Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
Thursday, March 24, 2016
SOME COMPATRIOTS' IRRATIONAL REACTIONS
The report of a Chinese rubber dinghy boat ramming a wooden Filipino fishermen's boat came out four days ago. There were numerous immediate reactions from my compatriot Filipinos with understandable reactions of anger among some and from a few some very extreme reactions like cursing and posting of pictures of a dog defecating on a Chinese flag. The last among these reactions I cited is indeed reprehensible reflecting the crude mentality of those who did it than any legitimate anger.
But I am very careful not to react immediately to such news and such emotional responses from my compatriots. One that I know personally commented "PutanginanyoTsina" bluntly. He's a former navy personnel and a bit crude, but I was incense since I never heard him speak of the US in such a manner even when that US marine killed the Filipino transvestite. Yet, that should be expected of some of the lower-level minded fellow Filipinos of mine, I said to myself – and postponed my reaction.
Scrutinizing the news reports about the boat encounter incident I noted several important particulars which emotionally charged reactors wouldn't analyze.
First, the alleged offender in the ramming used "rubber boats" which presumably is the tpe used by the Coast Guards of very country – sturdy, solid but in no way comparable to any steel hull vehicle that could inflict really serious damage. My compatriot Filipinos should note this and give credit where credit is due in that – there was no way any charge of "superior force" being used could be hurled. Despite the rubber boats being used some mainstream Philippine newspapers still used photos of steel hulled huge ships in their reports the images on the incident.
Secondly, the Philippine news reports did narrate the stoning of the rubber boats and portrayed this as the reaction of our compatriot fishermen fending off the rubber boats. The question why the fishermen would be carrying stones (or rocks) was explained by later reports, which could have been only an afterthought to explain a curious situation, that these were weighs for fishing nets used by the fishermen. That may be true as gill nets would need such weights to keep the meshes stretched downward – but they are normally tied to the nets and not of enough numbers for the scene described.
Thirdly, and this came out only much later when the China Daily and other Chinese newspapers reported on the incident, the fishermen used "fire bombs" which I would think are "Molotov cocktails". The Chinese media is always meticulous in its factuality, if there is any information it wants to avoid it will keep quiet but never lie. This is unlike the Philippine mainstream media which, in the case of Philippine Coast Guard use of machine guns against a Taiwanese fishing vessel in 2013 where it lied outright.
The "fire bombs" could be merely the makeshift lamps used by our compatriot fishermen, a beer bottle filled with petrol or kerosene and plugged with a cloth and lighted. That's what activists frequently used, during the early rallies in the 60s and 70s. What is good news is that not even our compatriot fishermen reported any overreaction from the Chinese side, such as using guns. Of course, this time there was no way to report that the Chinese side used "water cannons" on our fishermen because the rubber boats don't carry those.
The question, however, must be asked by our compatriots watching this development objectively. Is there a possibility that this incident was a contrived event intended for provocation and raise tensions again. This has happened time and again before, from the arrest of Chinese fishermen at the Scarborough in April 2012 using a Nay "grey" ship the BRP Del Pilar to the false accusation by defense secretary Gazmin a year later in October about "concrete lblocks" for Chinese construction which turned out to be anchors for US target practice, etc.
But it was more likely a case of misunderstanding again as even the Chinese news reports stting that the Chinese Coast Guard was carrying out "governance" activities, that a term that must be clarified. In the past our compatriot fishermen would even state candidly and contradicting local sensational but erroneous news reports that they were being prevented form fishing in traditional waters in disputed areas. Is it true they are being prevented now? This must be clarified and subjected to discussion by the authorities from the two government in an amicable manner.
In the final analysis, misunderstanding can and should be avoided – through constant and continuing dialogue and open communications by representatives of the two countries in the spirit of mutual protection. In legal form, this is by way of a Fisheries Agreement. The intransigent position of the BS Aquino-Del Rosario government the past six years in scuttling dialogue with China has prevented this rational solution from being laid down on the table, there is no reason now to delay such talks with Aquino on the way out and Del Rosario already out. ###
Empty Debates, U.S.-BRITS MONEY-LAUNDERING EMPIRE, Western assault on BRICS.
Today is part 2 on the U.S. Money-Laundering Empire. The timing of this article seems impeccable with a new scandal in the $ 100-M Bangladesh national fund hacking heist naming some Chinese hackers and the involvement of major Philippine banks RCBC and the Import-Export Bank.
The news today is the announcement of the Bangladesh government that it is filing a suit against the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of New York… Dhaka accuses the New York Fed of failing to prevent its money from being stolen by Chinese hackers.
Now we know that the fund taken in the ultra-high tech hacking heist was deposited with the New York Fed, although the Fed denies it is responsible the Bangladesh government has no doubt about it:
"Bangladesh's Finance Minister AMA Muhith said…. We've heard that Federal Reserve Bank of New York has completely denied their responsibility. They don't have any right,… Of course, we'll file a case against them. We have kept the money with them. They are responsible,…"
The AlJazeera report we cll this from reported, "…at least 30 transfer requests were made on February 5 using the Bangladesh Bank's SWIFT code, out of which five succeeded in effecting transfers." And quotes Economist Mamun Rashid, who previously headed Citibank NA in Bangladesh,.. "Bangladesh is a client of the Federal Reserve Bank. They must take the responsibility for this incident,…
If in the process of the Bangladesh case filed against the Fed the complicity of U.S. elements are discovered, nobody should be surprised because the U.S.is one of the most corrupt societies and its financial system rotten to the core – and often due to its intertwining mission with the American geopolitical operations against other countries.
