China seen wielding economic clout in standoff with Philippines

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MANILA, Philippines—It won’t be surprising if China wields its economic clout to soften the Philippine claim to the Scarborough Shoal, political analyst Bobby Tuazon said Friday.

Beijing committed 40 development projects for Manila at the beginning of the Aquino administration and could use this as leverage in the standoff, said Tuazon, who teaches political science at the UP Manila College of Arts and Sciences.

“China will use its economic leverage to at least neutralize the Philippines and soften its assertiveness in the territorial claims,” he said in an interview at the Center for People Empowerment in Governance (CenPEG) in UP Diliman where he serves as director.

After a five-day state visit to China in September 2011, President Benigno Aquino announced nearly $13 billion worth of actual and planned Chinese investments in the Philippines.

During the visit, Aquino invited Beijing to invest some of its $10-trillion surplus capital in Manila, which Filipino-Chinese businessmen expected would put their trade relations into high gear, Tuazon said.

All the potential gains, however, could go down the drain because of the escalating standoff over Scarborough Shoal, locally called Panatag Shoal, he said.

“This standoff threatens to suspend, or worse, retard the economic relations. It will prompt China to look elsewhere… for other Southeast Asian countries where there are less territorial disputes, like Indonesia, Malaysia or Japan,’’ he said.

Aquino said last year that Philippine foreign direct investments in China totaled $2.8 billion, five times more than Chinese investments in the Philippines of $500 million.

Tuazon also expressed doubt  that the United States would offer similar investments, much more go to war with China over the disputed Spratly Islands.

“Will the US replenish whatever economic losses that P-Noy will get as a result of this strong assertive policy? I don’t think the US will supply that. Of course, it will supply that in terms of military forces, or military aid,” he said.

US officials’ pronouncements about protecting Philippine sovereignty were plain rhetoric, Tuazon said.

“The United States will not go to war with China. They have a bigger economic stake in China,’’ he said.

By engaging Philippine forces in joint military exercises Balikatan, the American forces were merely showcasing their arms, and stood to gain more in training for their eventual deployment in conflict-torn countries such as Afghanistan, he said.

“They just want to get short-term benefits from the tensions that are now emerging in the South China Sea…. In the final analysis, Balikatan will be to the bigger benefit of the US arms industry,” he said.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GVANQHP6VJ2MSGAJB46GUUNISE Jozz

    We can ask India, South Korea and Japan for more investments. They could include military investments like having the Indians do missile manufacturing here which our military can use. They could include antiship missiles and SAM’s. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Isaganilla-Gella/100003610474613 Isaganilla Gella

    strategy ng mga singkit gumagamit na ng dummy reporters”ANO KONG WALA ANG CHINA!!! DHIL BA NAG INVEST SILA NKATULONG NA SILA SA ATIN??GREEDY PEOPLE YAN PAPAYAG BA YAN NA MAG INVEST NA HINDI SLA KIKITA!!!! MAS MADAMI ANG PINAPASOK NILANG PRODUCT KAYSA INAANGKAT SA ATIN…”CRABS MENTALITY”

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/IODVQI2ZJGHXZ3LNGZLBMMJ7C4 Mike

    Judging from the silly responses here, I now understand why Philippines is the sick man of Asia. You have the best economy after World War II. But today, most of your neighbors are better off. You cannot even take on Malaysia on Sabah issue, how in the world can you do that with China?

    1. Some of the posters here are probably from US weapon industries trying sell more used stuffs to you.

    2. Some of the posters here show that low literacy has prevented them from considering new ideas, even from their own country mate like TJ.

    3. Some of the posters think that exporting banana, mango, and maids will get them the investments they want. If there is any conflict, the rich in your country will move their money to Singapore and Hong Kong.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AYITA5V33GYZSLC3G37UCVNTKA Ben

    Maaring si Tuazon ay tama, pero ano ang alternatibong binibigay nya? Suma tutal bitiwan na natin ang Scarborough at kapalit nyan ay $13 billion of actual and planned investments galing tsina.

    Para ring sinabi nya, para huwag kang patayin habang ikaw ay nire-rape, ay mag kunwari kang nasasarapan na lang kapalit ang kalayaan at buhay mo, (pero sa ibang banda ang pagkapaniwalain ay siya ring ikakamatay mo dahil wala kang assurance na talagang bubuhayin ka) iyan ang tema ng pananalita ng politcal analyst na ito…ibigay mo na ang iyong dangal at magbenta ka na lang ng aliw, although in extreme survival needs maaring tama habang ikaw ay umiisp ng paraan para makatakas at mailigtas ang iyong sarili.

