• China’s economic militarization


    Ej Lopez

    The prevailing fracas and conflict we are currently facing with China brings to fore the six-million-dollar question, “Are we ready to engage in an armed conflict?” Even without going to the process of examining our inert potential to create or commit ourselves in an armed conflict with China, readily our response is, “we are not!” China’s imposing presence is enough to bring chills to any nation of the world, capable of fighting back or otherwise. The act of “tactical bullying” is not meant to provoke us to “bring it on” in terms of military or armed confrontation, but rather have us submit to their whims and caprices relative to the exploitation of the natural resources of disputed waters.

    China has had enough of utilizing its natural resources, in fact exceeding what is exploitable. China’s economic growth the past decade was not only unprecedented, but hard to duplicate in our contemporary time. It had an average gross domestic product growth rate of 9 percent to 10 percent from 1990 to 2010. This made it the largest economy next to United States, and possibly will become the biggest economy by the 2020. In 2010, China’s wages were rapidly increasing that made its government call for an increase in the people’s standard of living, and be expense conscious to effect or sustain a growing economy.

    China’s growing economic presence in the world could be effectively gauged in two ways; On one hand, because of the unprecedented mammoth growth of its economy, it would like to maintain the status quo and not effectively submit themselves to the doldrums of the “law of diminishing returns,” where after a series of growth episodes, attaining the apex of resource utilization, comes that natural tendency to retreat back to where it started. In so doing, they have no other recourse but to “conquer” territories outside of their geographic and territorial boundaries, banking on loose and internationally unacceptable premise, to sustain what soon will become an overheated economy that would eventually explode right in their faces. The economic outcome could either be beneficial or otherwise to the local economy, depending on how they view or see us, either as a trading partner or workers and laborers in our own land.

    On the other hand, China’s move may have been wrongly interpreted as an act of military aggression in that disputed land. There are reasons to believe that at this point of their economic feat and greatness, China is not about to create any actions that would in any way jeopardize their economic accomplishment; because no matter how you look at it, any act or incidents of war is going to create enmity among China’s trading partners which will redound to negative trade relations among allied nations of both the “warring” parties. Sympathies normally would go to the underdogs and China is not one.

    In this modern time of information technology, it becomes imperative that armed struggle is not anymore a solution to any conflict, lest you be castigated by the rest of the world, because any form of genocide or military atrocities have no place in a civilized world.

    Communications technology seem to be the most lucid solution to misunderstanding or skirmishes that may arise as a result of differing opinions that normally would ascend as an offshoot of rapid and diverse information growth.

    The Philippines in its view of being mistreated by China’s “tactical bullying” should not go beyond the level of diplomacy to parry China’s dominating actions. Any third-party involvement in this melee may be perceived as inciting or provoking forceful acts.

    Although the Philippines has a rightful claim over the disputed territories whether geographically or historically, China’s reactions should not be directly interpreted as acts of hostilities. By resorting into actions reminiscent of concocting a retaliatory deed, the diplomatic accord that we are aiming for, may not be deemed possible by our extreme reaction and may eventually lead into a greater dilemma, which may become unresolved by any diplomatic expediency.

    Stocks roller coaster ride
    After more than two years of reaping profits from the bourse, brought about not by our own decent economic performance, the bourse once again has been put into a test. The rather unpredictable movement of the shares market lately was not because of our own misgivings. It was more of the instability of the more prominent markets where the portfolio was diverted on the pretext that the US and European market was back on track and ready to recover what was lost in the previous years of economic activity. True, instability is not present in the local market but rather, we are here as mere market alternative in portfolio competition.

    Series of events indicate that the local portfolio will again experience a bullish trend but not for a protracted period, since a slump is imminent in the not so distant future for reasons of projected recovery and boom of the US economy, and the damaging effect of the Chinese intrusion of our local territory.

    But the growth component of the local economy that put us above water the previous year despite not that stable, will remain unrelenting and sustainable until the end of the year.

    These independent actions will in effect pump-prime the economy and create short-term investments that will carry us through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Economic Integration in the year 2015.

    For comments e-mail: doc.ejlopez@gmail.com with cc to: opinion@manilatimes.net.


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