IF we don’t want the Philippine-American mutual defense alliance to become stronger, we might as well work to end it and turn our eyes toward China and be willing to become a satrapy of the Communist-Party ruled People’s Republic.
That logic is inescapable.
It’s wishy-washy Pollyanna thinking to hope to have the best of both worlds, be a halfway ally of both the United States and China. That could be achievable if we had patriotic leaders, who were also astute, wise, erudite and absolute pillars of integrity–like the late Don Claro M. Recto. Unfortunately, our leaders are almost all corrupt at heart, with varying successes in enriching themselves–not even away from the public eye. Our present leaders would surely be willing to sell out our country to whoever can make them richer. Also, none of them has the deep knowledge of what drives the United States and China. They have no mastery of the geopolitical realities of our world and of the histories of both America and China. None can even speak and read serious Chinese. Many can speak American English but none is armed with deep intellect, scholarship and wisdom.
And it doesn’t look like any of the young people with a political bent is likely to emerge as the combination of Lee Kuan Yew and Claro M. Recto. That person is the one we Filipinos need to be our effective and globally awed leader who can succeed in making us a neutral country in the conflict between the USA and the PRC.
We don’t even think it is clear to our leaders what the conflict between the USA and China is. It is this: The United States’ best leadership and brains want to prolong the status of their country as the most powerful military, economic, political, financial and diplomatic state in the world. They know that eventually American power over the most important matters on our planet will have to be reduced and shared with others– its old friends in Europe, with Japan, with its rivals, Russia and China. But they (the Americans) don’t want their decline to be humiliatingly fast—and substantial. They want to still be the first among those who have a share in the collective hegemony over what happens to mankind.
China, meanwhile, wishes to hasten its rise to being an equal of the United States in all departments of leadership. They want, in some departments, to be superior to United States. China’s leaders want their promotion to superpower status to happen fast. And they want to be No. 1 in their immediate sphere of influence—Asia, especially the area to which we Filipinos have our archipelago.
Will it benefit us more to help America or China?
In the immediate present and the foreseeable future it will benefit us more to be on America’s side. Why? Because there are more reasons for us to have the US big brother to keep us from being diminished territorially by China’s aggressive program over the West Philippine Sea. We must learn the lessons of the nations who allowed themselves to be gradually eaten up by China–and became its provinces. We must be as jealous over, and willing to die, for our territories as India is.
Then, if America’s leadership becomes more sincere in its dealings with us, if America helps to make us a more solid nation, help turn our leaders–and youth–into less corrupt, lazy and ineffective officials –leaders in the image, for example, of the likes of the Harvard alumni former Senator Rene Saguisag and Dr. Boom Villegas; if America truly supports us as positively as promised by the highest US military man and the US ambassador, saying that “an attack on the Philippines is an attack on the United States,” then we would really be benefiting a lot from our alliance with the USA.
And we would develop into the country that Jose Rizal envisioned–one that is strong enough and able to be less dependent on others.