A creeping Chinese invasion?
China’s sneaky introduction of antiship cruise missiles, surface-to-air missiles and military planes in the artificial island that it built in a territory that is well within the 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone of the Philippines has rattled nerves among defense and military
officials of our country.
This, despite Chinese President Xi Jinping’s promise to President Duterte that China will not militarize the facility it constructed on the island that is part of the Panganiban Reef. Under the July 2016 ruling of the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, the Philippines has exclusive sovereign rights over this area that we call the West Philippine Sea.
Consider, too, that China has given Chinese names to five undersea features in the Philippine Rise (Benham Rise), which is indisputably in Philippine territory. Could this be a prelude to a future claim on this area?
These developments heighten a growing xenophobia among Filipinos about the unabated influx of Chinese nationals. There is palpable wariness about a silent infiltration of the country by lawless and undesirable Chinese nationals. There are also disconcerting talks about thousands of Chinese troops furtively dispersed throughout the country, and the continuing mysterious entry of more Chinese, also suspected as military infiltrators. If true, are they here for some sinister reasons?
There are also intriguing speculations about large numbers of Chinese in Metro Manila who do not interact with the locals, live in places exclusive only to them, are provided with transport vehicles and eat in dining places operated by
Only recently, an impudent Chinese chef named Wang Yongbin mauled Filipino waitress Rutchel Taer just because she dared eat a piece of chicharon. It turns out that Wang is an undocumented alien who has no passport or work permit and does not speak English or Filipino.
Have we now become a haven for illegal Chinese entrants? Witness the discovery in 2016 of 1,316 Chinese nationals working without permits in a gambling establishment set up by a Chinese casino operator in Clark, Pampanga. The case exploded into a shameful scandal when two immigration officials allegedly extorted P50 million from the
operator for the release of the detained aliens.
To stay covert, they have now fanned out to the provinces. Last January, authorities nabbed 153 Chinese and Taiwanese suspects in Ilocos Sur and Las Piñas. They were engaged in telecom fraud, preying on rich people in mainland China, posing as police officers, prosecutors and judges investigating the victims for some alleged crimes. To avoid charges, the victims were told to transfer huge amounts to certain bank accounts. In the same month, 81 more were arrested in Makati for violating immigration laws. Several turned out to be wanted in China.
Last month, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency arrested four Chinese operating a clandestine shabu lab in Batangas. Arrests were also made in Cavite.
In disputed maritime areas, in artificial islands and in many other places in our country, it looks like we will have to contend with this creeping Chinese invasion.
So don’t be shocked if one day, Xi Jinping jet-skis his way to the Pasig River to plant the
Chinese flag in Malacañang!
NIKKO DAYRIT, RELI GERMAN, MAE LAGUNDAY, SITO SANTILLAN, NORI SANTOS, August Twenty One Movement (Atom)
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