At the onset of the Bangladesh national fund hacking heist I recalled one of the greatest money-laundering operations in relatively recent history. It is important to recall for the public record because the generations that came after us the Baby Boomers should know all these in order not to be fooled by Western propaganda touting itself as the guardians of honest banking practices.
That greatest money-laundering operation was organized by the CIA, and anyone can read the comprehensive account of this in the 1991 report by a team of reporters entitled "B.C.C.I. The dirtiest Bank of All" with Cathy Booth, Jay Branegan and Helen Gibson working from Miami, Hong Kong and London respectively.
The several thousand words report starts with quotes from sources of the journalists:
"I could tell you what you want to know, but I must worry about my wife and family - they could be killed."
-- a former top B.C.C.I. officer
"We better not talk about this over the phone. We've found some bugs in offices that haven't been put there by law enforcement."
-- a Manhattan investigator probing B.C.C.I.
It begins, "Nothing in the history of modern financial scandals rivals the unfolding saga of the Bank of Credit & CommerceInternational (B.C.C.I.), the $20 billion rogue empire that regulators in 62 countries shut down early this month (July 1991) in a stunning global sweep. Never has a single scandal involved so much money, so many nations or so many prominent people….
But B.C.C.I. is more than just a criminal bank…
The more conventional departments of B.C.C.I. handled such services as laundering money for the drug trade and helping dictators loot their national treasuries…. The black network… operates a lucrative arms-trade business and transports drugs and gold…. it often works with Western and Middle Eastern intelligence agencies. The strange and still murky ties between B.C.C.I. and the intelligence agencies of several countries are so pervasive that even the White House has become entangled….
As TIME reported… the National Security Council used B.C.C.I. to funnel money for the Iran-contra deals, and the CIA maintained accounts in B.C.C.I. for covert operations….
The bank also maintained cozy relationships with international terrorists, say investigators who discovered suspected terrorist accounts for Libya, Syria and the Palestine Liberation Organization in B.C.C.I.'s London offices.
The bank's intelligence connections and alleged bribery of public officials around the world point to an explanation for the most persistent mystery in the B.C.C.I. scandal…"
The following on HSBC speaks for itself:
FEB 11, 2016 @ 05:25 PM 15,869 VIEWS
HSBC Sued For Money Laundering By Families Of Americans Murdered By Mexican Cartels
In an unprecedented legal move, families of Americans murdered by Mexican drug cartels filed a lawsuit this week against the London-based HSBC bank for allegedly providing "continuous and systematic material support" to Mexico's Sinaloa, Juárez, and Los Zetas cartels by laundering billions of dollars…
In 2012, HSBC Holdings agreed to pay a record $1.92 billion in fines to U.S. authorities for allowing itself to be used to launder drug money from Mexico. The Department of Justice said at the time that the Sinaloa Cartel and Colombia's Norte del Valle cartel together laundered $881 million through HSBC and a Mexican branch.
In this week's lawsuit, the Plaintiffs accused HSBC of having operated in a "culture of recklessness and corruption" in which employees in their branches in Mexico "routinely accepted deposits of hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions, of U.S. dollars from individuals with no identifiable source of income, delivered in multiple boxes specially designed to fit the precise dimensions of the teller windows."
The lawsuit alleges that without being able to integrate their illicit proceeds into the global financial network, the cartels' ability to corrupt and acquire personnel, weapons, planes, communication devices, raw materials for drug production, their operations would be substantially impeded. According to one drug lord, HSBC was "the place to launder money," the complaint says.
The plaintiffs are seeking judgment against HSBC for the maximum amount allowed under the Anti-Terrorism Act. ###
Saturday, March 19, 2016
March 19, 2016 Blog
In light of the misplaced and undisguised glee by which some of my fellow Filipinos greeted a sinking of a Chinese fishing vessel off the waters of Argentina, and the many Facebook comments about Chinese Coast Guard hosing reported Filipino fishing boats, I recall the very embarrassing incident of our Philippine Coast Guard killing a Taiwanese fisherman and causing the country international opprobrium, compelling our nation to apologize and then after much embarrassing hemming and hawing paying compensation.
Most of my compatriots also won’t remember how Malaysia arrested a Filipino fishing boat with a few dozen crew, impounding the vessel at gunpoint, jailing the fishermen for one year that caused one death in jail of a Filipino fisherman. This was about a decade and a half ago. Such an incident shouldn't be forgotten but many of my fellow Filipinos don’t have long memories… just what the Inquirer and ABS-CBN incites in them at the moment.
The item below is from World Socialist Website where I chose to recall the news item and not from Philippine newspapers which persistently show unmitigated bias when reporting on fisheries issues with Philippine neighbors China and Taiwan:
Philippine coast guard kills Taiwanese fisherman in disputed waters
By Joseph Santolan
14 May 2013
Relations between Taiwan and the Philippines soured dramatically over the weekend, in the wake of the Philippine shooting and killing an unarmed Taiwanese fisherman in disputed waters between the two countries. Taipei has demanded that Manila issue an apology, punish those responsible, and compensate the victims by May 15 or the Taiwanese government will place a ban on the entry of any new Filipino workers to the country.
On May 7, the China Daily reported that a flotilla of thirty Chinese fishing vessels was sailing for the disputed South China Sea to conduct a forty-day fishing expedition. The announcement occurred in the final days before the May 13 interim elections in the Philippines; politicians and the Philippine press competed with each other to denounce this as an “invasion” of Philippine waters, and called upon President Aquino’s government and the Armed Forces of the Philippines to prevent it.
