militarists and war-mongers, jumped on the incident and called for “invoking” the US-Philippine Mutual Defense Treaty to seek the US military to “come to the aid” of the Philippines. These jingoists, however, were frustrated that, despite their agitation, the Marcos government was advised by the US not to invoke the MDT—yet. Clearly taking its cue from the US, Malacañang said it was “not yet ready to classify this as an armed attack,” but promised to carry out more “supply missions” to Ayungin.

The truth is, the US imperialists will only enter the fray at its own time, in accordance with its own strategic military plans, and in line with its own self-interest. The Filipino people are being duped by the US imperialist in its repeated declaration of its “ironclad commitment to the Philippines” under the MDT. Presently, the US is busy in the Middle East, especially after telling Israel it is ready to support its planned war against Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The Filipino people must stand firmly and demand a stop to the escalation of conflicts. Any intensification of these conflicts will only serve the interests of the US imperialists. There is absolutely no need for the Filipino people to engage China in armed hostilities to settle the maritime disputes between the two countries.

Patriotic and progressive forces must firmly oppose the jingoists who want to “invoke the MDT”, who are practically asking the US imperialist to fight its war with China in the country’s backyard. In fact, these incidents underscore the need to abrogate the MDT, under which the country is being used by the US to drag the country into ITS wars. Pulling the country into the vortex of inter-imperialist wars will bring only grave sufferings to the Filipino people, especially at this time when they are burdened by widespread joblessness, dispossession, low wages and skyrocketing prices, under US-dictated neoliberal policies of the Marcos regime.

The Filipino people must raise their voices to demand the Philippine government to urgently call for a dialogue with China and put an end to US-directed provocations, in order to come up with amicable solutions to the Ayungin Shoal situation, as well as other disputes between the two countries. New agreements (to replace the old promise not to bring in “construction supplies”) can be forged in light of the 2016 decision of the international arbitral tribunal, and without prejudice to availing international diplomacy, legal filings and other options to assert the country’s rights under the United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Seas (UNCLOS).

Military forces of the US and its military allies have been carrying out war exercises and preparations in the Philippines, and the surrounding and adjacent seas. They are intent on igniting armed hostilities at some point in the future. This is part of the US economic competition against China, and the geopolitical strategy of the US to contain China’s growth as an economic and military power, and reassert US hegemony in the Philippines and Asia.

The US-dependent AFP and Filipino soldiers, as well as the US-trained Philippine Coast Guard, are being used as cannon fodder, in the overall US war preparations and provocations against China. Just one day before Filipino soldiers were dispatched to go on their so-called “supply missions” last June 17, US, Canadian, Japanese and Philippine naval vessels carried out “multilateral maritime cooperative activity” in nearby waters.

Also for three weeks, the Kasangga war exercises were carried out by US-allied Australian forces in the AFP’s 5th ID headquarters in Isabela province from May 15 to June 21. American soldiers also carried out the MASA (Marine Aviation Support Activity) war exercises in Ilocos, Zambales, Batanes and elsewhere on June 3-21. The US military also undertook the so-called “clearing” of the Basco port until June 7, to further reinforce the presence of American troops in the Batanes islands.

Taken as a whole, all these form part of what China perceives as threats to its security, and how the Philippines is being used as a pawn in the US imperialist game of chess against it. This is also known as the 2011 “US pivot to Asia” which started all the tensions in the region.

Stop serving as pawn to the US imperialist game of chess against China