Why do we have to choose between two ‘monsters’? | Inquirer Opinion

Why do we have to choose between two ‘monsters’?

/ 05:12 AM December 05, 2018

My attention was caught by that very provocative and utterly accurate political cartoon posted by the New York Times on Nov. 27. depicting the people of Southeast Asia in an apparent dilemma on who they should support.

Should it be the Chinese bully or the US bully?


The caption read: “Southeast Asian countries are caught between a rock and a hard place.”

But while the political cartoon has shown a precise problem, my position is different.


First: Why do the people of Southeast Asia as a whole, and the citizens of the Philippines in particular, have to choose between these two imperialists and colonialists in the first place?

Second: There is no dilemma here. Those who thought there was are not worthy of calling themselves independent states.

A nation that is truly independent must only have one foreign policy or political goal: WE SHALL NEVER EVER TAKE SIDES! WE SHALL NOT CHOOSE BETWEEN TWO MONSTERS!

Now, more than ever, the people of this region must show to the whole world their mettle, character and worth.

This is not a case of either/or, but rather of national pride and the defense of one’s sovereignty.

This is not a case of trapped being between the monster and the deep sea.

The only thing necessary for the people of Southeast Asia is to unite and further strengthen their bond.


Perhaps the time has come for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to create its own Southeast Asian collective army to guard our waters, and to serve as a counterbalancing force against the encroachment of China.

JOSE MARIO DOLOR DE VEGA, [email protected]

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TAGS: China-Philippines relations, Inquirer letters, Jose Mario Dolor De Vegas, US-Philippines relations
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