Who needs friends — the US and China?


“‘I believe that this is something that we will want to support our Filipino friends on,’ Kurt Campbell, the assistant secretary of state for East Asia, told Congress in response to questions by Rep. Ed Royce, a Republican whose district in Southern California has many Filipino-Americans.” With that, the Inquirer’s caption read: “US backs PH on China executions” That for us already constitutes “backing” from the USA? That was a statement from an Assistant Sec of State made after the execution and in answer to a question from a politician trying to score points with the Fil-Am voters in his state. I guess it’s a case of “we get what we can.” That’s not even worth shit and who needs their backing. We should cultivate our friendship with China in a more clever and effective manner and not waste the enormous goodwill that went with having established diplomatic ties with their government earlier than most others did. They haven’t forgotten that but we don’t seem to be able to capitalize on it.

I’ve been with Senator Marcos in China a couple of times and have seen how the Chinese officials remember the Philippines as one of the first to establish diplomatic ties with China when Marcos was President and  four years ahead of the US. Senator Marcos was treated with utmost friendliness and respect by the Chinese authorities even if his position then was Governor of a “tiny province” — tiny by Chinese standards. In fact, the sister province of Ilocos Norte in China has a population bigger than the entire Philippines. If Aquino were smart, he should use one of the Marcoses in his efforts at improving ties with our neighbor, the biggest country in the world and already, an economic super power with the largest market growing at a dizzying speed in terms of buying power. By doing so, he would get the approval of the significant number of Marcos loyalists, improve relations with China, and show real statesmanship by being above the obsolete notion of an Aquino-Marcos feud that is more media hype than reality. Both Noynoy and Bongbong won in last year’s national election so where is the “deep rift” that media continues to play-up between the Marcos and Aquino followers?

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