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Response to China: ‘Usjaphil’

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When a bigger guy like China pushes us, a puny nation, the first reflex is not to fight back because we are too small. But when push comes to shove, we rethink our position in two ways. First, in our anger and helplessness, we may want to fight back, not caring if we lose, which would be suicidal. Second, we may look for “creative” ways of fighting back.

Posted: April 20th, 2014 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Might isn’t right

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I find the full-page statement by the Chinese government in another newspaper offensive. Not only does it ignore the aggressive actions it’s taken, it also makes a demand that does not fit the modern globalized era. The tone of the message was not of one seeking a mutually agreed solution, it was one of putting across a demand that its belief be accepted unquestionably.

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

Dealing with God

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It’s astonishing how China, despite becoming the second most powerful nation in the world, continues to harbor a parochial outlook. It’s astonishing how China, despite heralding the wave of the future, at least compared to the United States which is in the throes of decline, remains trapped in the past. It’s astonishing how China, despite being in a position to become a shaper of the world, barely understands the world.

Posted: April 8th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

PH braces for China dispute fallout

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The Philippines is bracing for a heavy fallout of retaliation from China after Manila filed last Sunday a case with the United Nations arbitration tribunal in The Hague, subjecting Beijing to international legal scrutiny over disputed waters in the South China Sea.

Posted: April 4th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

David and Goliath, sort of

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Malcolm Gladwell, the guy who made “tipping point” a byword ages ago, has an interesting thesis in “David and Goliath.” The traditional way we understand “David and Goliath” is that it is a drastically unequal fight between an awesome party and a puny one. Which, in the Biblical case at least, had the surprising, and happy, result of the fight being won by the puny one, David.

Posted: April 2nd, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

The standoff on Second Thomas Shoal

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Almost to a man, most of the states on the rimlands of Asia-Pacific have closed ranks to denounce China’s “bullying” actions in the South China Sea and East China Sea.

Posted: March 28th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

PH repivots defense links to US

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In his keynote speech at the summit of the Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers on March 21, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario did not mince words when he warned:

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

Manila’s options

The so-called framework agreement on enhanced defense cooperation between the Philippines and the United States seems all but inevitable. The seventh round of negotiations is slated for the end of the month, but one official has estimated that 80 percent of the deal is already done, and others suggest that the agreement will be concluded before US President Barack Obama visits Manila in April.

Posted: March 17th, 2014 in Editor's Pick,Editorial,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

China rides roughshod on neighbors

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The Philippines and the United States on Saturday jointly expressed concern over recent incidents in the South China Sea that “threaten freedom of navigation in disputed waters,” an apparent reference to China’s increasing assertiveness in pressing its territorial claims in the region.

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

Sea row brings to mind Hitler-West pact

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China stood reality on its head in its response to President Aquino’s call for more global support for the Philippines in resisting Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, drawing a parallel to the West’s failure to support Czechoslovakia against Hitler’s demand for Czech land in 1938.

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

China’s game plan

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Never mind Sun Tzu’s masterful treatise, “The Art of War.” Likewise Marxist-Leninist thought, and the more picturesque “cabbage-” and “salami-slicing” strategy of Beijing recently highlighted in the local and international media. China’s strategic plans in the South China-Philippine Sea are best understood in the immensely popular, 2,500-year-old Chinese game “go.”

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

Tomorrow arrived yesterday

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“Cartographic”—what? “Cartographic aggression” is shorthand for redrawing maps to gobble up territory, writes Australian Sinologist Geremie Barmé. And last week’s region-wide protests over Beijing’s clamping of new fishing access rules on disputed portions of the South China Sea is the latest edition.

Posted: January 13th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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