No group was more strident than Akbayan, a “left” political party formed in the break-up of the Maoist Communist Party of the Philippines and now a coalition partner with President Aquino’s Liberal Party. Their congressional representative, Walden Bello, stated: “This is tantamount to an invasion. Now they are sending their fishing vessels. If we don't act strongly to defend and secure our sovereignty, soon they might send their naval warships and troops as well."
He called on the Philippine Coast Guard to “seize any Chinese vessel” and “arrest its crew….”
The discipline Chinese Cost Guard thankfully doesn’t do what this Filipino rabble-rousing politician advised his Coast Guard to do…
Just below is the photo of the body bag holding the victim of our Philippine Coast Guard’s ill-disciplined behavior:
You could also watch the You Tube video of the actual shooting by the Philippine Coast Guard –
Some of my Filipino compatriots, I hope few although I believe it’s the majority, are vehemently denouncing and circulating You Tube videos of PROC Coast Guard vessels hosing down with sea water reported Filipino fishing boats passing close to their ships. But the water hosing, whatever the reason as these can only be clarified by investigation and objective reportage, is certainly more appropriate than firing of machine guns at unarmed fishing vessels whatever the perceived violation if any.
Just recently a Chinese fishing vessel was reportedly sunk off in the territorial waters of Argentina by the Argentine Coast Guard, and I read many of my Filipino compatriots also rejoiced. The Argentinians rescued the fishermen and there was no casualty. Still, it is not an accepted practice to sink an unarmed civilian ship and investigation will have to be conducted. The only possible justification for shooting an unarmed civilian ship is if there is an attempt to act with hostility such as intending to ram the Coast Guard ship.
I can assure my Filipino compatriots that there are many Philippine fishing boats vulnerable to the charge of fishing in territorial waters in neighboring countries, such as in disputed waters of some less obvious countries with conflicting claims such as Malaysia, and then actual illegal fishing in the waters of Indonesia and all the way to Papua New Guinea. Someday the victimized fishermen’s shoes will be on Philippine feet again. ###
Friday, March 18, 2016
Col Reynaldo C Cabauatan
March 16 at 6:12pm ·
SO THE PEOPLE MAY KNOW:
It is unfair to attribute and emphasize the extra judicial killings or torture only to President Ferdinand E.Marcos during Martial Law.
In the first place, President Ferdinand E. Marcos did not issue such order to suppress the rights of our people.
Secondly, the AFP is mandated by the Constitution to defend our Constitutional Government from being overthrown by rebellion waged by the CPP-NPA, the CPLA and the MNLF.
Thirdly, there were "foreign" aids (materials and financials) that supported the requirements of these rebel forces. Example is the shipment of thousands of firearms and other explosives thru the MV Karagatan from China.
We lived by the dictum that everything is fair in love and in war.
We were at war with the New Peoples' Army and we faced them in all manners it would take, in our own initiatives, beyond or outside the rules of engagements, to neutralize if not to totally eliminate them within our respective Areas Of Resposibilities (AOR). We used the same dose of medicine they used on us, like kidnapping, torture and killing of our soldiers and informers. It was guerrilla warfare.
The NPA do not have detention cells to incarcerate their captured or kidnapped victims that they have to liquidate or bury them for their convenience.
However, not like the other rebel force in the south (MNLF), who accept the consequences of war, the NPA exploited and resorted to a one sided cruelties/consequence to an effective dramatization / propaganda to their advantage that was even supported by the Liberal Party (LP) under the Ninoy Aquino Wing. It was war between two Armies, AFP vs. NPA.
Consequently, their ideological propaganda has effectively made all administrations, after Marcos, recognize their alleged heroes where the "Bantayog ng mgaBayani" was erected in their "honor".
Only in the Philippines where you can find two sets of Heroes, one are those at the Libingan ng mag Bayani who gave their lives in DEFENSE of our Constitutional Government and the other are those listed at the bantayog ng mgabayani who tried to overthrow our Constitutional Government up to the present time.
Col REYNALDO C CABAUATAN O-5994 (Inact)
Below is my column from 2014, stating at that time what I viewed as clear signs that Grace Poe was to be propelled to the presidency of the Philippines by the Americans.
NinezCacho-Olivares, my publisher then, changed my title which was originally "Who can stop the U.S Poe-ppet" with the pun on Poe obviously and clearly intended:
Can we stop the next puppet?
Wednesday, 29 October 2014
As each month draws closer to 2016, the year of the next presidential elections, the plot of the imperial power to ensure that another of its puppet is installed in power becomes clearer and clearer.
The only time the US did not have a direct or indirect hand in installing a Philippine president since 1986 was in 1998 when the overwhelming vote of the Filipino masses installed an anti-establishment president — Joseph Estrada. He was overthrown within two-and-a-half years for his defiant attitude toward US. intervention to protect the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and insistence in eschewing sovereign guarantees for privatization projects.
Gloria Arroyo was a very willing puppet, passing the sovereign guarantee laden power privatization projects and granting iron-clad guarantees that government will never again provide cheap electricity. The Epira continues to bedevil this country's economy and prosperity 13 years after it was passed by Arroyo's lame duck Congress and signed into law by her own fix months after Estrada was ousted. Arroyo is saod to have brought corruption levels to a new high buying the acquiescence to the infirmed legality of her rule while Estrada remained physically able and refused to resign of his own accord.
Even Arroyo's subservience had its limit. When a Filipino OFW truck driver Angelo dela Cruz was kidnap-hostaged by Iraqi insurgents who, in exchange for mercy, demanded that the Philippines withdraw from the "Coalition of the Willing" Gloria acceded. Condoleeza Rice was furious. That was August 2004, a few months into 2005 the "Hello Garci" tapes were released from the closely guarded confines of the Isafp (Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, an agency closely watched by the US Intel services of course) wiretapping rooms under the watchful eyes of Isafp chief Gen. TirsoDanga.
