Defense spokesman warns Chinese against using ‘hard power’


MANILA, Philippines—Nobody wins with hard power, the Department of National Defense said Saturday in a warning directed at hardliners in the Chinese military reportedly pressing for decisive action to strengthen Beijing’s claims to the Panatag Shoal.

“Of course there are hardliners who wish to use hard power, but let us not forget history, that the use of hard power has never resulted in favorable consequences,” defense department spokesperson Peter Paul Galvez said.

“Nobody wins in that course of action,” he added in text messages.

Galvez said “soft power”, or the political and diplomatic approach, should not be underestimated, as opposed to “hard power”, or the use of military force.

“Further, let us not forget the majority who continue to understand the value of soft power, the politico-diplomatic approach. Our counterparts are fully aware of this as well,” he said.

On Friday, a Chinese army general described as a hardliner for having hawkish views, said in a  commentary on a state-owned website that China’s “peaceful rise” should not be construed as abandoning the option of military action.

“Peaceful rise and ‘period of strategic opportunity’ preclude war,” People’s Liberation Army Major General Luo Yuan was quoted as saying in news reports.

Galvez expressed optimism that the 18-day impasse with China over the Panatag Shoal would be ironed out peacefully in spite of the presence of more Chinese vessels in the disputed waters.

He pointed out that both the Chinese and Philippine ships in that part of the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) off Zambales province were civilian vessels.

A Philippine Coast Guard ship and a vessel from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources are facing off with at least two Chinese maritime surveillance ships and some seven fishing boats on the shoal, known internationally as Scarborough Shoal.

“We continue to maintain our peaceful initiatives towards a diplomatic resolution re the impasse. All our actions will be towards this end,” he said.

“We must understand that our relationship with our neighbors manifest in several important facets and this impasse is just one that needs ironing out. We continue to be optimistic of the diplomatic initiatives by our DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs),” Galvez said.

On Friday, at the closing of the Philippines’ joint Balikatan exercises with the United States, Armed Forces Chief of Staff Jessie Dellosa pushed for the use of “smart power” in the country’s dealings with its neighbors and in defense of its territories.

“Today’s emerging challenges, in the context of the dynamics in Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region, require pragmatism and the use of smart power,” the AFP chief said in an apparent allusion to the country’s tense relations with China.

“It is apparent that a practical blend of the concepts of ‘might is right’ and ‘right is might’ should be explored, shared among friends and allies, and eventually put to good use,” he said.

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  • Mario_Garcia

    It will only take a few moments for the Chinese to invade Camp Aguinaldo, believe it or not.  Therefore we should stop talking and do something.  While we are weak, we avoid the enemy and buy some time to make us strong.

  • Anti

    Why slay the Dragon?Martial arts is based on Deception!Our country is divided,weak,and the penultimate blow is that we have a President that has no wisdom and guidance.We just don’t want to live in ‘Yellow Submarine’.I would rather spend my time to car racing, put-up a gun club-shooting fest ba, and PSP magdamagan,and  forget about the Chinese reflexing their muscles.E2 ang tamang daan dahil sa dulo ay bangin ng kamatayan!

  • jopal

    bakit  angpinas ang gustong awaying ng  tsekwa   bakit hindi ang  INDIA   na kasing dami nila   ha   ha h  ha hhhah ahaha 

    • TheMightyOne

      Ang bully pag alam nila kaya nila ay lalo nilang bubulyhin pero pag alam nilang makakapalag sa kanila ay bading sila ahahah…

  • Yang YE

    It is time to give a lesson to MANILA,

    • TheMightyOne

      what kind of lesson mah man!??

    • edmon curtis

      eh? chinese just cant accept the fact that these islands are truly entitled to the philippines. Loser!

    • okabato

       Blah blah blah do it az hole.

    • jack jones

      Let the war begin!

  • Franklyn Flores

    We must get ourselves nuclear armaments or they will bully us like this always.

  • Noynoy8is8inutil

    Kill the chicken to teach the monkey

  • okabato

    We must make sure our battleships are out of there as soon as hostilities escalate or else they will be just sitting ducks for the chinese submarines now prowling the area. We need to acquire th`ose newer fighter jets from the US to have a semblance of a fight with the chinese. If we have air power those chinese ships in the area will be out in a jiffy.

  • Wan

    General Dellosa.. yun pong ‘smart power’ na tinatawag ninyo e wala po mga chinese nyan.. karamihan po sa mga yan e retarded o may ‘down syndrome’.. kaiinom ng mga nakakalason n drinks at gatas (may halong melamine).. at kakakain ng mga contaminated n pagkain, prutas o gulay (may halong formaldehyde). Isa na pong magandang halimbawa nyan e si Gen Luo Yuan.. mahina po ang ulo.. dimwit, doofus, simpleton, nitwit, etc. Habaan na lang po ninyo pasensya… dahil habang nagtatagal po issue na yan e china ang papasira image sa buong mundo… and people in other countries they have been helping before would realize China’s vested interest in its offer of help or assistance.. that will be the start of china’s economic collapse… foreign companies will pull out.. and what will china sell.. their own products? my goodness..   

  • Andrew Pc

    So, now then China is using “soft power” you advocating so much – the economy power, instead of the “hard power” – the military. And the irony is, you don’t like it either; Maybe, you would say let’s use “people power”, but then it is billion Vs. million, no fight again….so now, what ?

    I tell what, regarding this “power” thing, the best is for the half-cooked Mr. Aquino to relinquish his desire for power come the next election, that will be the best power thing that can happen to the Philippine people.

  • neverwint3r

    these chinese generals are desperate for war. they wanted a venue wherein they can showcase their military firepower and shown in cnn, and a country as militarily weak  as the philippines is perfect for them.

    their small-scale war scenario they’ve drawn up  is calculated not lure the US into the conflict as they think it will be over in a few hours. various intel reports(which they denied) they are actually mobilizing and positioning naval and military assets to be able to strike against the philippines.

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