Confusing footnotes on Phil-China-US relations
was a time when President Rodrigo Duterte sounded very angry because the Filipino fishermen’s catch was confiscated by China’s coastguards at Panatag Shoal (better known as Scarborough Shoal) at the West Philippine Sea. All they had to show for their misfortune were bottles of wine and packs of cigarettes that the Chinese had thrown at them.
However, realizing he might have owned, 40 percent foreign-owned.” stepped on bigger toes, the President Let us recall that previous assured the fisherfolk that he would President Benigno Simeon Aquino remind Chinese President Xi Jinping had refused joint exploration with about his promise to allow Filipinos Beijing, saying the latter only wanted to fish at Panatag Shoal. In effect it to play by its rules. was an admission of subservience Vietnam, on the other hand, has to China even if the Arbitral Court at openly opposed China’s “provocative” The Hague had junked China’s claim actions in maritime disputes and over any part of the West Philippine has blamed the United States for Sea. its passive stance. To Vietnam’s
There was also a time when President Tran Dai Quang – who President Duterte warned against died just last Friday, Sept. 21 – it is exploring oil and uranium i n unthinkable for the US to just look the disputed waterway: while China is reclaiming land on a
reef in the oil- and gas-rich South “Diyan [Interior Secretary Gen. China Sea; and while it is building magkadiperensiya na tayo, diyan mo Eduardo] what appears to be an airstrip on it. na makita si
To us Filipinos, it is unthinkable Año, magdadala ng itak Alas, the President was obviously that despite our tested alliance with doon, pagtatagain ang mga Intsik.” “j oking.” For as subsequently her through the Enhanced Defense revealed by his spokesperson Harry Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), the Roque, “We are following the specific US appears unmindful of our new provision in the Constitution that relationship with a big communist foreigners can participate on a 60-40 bully. Indeed because of rampant basis, meaning 60-percent Filipino- graft and corruption in government, poverty and lawlessness, we would not want to be left alone.
No less than Dr. Jose Rizal – believing we were not yet ready for independence in his time – had actually wished that United States would take over our country from almost four centuries of Spanish colonization. He foresaw the transition of the Philippines from being a colony of Spain to that of the United States, hoping that the latter would prepare us for self-rule.
In 1897, General Emilio Aguinaldo issued a decree establishing a dictatorial government following the mysterious death of Andres Bonifacio. His government, however, was ignored by the United States. And so he agreed to go into exile in Hong Kong in exchange for 400 thousand pesos – a princely amount at that time.
Indeed, by the time the American naval squadron under Commodore George Dewey bested the Spanish fleet in Manila Bay in 1898, American business expansion had already taken the islands by storm – what with the American Sugar Refining Company controlling 95 percent of sugar trade.
To make the long story short, Spain ceded the Philippines to the United States on Dec. 10, 1898 through the Treaty of Paris.
Between that year and the US’ grant of Philippine Independence in 1946 was a period of 48 long years, during which we had familiarized ourselves with the workings of American democracy.
Going fast forward today, the United States has its own problem over China’s “unfair trade practices.” But that’s another story. (
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