In 2002 Arroyo pledged not to seek another term. Visits from US officials reminded her, but she still filed her candidacy in 2004. The bullheadedness, plus the Iraq defiance, sealed Gloria's fate. By 2005 Arroyo saw the ground from under her feet crumbling. After the 2001 euphoric welcome of her assumption to the presidency in Feb. 2001 which the whole World, led of course by US media, hailed as another "people power." By mid-2005 practically half her cabinet resigned and assailed her — the US fifth column in R.P., the Hyatt 10 which became BS Aquino cabinet's core.
The 2010 presidential elections saw several uncanny confluences that led to the installation of the present puppet. The opposition senatorial ticket under Estrada's leadership swept the senatorial elections and Estrada had risen to become a formidable challenge to Arroyo, a known US operator persuaded Arroyo to "pardon" Estrada, the 2010 presidential elections loomed, candidates Mar Roxas, Manny Villar, even Estrada loomed high on the horizon. These were the top contenders, until the death of Cory Aquino in 2009 intervened and made the BS Aquino victory inevitable.
I risk the credibility of this piece by even hinting the slightest possibility of Cory Aquino's death as part of some design, but her "timely" death in 2009 (BS Aquino partisans like the Abads clearly pray for it; by the way, read "Scientific Assassinations" Are Part of the CIA's Modus Operandi by Wayne Madsen) changed the 2010 presidential elections (though how much can be argued since the precinct count optical scan machine was there to ensure, though more difficult, a predetermined outcome). The rest, as they say, is history — the US has the most obedient president it can have in the Philippines today.
The "win" of "Little Miss Poe-ppet" was not only suspicious but also anomalous. The Comelec's "rush" proclamation on May 18, 2014 of the Poe-ppet tallied 19,828,262 votes on 129 CoCs (Certificate of Canvass) as announced by Comelec chairman Brillantes, three weeks later the Poe-ppet's final tally was only 20,337,327 to which Paglinawan said, "… The adjustment was defective since instead of Poe's vote increasing, these were reduced as the canvassing progresses and there was a time that her votes went down to 16 million…"; i.e., the 20-million votes target was first set in the mind of the people as the manipulation was being conducted to fulfill it.
The past few months we've seen two major influences boost the Poe-ppet, US playmaker in the Philippines Washington Sycip in September asking for the Poe-ppet to aim for higher office, and the Philippine Daily Inquirer in successive headlines leading to the last one "15-M PH kids hungry — Poe" with an accompaniment "Is Poe alternative to Jejomar Binay?" ###
The recent scandalously irregular, roughshod and illegal means by which the BS Aquino appointed Supreme Court chief justice mis-instructed her spokesman Theodore Te to mislead the public with the announcement that Grace Poe is already qualified to run for the presidency is another event in the American timeline to install Poe.
Justice Carpio contends that Seven (7) does not constitute the majority of the Supreme Court en banc which requires a minimum of eight (8) votes necessary to interpret Poe's foundling status as one that is "natural born". The issue of what constitutes a majority was also raised by the late Atty. Alan Paguia in the acquittal by the Supreme Court of Hubert Webb in 2010 when only 7 justices voted for it which Paguia pointed out is one less of the majority required by law.
The supposed decision of the Supreme Court as announced by Teodoro Te of 9-6 clearing the way for Poe to run for the presidency concerns only the petition of Poe against the Comelec for "grave abuse of discretion" in finding misrepresentations Poe's statements in the certificate of candidacy on the matter of residency and citizenship. That announced decision was not on the substantive issues. In short, Poe is not natural born and does not have the residency requirement as the Constitution requires to run for the presidency and not qualified to be senator as well.
But isn't this railroading by the Sereno Seven of the Supreme Court announcement simply machinations of BS Aquino trying to ensure a safe and loyal successor to save him from the flurry of cases and certain conviction on the DAP and other cases of illegal acts while he was president. What does the U.S. (Uncle Sycip and Sam) have to do with this? If one reviews the major decisions of BS Aquino, including his appointments to the Supreme Court, one will be congruence with the wishes of the U.S. His Supreme Court appointees are what I would describe as detailed from the corporate oligarchy that's invariably tied up to U.S. political-economic interests – except one, Leonen who is a creature of the pink-Left inspired and funded by foreign NGOs and not surprisingly a key pivot for the U.S.- inspired BBL.
What is the reason the U.S. wants Poe? The reason is – FULL CONTROL. With the entire family being Americans that is obvious. And I have stated before, I see Poe to be used in a confrontation between the Philippines and China triggered by a False Flag incident.
Imagine the small fragile Poe being pictured as the underdog against the imposingpresence of President Xi Jingping representing the image of the "oppressive" China. The Western propaganda machine with its global mainstream media will squeeze the most propaganda mileage from this. ###
Sunday, March 13, 2016
March 13, 2016 Blog
Is there going to be war between the emerging new and the declining world power?
American Academics for War.
You read the title "Crouching Tiger: John Mearsheimer On Strangling China and The Inevitability of War" and you must realize how the People's Republic of China's leaders, think tanks and defense planners must be thinking in reaction: "We must accelerate preparation for war and demolition of the U.S. military forces and its allies around the China Sea, the Straits of Malacca all the way to the Andaman Sea and Indian Ocean any point of which can be U.S. fleets and missiles can stage choking actions against the oil shipments which constitutes 80% of China's fuel supply."
