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Boundaries in a globalized world

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One would have to see the world with bellicose eyes not to feel uneasy over the absurd talk about China doing to us what Russia supposedly did to Ukraine recently—annex territory by force. In the first place, the people of Crimea voted to secede from Ukraine. Moreover, Crimea had been a part of Russia until it was capriciously given to Ukraine in 1953 by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. But, more importantly, China would be crazy to court worldwide condemnation and retaliation by invading a sovereign nation like the Philippines.

Posted: April 6th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Remember Sabah

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NOT TO be a party-pooper, but something sticks in my craw and raises my hackles when Malaysia is mentioned by Filipinos in such glowing terms—and the remarks of Pres. Benigno Aquino III were no exception.

Posted: March 29th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

What Malaysia can learn from PH

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Philippine President Aquino is a dynast who means what he says.

Posted: March 10th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Asean must unite to stop bullying

Many of us Filipinos believed that China was bluffing when it sent ships and sea patrols to the contested islands in the Spratlys. Now, it seems China is determined to do everything to take control of the islands and surrounding waters which the Philippines has laid claim to.

Posted: March 4th, 2014 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

Arguing with cannons

On Jan. 27, in bad weather, a Chinese Coast Guard vessel with Bow No. 3063 bore down on two Filipino fishing boats in Bajo de Masinloc, sounded its horn continuously, then unloaded its water cannons on both boats “for several minutes.” The facts, as well as the quote, are from the official statement the Department of Foreign Affairs issued almost a month after the incident, on Feb. 25. That same day, the DFA summoned the chargé d’affaires of the Chinese embassy in Manila to explain the incident.

Posted: February 27th, 2014 in Editor's Pick,Editorial | Read More »

‘Répondez s’il vous plaît’

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In many countries, when the president or chief executive invites you to his place for a formal sit-down dinner, it is considered a great honor and privilege rarely declined except for very serious reasons. This is even more so when the dinner is to honor a visiting head of state or government with whom we have the best of relations.

Posted: January 26th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

We are a Guantanamo

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Not in recent memory has our government been subjected to intensely sustained political and diplomatic pressure on US bases except during the incumbencies of the first and second Aquino administrations.

Posted: January 24th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Why China won’t risk war over troubled waters

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Too bad Deng Xiaoping is no longer around to resolve China’s complex problems into one-liners.

Posted: January 17th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Converging Interests: Hanoi and Manila Confront Leviathan

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“They were really unprepared for that and were really embarrassed by it,” one of Vietnam’s top experts on Chinese diplomacy told me during my recent visit to Hanoi, referring to the Philippines’ bringing its case against China’s aggressive illegal actions in the West Philippine Sea to the United Nations Arbitral Tribunal.

Posted: January 12th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Viewpoints | Read More »

Putin’s rearguard battle

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MADRID—Russia’s recent diplomatic successes in Syria and Iran, together with foreign-policy missteps by US President Barack Obama, have emboldened President Vladimir Putin in his drive to position Russia as capable of challenging American exceptionalism and Western universalism. But Putin’s recent address to Russia’s Federal Assembly was more a reflection of his resentment of Russia’s geopolitical [...]

Posted: December 31st, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Hongkongers have long memories

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It’s not just elephants who have long memories; Hongkongers seem to have longer ones. The saying “Time heals all wounds” apparently doesn’t apply in this Chinese enclave. The bitter memory of the 2010 Luneta hijacking in the Philippines has lingered among a large number of the population of this territory of 7 million souls.

Posted: November 2nd, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The two powers

The high-profile summits held this week in Bali and then in Bandar Seri Begawan were described in many media reports in stark, dualistic terms—an absent United States, a rising China. In fact, the leaders’ meetings of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation in Indonesia and of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and its regional partners in Brunei showed that a multipolar world was truly emerging. But the world’s two biggest economies and military powers dominated the discussion.

Posted: October 10th, 2013 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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