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China paper to Beijing: Stop helping Philippines

WATER DIPLOMACY President Aquino and Chinese Ambassador Ma Keqing (right) attend the inauguration of La Mesa Dam Portal in Quezon City earlier this month. The water improvement project was funded by a multibillion-peso loan from China. Also present at the inauguration were (from left) Public Works Secretary Rogelio L. Singson, MWSS Chair Ramon B. Alikpala and MWSS Administrator Gerardo A.I. Esquivel. MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

One of China’s top newspapers has urged Beijing to stop giving development aid to the Philippines, which it says “does not deserve too much attention from China.”

The Global Times, in an editorial on July 19, said “there is no need to dole out generous aid” to the Philippines. “The cooperative project should be an opportunity for China to extend its advantage,” the paper, published by the Communist Party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, said.

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“Cooperation with the Philippines can still continue only if it benefits China,” the paper said. “But countries as fickle as the Philippines cannot become our strategic partner in a short period of time.”

Citing a Philippine dam project funded with a $112-million loan from China and inaugurated recently by President Aquino, it said: “The water supply project contract was signed in 2010.”

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“If it were negotiated today, given the current situation surrounding Huangyan Island [Panatag or Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine or South China Sea], the deal would likely not go through,” the paper said.

According to the Global Times, when President Benigno Aquino “attended the ceremony, where he expressed his gratitude to China [for funding a water project in Manila], the news sparked strong opposition back in China.”

The paper explained: “Some thought it was a free donation to Manila and questioned the logic behind it. The water supply project was built through the preferential buyer’s credit of the China Export-Import Bank. The Philippines borrowed from China to purchase construction products from a Chinese company, China International Water and Electric Corp. The $112 million is underwritten by the Philippine government.”

Suffer consequences

The Global Times wants China to punish the Philippines for daring to contest the ownership of Panatag Shoal. “Manila provoked the conflict and also suffered the consequences,” the paper said.

It claimed: “The Philippines grabbed a few islands in the South China Sea during the years when China’s naval power was weaker. It was a grim lesson for China. With its rising influence and time on its side, China can generally be sure of resolving the South China Sea issue at its own pace despite disruptions from the US.”

Earlier, the Global Times criticized the Philippines and Vietnam for their “attempt to grab islands and waters in the South China Sea, which don’t belong to them, by riding the back of the tiger,” an apparent reference to the United States.

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In a report published on July 16, the paper said Manila and Hanoi “hope to get massive military assistance from the US, which the US can’t afford to provide.”

The report, titled “Clinton’s trip highlights weak points of US return to Asia,” noted that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “made a trip encircling China recently.”

“From Japan to Mongolia then to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, Clinton mainly focused on three things: Backing Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines in disputes with China over maritime territorial sovereignty; balancing China’s economic influence in Asia by enhancing trade and economic ties with Southeast Asian countries, and promoting support for democracy and human rights as the core of US Asian strategy while attacking China’s development model,” the report said.

It added: “The Obama administration’s strategy covers political and military fields, as well as trade and economy. But the strategy is gradually losing its edge.”

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TAGS: Asia-Pacific, China, Diplomacy, Foreign affairs, Global Nation, International relations, Philippines, Scarborough Shoal, The Global Times, West Philippines Sea
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