The title is from an article that appeared in RealClearDefense website written by Peter Navarro promoting his book by that name, and he quotes a portion from Mearsheimer, a firm believer of the inevitability of great powers getting caught in the Tuchcydides' Trap (that a ruling power will inevitably wage war on a rising power) from his book "The Tragedy of Great Power Politics":
Meisheimer's cynical view.
"'My argument, in a nutshell, is that if China continues to grow economically over the next 30 years, much the way it has over the past 30 years, that it will translate that wealth into military might. And it will try to dominate Asia, the way the United States dominates the Western Hemisphere. And my argument is that this makes good strategic sense for China. Of course, the United States will not allow that to happen if it can. And the United States will, therefore, form a balancing coalition in Asia, which will include most of China's neighbors and the United States. And they will work overtime to try to contain China and prevent it from dominating Asia. This will lead to a very intense security competition between the United States and China's neighbors on one hand, and China on the other hand. And there will be an ever-present danger of war."
'Of course from this observation rises the imperative if not to strangle China's economy then to certainly slow it down.' (Peter Navarro)
"There's no question that preventive war makes no sense at all, but a much more attractive strategy would be to do whatever we could to slow down China's economic growth. Because if it doesn't grow economically, it can't turn that wealth into military might and become a potential hegemon in Asia. I mean, what really makes China so scary today is the fact that it has so many people and it's also becoming an incredibly wealthy country. Our great fear is that China will turn into a giant Hong Kong. And if it has a per capita GNP that's anywhere near Hong Kong's GNP, it will be one formidable military power. So the question is, Can you prevent it from becoming a giant Hong Kong?"
Meirsheirmer wants China to stop economic growth
"My great hope is that China's economy will slow down on its own. I think it's in America's interest, and it's in the interest of China's neighbors to see the Chinese economy slow down in terms of its growth rate in really significant ways in the future because if that happens, it then can't become a formidable military power."
Some Filipino academics have fancy themselves very bright fashioning their selves in the style of Meirsheimer, like the old colonial mentality that infects Philippine academia, parroting this Tuchcydides Trap as if it were gospel truth. LaSalle and the Ateneo has many of these, especially some funded through payment for articles submitted to Western neo-conservative magazines and others supported by Japanese neo-nationalist institutes and agencies.
Multi-Polar vision vs. Bi-Polar Myopia.
All these latter day Tuchydides, intellectual inheritors of that Athenian versus Spartans legacy, are simply myopic and narrow minded if not blind zombies of without any faculty left to stop, look, read and listen to the very loud message the rest of the World outside of Western intellectual and political circles are shouting: "The Multi-polar World is emerging and the bi-polar mentality is already so yesterday, so Cold War vintage."
The bi-polar mindset is still prevalent in Philippine academia and the Intelligentsia for a simple reason, there is very little ability among these communities to think outside of the paradigm their institutions constrain them to be. And then, there's no money in thinking, teaching and writing outside of that paradigm as one doesn't get published in the big paying mainly Western publications. There is one website, the "BRICS post" one can go to and read up on the evolving BRICS, the main pillar of the Multi-Polar World, organized amongst Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa representing over half the World's population and even larger populated territories.
BRICS is the foundation of a new global edifice.
BRICS isn't just a debating forum, it has been growing its muscles and recently theBRICS Bank, now known as the New Development Bank with acapitalbase of $ 100-B was launched in 2015 and its headquarters just cut its ribbons last February 27, 2016 opening the bank for business. It is as significant as the launching of the AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) which the U.S. opposed yet could not stop its closest allies such as Britain, Australia and even the Philippines to join.
Both these banks are touted by mainly the Western media as rivals to the World Bank and ADB, though they seem to have reconciled with the idea that its better now to cooperate than be at loggerheads with the emerging financial powers.In the last quarter of 2015 Iran signified its intention to join the BRICS Bank, other prospective members are Indonesia which has been mulling membership since 2010, Pakistan and some Central Asian states.
While China plays a key role in all these Multi-Polar alliance and cooperative finance institutions building it has not tried to dominate the decision making in these institution. In the AIIB although China provides the bulk of the capitalization its representative there does not exercise veto power(AIIB chief rules out China veto power – 1-27-16/China Daily). In this spirit, unlike the US with its veto power in the World Bank, the AIIB engenders the true cooperative spirit.
Such is the promising picture the Multi-Polar vision offers the 21st Century world, an image of distributed power amongst nations treated as equals lay the grounds for authentic democracy among member states.
War not inevitable, US must share power.
Years ago I noted an article in the Western Press that offered a solution to what the Western eyes thought was the intractable Thucydides Trap. The surprise thought piece was from the Christian Science Monitor, a source I found so apropos because it showed what the Chrisitan spirit show be advising. It was aptly titled "How China and the US can avoid a catastrophic clash".
The article by Hugh White advised the US and China to share power – but serous erring it still framed the problem confronting the US and China is if the latter was at fault by creating it: "By provoking US allies, Beijing is forcing Washington to choose between abandoning its friends or going to war with China. Both believe the other will back down. But there is a high chance that they are both wrong. America's best move then is to change the game in Asia, by offering to share power if China behaves responsibly."
Who was really provocative?
But when did China provoke anybody? China for sixty-years had been taking care of its own and in fact faced the threats and pressures of the United States several times when the latter supported the continued fragmentation of its historic territory by encouraging the separatist factions within several provinces of China. China never interfered in internal affairs of any other country, kept to itself except in a few cases where its traditional territorial lines were threatened.
