Lesson learned on China’s threats: Better keep your real friends nearby
China was known as a sleeping giant in the 70’s. The giant has awakened, no longer asleep, but is up and about roaring and making its presence felt, known and recognized by its neighbors. Nowadays, it is feared, not because it has a large standing army but because it is a potential superpower second only to the United States.
It occupies 9.6 million square kilometers and stands as the world’s second-largest country by land area. People ask, “Why is China interested in a shoal or some islets in the South China Sea? The world’s natural resources is equitably distributed and China by all means is not lacking in natural resources, yet it is interested in extremely small islands that are far from its mainland; nearer even to the Philippines and within its 200-nautical mile economic zone. Whatever reason it has, the seeming greed to annex them to its vast area is not that important anymore.
For all its intent and purposes, China wants to be recognized; its might, felt and presence in the region, feared. When it was regarded as a sleeping giant, no one paid any notice on its existence nor was it making noise. Now that its economy has boomed and is considered second to the United States, totaling to $7.3 Trillion nominal GDP, it wants to show self-importance and its seeming stand on issues and things in the region to be heard and known.
The Philippines cannot fight a giant but it can thwart its blows. The Philippine market is swarmed with cheap and substandard products that appeal to the Pinoy’s taste. Products from toxic food packs and cheap toys that are easily broken to imitation electronic gadgets have long been tolerated by Filipinos. Maybe it is high time to let the Chinese get the sting of their Asian brothers. When it warned its nationals to snub the country as travel destination, painting it negatively in dark colors; with equal aplomb, Filipinos can also boycott its products.
It is sad that China can easily do or say things that hurt the sensibilities of Filipinos, they seem to forget the bond it has with Pinoys. Worst, the Filipinos got impulsive when it drove out the Americans from the country. Had the Americans stayed to man the bases, no emerging superpower would have the mind to test its mettle in our country. The same people we drove out; we run to, now for help. With the lesson aptly learned, authorities must know how to use well the present partnership with the US; after all, even if we say we want our sovereignty back, we are too small to live like an island.
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