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‘Isn’t it better to work together?’

05:02 AM July 10, 2018

We write in relation to the misleading title “Pro-Beijing talking points” (6/20/18) by Manuel L. Quezon III. The original press release was titled “WPS: Constructive and beneficial approaches.”

When did alternative perspectives or rarely heard facts become the exclusive province of Beijing interest? Polarizing into “pro” and “anti” leads to a drawing of lines, and historically this Western confrontational approach has led to incalculable damage to nations and peoples.

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Instead, the Asian way of persistence and harmonization, even amid diversity and conflict, has led to cooperation and progress. Japan, South Korea, Singapore and China multiplied their people’s incomes in one lifetime 10 to 100 times!

In spite of the rhetoric, the United States and China compete and cooperate at the same time, i.e., over $500 billion in annual trade, one million students, etc. Japan and Vietnam have billions of dollars of investments with China, and over 5 million Chinese tourists each despite ongoing disputes. Over time, South and North Korea are friends again.

China has waived the $100-million loan for the canceled Northrail Project and donated over $100 million for bridges to decongest Manila, but these received hardly any media headline.

If we manage ourselves well and be open-minded and solution-oriented, we not only can prevent our country from being in the frontlines of a geopolitical struggle, but also even substantially benefit from all sides, without giving up our positions.

We must decide based on our national interest, with consideration for the collective good. Continuous-engagement approaches, history has shown, have yielded far more positive and sustained, if imperfect results, than the adversarialapproaches.

We should model our decisions on successful past models, not just on opinions. Instead of bashing each
other, isn’t it better to work together?

INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT
STUDIES INSTITUTE, idsicenter@gmail.com

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TAGS: China, Manuel L. Quezon III, South China Sea, West Philippine Sea
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