Some quarters will point to the China Sea controversies as the provocation. But the facts of history reveal the contrary and a must read article "Who is the biggest aggressor in the South China Sea?" by Greg Austin, published June 18, 2015, in The Diplomat points to the culprit:
"In 1996, Vietnam occupied 24 features in the Spratly Islands (source). At that time, according to the same source, China occupied nine. By 2015, according to the United States government, Vietnam occupied 48 features, and China occupied eight.On May 13, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense, David Shear, said this to the Senate Foreign relations Committee: "Vietnam has 48 outposts; the Philippines, 8; China, 8; Malaysia, 5, and Taiwan, 1…
"In the past 20 years, according to the United States, China has not physically occupied additional features. By contrast, Vietnam has doubled its holdings, and much of that activity has occurred recently. The Vietnamese occupations appear to have increased from 30 to 48 in the last six years."
Marcos followed Vietnam.
Up to 2014 the features China assumed control of in the South China Sea or particularly the Spratleys were either inherited from the time Taiwan has control of those islands which China later assumed or certainly occupied before 1996.
When President Ferdinand Marcos started his governance of the Republic of the Philippines the awareness of the potential submarine wealth of the South China Sea was spreading wide and wildly. A decade earlier a Filipino maritime entrepreneur, Tomas Cloma, claimed some uninhabited islands of the Spratleys for his own vision of establishing a new country or state. Marcos assumed that claim and made it to a national vision.
Marcos the statesman and lawyer, understanding that "possession and occupation is 90% of ownership" started sending troops to several islands of the Spratleys in 1968, established garrisonsplanted the Philippine flag and built small and rudimentary but credible concrete structures and other facilities in the occupied islands. None other party can really lay claim to what has been occupied and physical held except through physical challenge too, and the Philippine claims to these were cemented. There was no adamant protest from China.
In fact, when the President Marcos and the Republic of the Philippines sought the opening of diplomatic ties with China, Chairman Mao Tsetung and Premier Zhao Enlai welcomed the Philippine president, the First Lady and family, and the Philippine delegation not only with open arms but with an outpouring of festivities – and history does not record any discussion of the Philippine occupation of the Spartleys islands.
The US "Pivot to Asia" – trigger for provocations.
In the second half of 2011 in the second half of President Barack Obama's first term U.S. strategic and foreign policy that had been mulling a shift from two decades of consolidating its strategic alliances in Europe and instituting its restructuring of the MENA (Middle East, North Africa) to facing the truly historic rise of the Asian Century and the central role of the emergent new world power China. Obama and Hillary Clinton called this the "Pivot to Asia" announcing that the U.S. would transfer 60% of its military forces to Asia.
Philippine Navy ship arrest Chinese fishermen.
From the time of Obama's official announcement of the Asia Pivot in November of 2011 the two U.S. Asian "allies" (or subordinate countries) began moves that would trigger the deterioration of the situation of the two countries' relations with China. First, on April 8, 2012 the Philippine "gray" of naval ship BRP Gregorio del Pilar attempted to arrest Chinese fishermen at the Scarborough Shoal, as area claimed both by China and the Philippines and traditional open fishing grounds for both Chinese and Filipino fishermen.
The use of a "gray" ship BRP del Pilar which even the Philippines' diplomatic corps and academic analysts to this day point out as a grievous error, signaled a hostile act. Likewise, the attempted arrest of Chinese fishermen where such fishing activity for all nationalities sued to be normal activity constituted provocations. Although Philippine and Western media has turned the reporting around and against China, interpreting the events as Chinese provocation, the facts of the incident point to the Philippines' provocation.
Given the history of the Philippines' compliance to the U.S. influences, many imagine that this provocation was a deliberate act upon "suggestion" of the U.S. Following this now constant reference point as China's provocation a series of Philippine sensational anti-China news report recurrently surfaced, such as the "new Chinese construction evidence by concrete blocks at Panatag shoals" which Philippine military investigators later revealed to be old American target practice anchors.
Then, Japan nationalizes controversial islands.
On September 11, 2012, only six months after the Scarborough incident create by the Philippine Navy, the Japanese government bought the Diaoyu or Senkaku Islands from private Japanese title holders effectively nationalizing the islands. Both the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China (Taiwan) claim the islands based on history and tradition. Japan's nationalization of the island considered both popularly and in the history books of China as part of its territory, created a situation that the Chinese government could not fail to respond militantly to assuage an enraged Chinese population.
The controversy contrived over the Diaoyu or Senkaku Islands opened the way for the Japanese government leadership of Shinzo Abe to argue that his country had to change its Peace Constitution to allow for it SDF or Self-Defense Force to join allies in military action against common enemies. That's something 70% of the Japanese people are opposed to as popular survey upon survey show. Abe faced a roadblock to a change to the Constitution, to go around the problem he "re-interpreted" the interpretation of the Peace Constitution.
All these are now followed by "donation" of patrol ships to the Philippines, planes and other security facilities and equipment to the Philippines.
Meirsheimer's Trap: Breakout with the Multi-Polar vision.
The mesmerism with the Meirsheimer view of history that many Filipino academics and political scientist, and many people in general are caught in must be shattered permanently. The theory associated with Meirsheimer, the Thucydides' Trap, was about a situation 2,500 years ago when they were fighting wars with swords, spears and shields, and only small, simiple City-States were warring against each other.
Our day and age of nuclear weapons and super-states face a more complex reality with equally complex intellectual capabilities that must be liberated from antiquated Cold War political theories and perspectives. Even the Christian Science Monitor article of Hugh White's call for power sharing is a sharing that is too limited – he sees only US sharing power with China. This is shortsighted. Power must be shared by more parties, such as in the practice of the BRICS member countries – no privileged power with special unilateral powers.