    Wala na ba talaga tayong dangal para sa ating bayan?? Makukuha pa natin yang $13 billion plus sa iba pang bansa na kung tayo lang ay magpupursige na hikayatin ang ating kapwa ASEAN at Japan, Korea, Australia etc para mamuhunan sa atin, magagawa natin ito. Ang problema sa bansa na ito, ay ang restrictive economic and political policies nya ang pumipigil sa pag-unlad ng bayan. Ang gobyerno ay walang ngipin para ipatupad ang dapat, ito man ay makasira ng imahe ng politiko na naghahanda para sa eleksyon, katulad ng desisyon para sa RH, katulad ng pagbabagong Federal Parliamentary form ng gobyerno, 40-60 sharing ng investments sa Filipino and foreigners, and others such as churning out college graduates for exports like nursing and other health care personnel, not for our country`s needs…ngayon marami na sa kanila ang wlang trabaho. Ang gobyerno na ito ay walang polisiya para ma-i-giya ang takbo ng edukasyon, ang budget allocations depende sa census ng tao sa isang lugar at kanilang katayuan sa buhay, ang nangyayari depende sa pet projects ng mga politkong nangangampanya at kung ang lugar ay balwarte ng maka adminstrasyon, at decentalization or zoning ng growth zones ng bansa para ang kaunlarang pagbabago ay hindi naka center lang sa mga cities ng Metro Manila, Cebu etc.

    Ang Pilipinas ay huwag sanang maging gullible o mapaniwalain sa mga pangako ng mga politiko, ng stability offered ng ibang bansa….nasa atin talaga ang kakayahan na kung gugustuhin lang natin, kaya natin. Oo, mukhang desperado na ang mga analysts na ito at puro pabor na lang sa mapang-akit na kayamanan ng mga Intsik, bakit hindi tayo kumilos at magtiyaga through our own hard work para umunlad at mapondohan ang ating hukbong pandagat at panghimpapawid? Maraming paraan pero kailangan nating mag-sakripisyo naman ngayon para sa lakas ng militar. Since 1995 AFP modernization law na nagbigay ng P331 billion para sa makabagong kagamitang pantanggol for 15 years, less than P20 billion ay nagamit para sa minimum defense build up. Na dapat sana kung tayo lang ay gumagawa ng ating homework ang ating iniisip na sa ngayon ay medium defense build up, pero alin ba ang sinsakripisyo natin? Sa pagnanais ng mga politiko na bumango sa tao ay puro eknomiya ang kanilang itinuon sa loob ng 15 years kaya pati ang pera sa bases conversion ay kinuha para sa walang katiyakang pag-unlad ng ekonomiya since 1986 Cory assumed power at masyadong dumipende sa MDT.

    Sa totoo lang, strategically kailangan natin ang psychological na tulong ng pagkakaroon ng alyansa sa US, whether ito man Balikatan, o kaya ay nakantabay lang o hindi, at least merong sikolohiyal na pumipigil sa ibang bansa na tayo ay ilampaso na kagaya ng Vietnam laban sa mga intsik isipin nyo kung wala sa tinigin nyo ba ang intsik ay magdadahan dahn pa sa atin? Alisin natin ang masyadong mapagtiwala sa iba at bagkus ay magtiwala na lang tayo sa sarili nating kakayahan at magpasalamat sa proteksyon ng iba, maging ito man ay pang-sikolohiyal o hanggang sa digmaan. Para makatayo tayo sa sariling mga paa at hindi pabayaan ang seguridad na iniasa nating sa mahabang panahon sa US, sana ang kongreso ay ibalik ang AFP modernization at ilagay ang automatic appropriation para sa hukbong pandagat, pang himpapawid, sa mga radar, submarino and missile shields. Ang Malaysia, sa tingin nyo ba hindi papatawarin ng mga intsik din yan kung hindi dahil sa mga makabagong pandigma nila na biniili sa US at UK nuon pa man, ginawa nila ang kanilang homework…sila ang mga ants na nagprepara para sa kanilang siguridad, at tayo ang grasshopper na walang ginawang anu pa man, walang kwentang mga politiko, ngayon nyo i-prove na meron din pala kayong halaga hindi lamang sa mga grand standing at pamumulitika ng ekonomiya kundi sa pagpapalakas ng militar.

