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By Kevin H.R. Villanueva
The inexorable rise of China to the status of a superpower holds out a unique opportunity for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to follow its quest in building a “rules-based community.” Why is this so? I shall make my argument in three moves.
Some officials in Hong Kong seem to be engaging the Aquino administration in a brinkmanship game in an effort to extract an official apology for the hostage-taking crisis three years ago that left eight Chinese tourists dead. Those Hong Kong officials have been putting pressure on the Philippines with a series of “threats” aimed at hurting the economy in general and the thousands of Filipinos working in the Chinese territory in particular.
Once again, those reassuring words: “The United States does not seek permanent bases in the Philippines,” said American Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel during his visit to Manila last week. What the United States has in mind is a “new model of military to military cooperation, similar to what it has forged with Singapore and Australia.”
By Roland G. Simbulan
It’s been said that our postwar and postindependence foreign policy continues to be dictated by Pax Americana, and not by our own assessment of our needs. And the behavior and actions of the P-Noy administration in the past three years do not seem to deviate from this pattern.
By Conrado de Quiros
It’s one of the sublime ironies of this magic-realist country that the only time we did not have a US military presence here was during Fidel Ramos’ rule. Which was from 1992 to 1998, the period shortly after the Magnificent 12 booted out the US bases in 1991 and Erap’s Senate approved the Visiting Forces [...]
By Artemio V. Panganiban
Significantly, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited the Philippines last week, right after the electoral sweep by his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of the upper house (House of Councillors) of the Japanese Parliament (National Diet) on July 24.
By Randy David
In September 1991, the Philippine Senate voted to reject a new bases treaty that would have allowed the United States to keep its military facilities in the Philippines. That decision was a watershed in the relationship between the Philippines and its former colonial master. Many thought of it as marking the true beginning of a postcolonial era for the country, which acquired its formal status as an independent nation in 1946. Yet, the US bases issue did not end there.
After the outburst of public anger, amplified by official outrage orchestrated by an unpopular government, Taiwan is sounding less bellicose these days. Perhaps President Ma Ying-Jeou and his advisers think they have forced the Philippines into a corner. They would be wrong.
By Rina Jimenez-David
In previous years, the observance of Philippine Independence Day usually involved the hosting of a program for overseas Filipino workers in Taipei and other cities hosting OFWs. There would usually be a formal reception to which Taiwanese officials, business people, and prominent Filipino residents were invited.
By Randy David
In an ideal world, how would the recent shooting by the Philippine Coast Guard of a Taiwanese fishing boat, which resulted in the killing of one of the fishermen, have been handled? I think that both Filipino and Taiwanese authorities might have immediately sought one another to express grave concern over the incident, and to offer cooperation to ascertain the facts. Both would have drawn assurance from the fact that, despite national differences, a legal order was in place and could be trusted to work.
Walk softly and carry a big stick. Theodore Roosevelt’s dictum of practical diplomacy works only if a big stick is handy, like a powerful navy that has just circled the world. In the matter of the territorial disputes in the South China Sea, the Philippines does not wield anything that can be mistaken for a [...]
By Walden Bello
Over the last two years, the Obama administration has executed what the president has termed the “Pivot to Asia” strategy, whereby the US’ global military force posture is being reconfigured to focus on the Asia Pacific region as Washington’s central front.