A Multi-Polar Vision for a World of Multi-Polar Peace. ###
Saturday, March 12, 2016
MARCH 12, 2016 BLOG
Herman Tiu Laurel/with research by Dang.
INDIA REJECTS JOINT U.S. PATROL IN SCS.
Joint military exercises among nations are a regular thing and it should not be taken as something against a certain nation or leaders. Although in this time and age where building up of tension are being used in order to create a scenario as a pretext to demonize or antagonize a certain leader.
Take for example Exercise Malabar, a trilateral naval exercise involving the United States, Japan, India as permanent partners. Originally only a bilateral exercise between India and the U.S., Japan became a permanent partner of the exercise in 2015. Past non-permanent participants are Australia and Singapore. The annual Malabar series began in 1992, and includes diverse activities, ranging from fighter combat operations from aircraft carriers, through Maritime Interdiction Operations Exercises.
Three exercises were conducted prior to 1998, when the Americans suspended exercises after India tested nuclear weapons. However, Washington renewed military contacts following the September 11 attacks when India joined President George W Bush's campaign against international terrorism.
In 2002, the exercises comprised basic passing maneuvers among naval vessels, anti-submarine exercises and replenishment-at-sea drills. (Source: Wikipedia)
This year, when the US military announced its military exercises with India and Japan, some reports made it appear that the said exercises will add tension in the South China Sea due to the proximity of the venue to China. Moreover, the fact that India will join, they build up an anti-China sentiment due to the alleged Chinese reclamation in the disputed area in the SCS.
The escalation of tension started with the prodding of US in the guise of 'freedom of navigation' but if we will analyze the geopolitics closely, China has every right to be the first one to invoke the freedom of navigation, particularly in the Strait of Malacca.
As George Friedman wrote in his article – "The South China Sea is an enclosed body of water. An archipelago of islands from the Strait of Malacca to the Philippines creates an enclosure with only narrow passages to the Pacific and Indian oceans. China depends on maritime trade, much of which passes through the South China Sea. China's dread is that it might face a blockade of the passages through the archipelago. A blockade, which the U.S. could readily impose, would be economically disastrous for China. This is not a likely scenario at the moment, but China must assume it is a possibility – a possibility of low likelihood, but massive impact."
There are too many chokepoints already, globally and if nations conducting military exercises will not be careful, any miscalculation and adventurism, a conflict may erupt and a global war might take place.
BUT JOINT PATROLS IS ANOTHER THING: INDIA SPURNS U.S.
This report from AnjanaPasricha datelined NEW DELHI— "India has ruled out participating in joint patrols in the South China Sea proposed by the United States….
"The proposal that the navies of Japan, Australia and India could join the U.S. in preserving freedom of navigation in the contested waters of South China Sea was voiced recently by chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, Admiral Harry B. Harris….
"But within days, Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar said, "As of now, India has never taken part in any joint patrol; we only do joint exercises. The question of joint patrol does not arise."
Philippine mainstream media, particularly the Inquirer from which reports of the broadcast media are taken and echoed day and night, have not made a careful explanation to the Filipino audience about the difference between a "military exercise" and the "joint patrols" which makes a world of difference in the public's appreciation of the situation. ###
Assistant Professorial Lecturer, De La Salle University
According to the 2015 Bloomberg survey, four of the top ten fastest growing emerging economies are members of ASEAN – Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. ASEAN's geographical proximity and deepening linkages with other key regional economies such as China, Japan and Korea also contributes to making the wider East Asian region a critical engine of global economic growth and development in the years to come. On the security front, ASEAN is also facing serious challenges such as the jurisdictional disputes over South China Sea. The significance of ASEAN did not escape the calculus of major powers that have long courted and engaged Southeast Asian states and ASEAN as a regional organization. In the contest for influence over this vital region, China appears to have gained the lead. From this perspective, the Special U.S.-ASEAN Summit at Sunnylands, California can be seen as an attempt to counter the growing influence of China over ASEAN, as well as to restore the U.S. leadership/primacy in the region.
The U.S. has a long history of engagement with ASEAN dating back to four decades ago. It became a Dialogue Partner of ASEAN in 1977, earlier than China, which attained full dialogue partner status only in 1996. The US was also the first Dialogue Partner to establish a diplomatic mission and appoint a resident ambassador for ASEAN in 2010; China did the same only in 2012. However, deep involvement in other distant theaters (e.g. Middle East and North Africa), increased security investments in response to terrorism and other security challenges, and recent economic woes scaled down the resources that the US has for the region and consequently made it harder to respond to the fast changing realities on the ground especially in light of China's rise.
In contrast to the U.S., China since initiating market-oriented reforms in the late 1970s valued the importance of its immediate neighborhood and began to expand its ties with ASEAN. It became a Strategic Partner of ASEAN in 2003, earlier than the US that obtained such status only in 2015. China was also the first Dialogue Partner to enter the ASEAN Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in 2003; the U.S. only followed suit in 2009. China was the first Nuclear Weapon State to express its intention to enter to the South East Asia Nuclear Weapons Free Zone Protocol. It also began an Annual Leaders Summit with ASEAN in 1997 (though initially informal) while the U.S. only did so in 2009. But while these political efforts were laudable, it was actually on the economic front that China's impact on ASEAN became most felt and enduring. The ASEAN-China economic relations eventually paved the way for the establishment of a free trade agreement (FTA) in 2010, the first multilateral FTA for China, which took effect last year. Curiously, U.S.-ASEAN Trade and Investment Framework Agreement was signed as early as 2006 but this never graduated to an FTA – U.S. signed an FTA with Singapore the following year (2007). In 2013, a U.S.-ASEAN Expanded Economic Engagement (E3) Initiative was established but whether this will help build momentum towards a future bilateral FTA remains to be seen.