    Ngayong nakumpirme na mas maraming enerhiya sa Recto bank na tatagal isang daang taon ang deposito, lalong magngi-ngit-ngit ang mga Intsik upang mapasa kanila ang lugar na iyon at kailangan na nating magkaroon ang US ng permanenteng lugar para sa kanila sa Palawan, o palagiang rotation. kailangan nating umasa (expect) para sa pinakamasaklap (worse) na scenario upang magawa natin na protektahan ang ating posisyon (posibleng sa loob ng Philippine Navy base or airforce magtayo ng himpilan para sa US equipments katulad ng kanilang pag-stay sa mindanao), ang kanilang presence ay muling magbibigay sa atin ng panibagong chance upang mag-palakas ng ating pang depensa.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AYITA5V33GYZSLC3G37UCVNTKA Ben

    The Ant and the Grasshopper, also known as The Grasshopper and the Ant (or Ants), is one of Aesop`s fable providing an ambivalent moral lesson about the virtues of hard work and planning for the future.

    The fable concerns a grasshopper that has spent the warm months singing while the ant (or ants in some editions) worked to store up food for winter. When that season arrives, the grasshopper finds itself dying of hunger and upon asking the ant for food is only rebuked for its idleness.

    The story is used to teach the virtues of HARD WORK and the perils of improvidence. Some versions of the fable state a moral at the end, along the lines of “Idleness brings want”, “To work today is to eat tomorrow”, “Beware of winter before it comes”. The point of view is supportive of the ant and is also that expressed in theJewish Book of Proverbs, which mentions the ant twice. The first proverb admonishes, “Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest” (6.6-9). Later, in a parallel saying of Agur, the insects figure among the ‘four things that are little upon the earth but they are exceeding wise. The ants are a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer.’ (30.24-5).

    This story is like the Philippines and her politicians past and present, instead of planning for the future we tend to do “knee jerk reflex”, automatic and we don`t even think about it, just occuring in response to a stimulus…we will only prepare using our short memory when the going gets tough, giving medium term solution and forgotten after the emergency, no long term, always medium or short term development or solutions in mind. In the history of the Philippines I can give so many examples, such as the economic ups and down due to politics and emotionality instead of practicality and intuition or logic in dealing with constitutional amendments, frequent scandals rocking the government-(we never learn at all), yearly floods that destroyed Marikina and the surrounding towns around Laguna lake, in Pangasinan, In Mindanao and the threat continues in the next year…the power deficits (not basing on statistics or projections, for years people are warning of this problem-but we ignored it), the oil ups and down (we never learn how to immunize ourselves from it), the current quagmire we are in with China (we never learn from our past experiences)….all these could have been prevented if we prepared long enough before an existing threat we know will ever occur…..since it is just a matter of time given the signs and other warnings being presented by analysts, scientists etc……just like the ant and the grasshopper story, we tend to be the grasshopper, merry making, does not care about the future, then the storm comes… the grasshopper is devastated, no stockpiles to speak of, exhausted and haggard looking asking for the ant`s help, while the latter is sitting pretty in his cozy ant house with all the provisions the ant prepared for the big thing, the grasshopper is vulnerable to the harsh elements…….we are like that grasshopper….nasa huli ang pagsisisi.

  • sparrow13

    “This standoff threatens to suspend, or worse, retard the economic relations. It will prompt China to look elsewhere… for other Southeast Asian countries where there are less territorial disputes, like Indonesia, Malaysia or Japan,’’ he said.(Bobby Tuazon-Political analyst???)

    Did Mr Tuazon know that China had long standing territorial disputes with 14 countries around Asia-Pacific region?  He mentioned Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan where Chinese investment would probably be diverted. These 3 countries he mentioned have also territorial disputes with communist China. I think he’s not doing his homework…his mouth move faster than his brain….a typical defeatist mindset, short-sighted and no sense of patriotism. There are many people like Mr. Tuazon in our country who are willing to trade the future of our children for a few pieces of silver.

    I’m glad we still have “FEW GOOD MEN” in the AFP and in our government who are working hard  despite of many shortcomings and difficulties.

    Once we lose the Scarborough Shoal…..the more the communist Chinese would be emboldened to take Recto Bank with rich oil deposit and Benham Rise with minerals, oil and natural gas deposit as big as Luzon. If nobody will stand up against China, surely, for the centuries to come…we will be known as the nation of cowards and slaves! It’s a choice!

    • vanz_gogzi

      uhm as far as i know, indonesia is not part of the Spratly’s dispute and he is just giving his expert opinion about the situation that will likely to happen.

  • AFPako

    Ang unit namin dito sa Palawan ay standby standby status. Mga commanders namin dito paiklats lang parang nasa cadet school ng PMA parin ang mga isip. Babae at inuman lang ang alam nila at pasikat. Diyos ko po

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