MANY of us Filipinos have been angered by being made to feel helpless by China’s takeover of our reefs in the West Philippine Sea, reclaiming them and making islands out of them, and then building airstrips and garrisons and other military installations on the new islands.
China has also constantly made some of our own fishing grounds off limits to our fishermen. Large Chinese ships, armed and equipped to sink and drive away non-Chinese boats, have been firing water cannons at Filipino fishermen. They have also threatened inhabitants of a small island barangay.
The CNN report that we published yesterday, made monitoring China’s aggressive activities in the West Philippine Sea more than just our daily exercise in humiliation. It also made monitoring China’s invasion of our territory a bit more interesting, feeding the hopes of our more warlike countrymen that maybe Uncle Sam will at last do something to aid his Little Brown nephews in the good old P.I. (For those to young to know, “P.I.” or “Philippines Islands” is how Americans called their colony.)
Should we Filipinos rejoice that US “surveillance planes” — some others call them “spy planes” — have been regularly flying over our WPS territory to watch what the Chinese are doing?
Should we worry about what former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Wednesday night– that the Chinese Navy’s angry demand that the US P8-A Poseidon, America’s most advanced surveillance and submarine-hunting aircraft, “Go away” indicates that there is “absolutely” a risk of the US and China going to war sometime in the future?
Morell thinks that dire eventuality could happen if China continues doing what it is doing now. CNN reported that Morell said “there’s a real risk, when you have this kind of confrontation, for something bad happening.”
China’s aggressive growth, CNN reported Morell as saying, “hints at a broader trend as the Asian economic superpower continues to expand its influence and strength” and could “absolutely” lead to war between the US and China.
“China is a rising power. We’re a status quo power. We’re the big dog on the block … They want more influence,” CNN reported Morell as saying. ”Are we going to move a little bit? Are they going to push? How is that dance going to work out? This is a significant issue for the next President of the United States.”
One thing this CNN report of the confrontation between the Chinese Navy and the USA’s surveillance plane–and Morell’s scary talk of war — did is somehow give some credibility to President Aquino’s policy of hoping that Uncle Sam would come to our rescue.
The CNN report did not refer to the Philippines by name at all, though.
But if the fact that President Obama’s strategy for confronting the Islamic Caliphate–conducting airstrikes against ISIS, in coordination with Saudi, Syrian and Iraqi ground troops, and virtually forging an alliance with Iran against the ISIS–could be thought of in the China and Philippines context, then our alliance with America may not be completely useless after all.
What is best for everybody, however, is for Morell’s feared war to never happen.