China set up the ASEAN-China Center in Beijing in 2011, to further demonstrate the significance it attaches to peripheral diplomacy towards ASEAN. The Center is a one-stop information center to promote bilateral cooperation in trade, investment, tourism, education, and culture. All these sustained efforts made China the largest trading partner of ASEAN since 2009 and ASEAN became China's biggest trading partner in 2015 coinciding with the creation of the ASEAN Economic Community. In comparison, the U.S. was ranked as ASEAN's fourth largest trading partner, after China, Japan and the EU, although the U.S. remains ASEAN's largest source of foreign direct investment. In relation to priority areas for strategic cooperation, ASEAN and China clearly emphasize on addressing immediate economic development issues, namely in the areas of agriculture, information and telecommunications, human resources development, two-way investment and the Mekong River Basin development. In comparison, ASEAN-U.S. priority areas for strategic cooperation touch on many non-economic areas (aside from economic integration) and include maritime cooperation, transnational challenges including climate change, emerging leaders and women's opportunities.
As things stand, economic imperatives appear to be the main preoccupation of most ASEAN states with other issues taking a back seat, although there are concerns about the jurisdictional disputes over the South China Sea (SCS). As such, it appears that China was able to leverage its growing economic power to deepen ties with ASEAN. Maritime cooperation, though welcomed by coastal states, notably SCS claimants Philippines and Vietnam, are met with less enthusiasm if not indifference by other members, especially by non-SCS littoral states. This is partly because such cooperation is seen as part of a wider strategy to undermine China, which is a major trading partner and investor for most ASEAN states. It must be noted that 3 of the 17 major points (points 7, 8, 9) of the Joint ASEAN-US Special Summit Declaration allude to such cooperation/"shared commitment." There also appears to be less interest on climate change (although the same is enshrined in point 11 of the Declaration) considering that ASEAN (except Singapore) is a club of developing states whose energy consumption (notably fossil fuels like coal and oil) is bound to increase as the region's population, urbanization rate and economic growth are projected to accelerate.
While China seems to enjoy a commanding lead over the U.S. in terms of engaging ASEAN economically, the U.S. had long been known as the region's security guarantor underwriting the stability needed for the region's economies to flourish and boom. The U.S. has a mutual defense treaty with the Philippines dating from 1951 and annual military exercises with many ASEAN states. However, even in this department, China is already making significant inroads. Last year, it hosted the Xiangshan Forum, a track 2 regional security dialogue seen as a rival to Shangrila Dialogue, wherein ASEAN defense delegates were present. China had also conducted a flurry of recent military exercises with ASEAN states, many of them for the first time – Indonesia (2012 on anti-terror), Singapore (2015, first ever maritime cooperation), Malaysia (2014 and 2015 on non-traditional and humanitarian and disaster relief), Thailand (first ever air force exercises), and Cambodia (first ever naval exercises coming after the U.S.-ASEAN Sunnylands Summit and after a visit by Japanese Self-Defense Force navy). Thus, even in the arena of maritime cooperation, China is already making some headway as some of these military exercises have a strong maritime element. In 2011, a $500 million ASEAN-China Maritime Cooperation Fund was also established to support practical cooperation, although this treaty remains underutilized. In addition, Chinese arms sales/transfers to ASEAN are increasing. These include joint/co-production and technology transfer (e.g. production/delivery of anti-ship missiles to Indonesia and Thailand, frigates to Myanmar). Nevertheless, reception by some ASEAN states towards security cooperation with China remains hesitant because of anxiety over Chinese intentions and the SCS disputes, but continuous confidence-building measures, periodic consultations and high-level defense exchanges may gradually eliminate these concerns.
Set against this context, the U.S.-ASEAN Summit is timely and critical, especially for the U.S. The choice of the setting – the same venue of first ever face-to-face meeting of Presidents Obama and Xi – also highlights the increasing importance of ASEAN to the U.S. To shore up its economic engagement with the region, President Obama proposed the U.S.-ASEAN Connect initiative, which will utilize network hubs in the region, notably Singapore, Jakarta and Bangkok, to connect entrepreneurs, investors and businesses on both sides of the Pacific. The initiative has four pillars – business, energy, innovation and policy – covering a broad gamut of factors that could help lay the groundwork for bilateral commerce and trade. But considering the time and difficulties it took for similar U.S.-led initiatives like the Trans-Pacific Partnership to take off, the next challenge, particularly for the next U.S. Administration, is how to build on from this and how to translate this momentum into reality. If the message of the Summit was to impress on ASEAN that the U.S. remains a reliable partner and is in for the long haul, it appears it had been heard well. But this message would be lost if follow up actions are not in sight. For ASEAN, the Sunnylands Summit stresses the ever-growing importance of balancing its relations with major powers. It imbues on them the need to find ways to help shape great power competition into more constructive ways, de-securitizing them and elevating them into more productive engagement.- See more at: http://www.chinausfocus.com/foreign-policy/us-asean-summit-is-the-us-catching-up-with-china/#sthash.HPR5saJA.dpuf
Saturday, March 5, 2016
Here's the starting paragraph of the report, which turned out to be a PNA (Philippine News Agency, the Philippine government's news agency) and the AFP (which isn't likely to be Agence France Presse but Armed Forces of the Philippines):
"MORE nations expressed concern at China's rising maritime assertiveness with Japan, Australia, India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations expressing 'concerns' about tensions in the region.
26 May 2000: Philippine troops open fire on Chinese fishermen, killing one and arresting seven. -
source: bostonglobalforum survey June 2015