Is saying anything positive about China necessarily ‘appeasement’? | Inquirer Opinion

Is saying anything positive about China necessarily ‘appeasement’?

/ 05:01 AM July 22, 2021

We thank Solita Monsod for recognizing that there are large benefits in our relationship with China (“The costs of appeasement,” Get Real, 7/17/21). She also brought up the need to study net benefits vs costs.

Our difference then in outlook is in the valuation of these contributions and the attribution of intentions. Is saying anything that is positive about China necessarily “appeasement”? We briefly share some alternative views.


The value of timely assistance in times when we confront life or death is incalculable.

The quick ending of the Marawi siege is by no means attributing this to Chinese or Russian donation of arms alone. But planeloads were donated at a time when the US initially blocked arms delivery (but later released), just when we were at risk of becoming an IS-run state.


The early donation of billions in lifesaving personal protective equipment, medical supplies, and vaccines protected our frontliners. It also allowed the start of our turnaround—value in the hundreds of billions a month, with the help of medical workers, private donors, and public servants. For months, the US hoarded all vaccines, and countries like India that waited suffered immensely.

Yes, we have to control poachers. Why do Antonio Carpio and Albert del Rosario never mention that the most frequent poachers are Vietnamese, or that Indonesians blew up dozens of Filipino boats they claimed were poachers, or Malaysians physically punished arrested Filipinos? Yet we manage those issues and expand cooperation.

Has Professor Monsod calculated the million Filipinos dead in the war with the US, the millions killed in wars worldwide, the various sovereignty violations, including the US abandoning our claims on Sabah—are these already justified by US benefits?

To calculate lost income as billions of dollars yearly is based on theoretical potential and has no bearing on our practical reality. Why do our children not dream of becoming fishermen? Over 90 percent of our own coral reefs and coastal fish are endangered as reported by World Resources Institute, the UN Environment Program, our own fishermen. Yes, we need to help and work together.

Deficits? We are also in a deficit to Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea, etc., because we consume more than we produce, and our people and educated class don’t have much interest in manufacturing. Trade is mutually beneficial, we have the choice to not buy from China.

Industry players know China’s technologies have enabled millions of our people to afford smartphones and broadband. Much of our improved internet coverage recently allowing our lives to resume online is due to Chinese tech companies partnering with our Filipino telecoms and upgrading the skills of our engineers.

How we approach issues productively rather than emotionally, to uplift our people, is the goal of IDSI. The first step is obtaining accurate facts, then using proven frames of analysis that give good results.

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TAGS: China appeasement, Integrated Development Studies Institute, Letters to the Editor, Maritime Dispute, PH-China relations, West Philippine Sea
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