Regrettable, insensitive remarks about China

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OF course, President Aquino should stand up against any power that threatens Philippine interests. Of course, the President should spare no effort in protecting every inch of our territory. But comparing China to Nazi Germany is not only wrong, it is also counterproductive in finding a peaceful settlement to the territorial dispute.

The Palace’s attempt at damage control as stated by Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte was equally wrong. She said over the weekend the President was merely standing up for the rights of Filipinos. President Aquino could have done that without being insensitive and cruel, particularly to those who remember history.

Naturally, China is fuming. Worse, the latest inflammatory remarks by President Aquino was delivered in Japan. Allied with Nazi Germany in World War II, Japan invaded the Philippines and China and committed atrocities for which Japanese leaders have yet to apologize. China’s ambassador to Manila, Zhao Jianhua, said recently that the Chinese have never invaded the Philippines, tortured Filipinos, or kept “comfort women.”

Apparently, the Chinese were not the only ones upset over the comparison.


On the Forbes magazine website, Jean-Pierre Lehmann writes: “When last year Philippine President Benigno Aquino compared China’s stance in the South China Sea to that of Nazi Germany’s annexation of the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia before the outbreak of World War II, it was inappropriate, irresponsible and inflammatory. To have done so again, in a speech in Tokyo on Wednesday 3rd June, borders on the incredulous. Aquino should certainly refrain from such comparisons in the future.”

The contributor, who notes that his mother was born in the Philippines and that he has many Filipino friends, went on to say, “To compare the South China Sea to the Sudetenland displays amazing ignorance, worrying on the part of the head of State of one of the countries concerned.”

Less bravado, more statesmanship
We concede that there are some who would applaud President Aquino’s brash behavior. In a comment posted on our website, one reader asked whether The Manila Times wanted the President to step aside and allow China to do what it wants in the West Philippine Sea. Of course not. They are missing the point.

The bottom line: President Aquino’s objective should be to protect our national interests. If talking tough to the Chinese will protect our interests, then President Aquino should do so. But if that does not work, then the President should consider other alternatives, including diplomacy. President Aquino’s provocations have triggered a hastening of China’s encroachment into areas claimed by the Philippines, along with Vietnam and Malaysia. His statements have raised tensions in the region and revived the possibility of a new cold war. Instability in the region benefits no one, not even the Philippines. It is time to explore other options in pursuit of our interests.

Also, talking tough to China does not mean making “asinine remarks” – to borrow from Lehmann’s piece. Talking a stand against China does not mean abandoning statesmanship and civility. Fighting for what is ours does not mean spreading false parallels that hurt the feelings of our strategic partners, one of which is China. As we have said before, we should not allow the disputed territories issue to define our relations with China.

Standing up to China should mean engaging them. We do not agree with the Palace’s decision to reject the offer by Ambassador Zhao to resume bilateral talks without any preconditions. In returning to the negotiating table, China is not asking for the Philippines to retreat from international arbitration, the ambassador said. We believe that the Philippines should sit down with China, and if necessary, agree to disagree. And if negotiations take a long time, then so be it. It would be a miscalculation to think that China is making this conciliatory offer only because of international pressure.

Last, President Aquino should grow with experience. He should note that not even the United States, which has been extremely critical of China’s human rights record, has likened China to the Nazis. President Aquino should learn the difference between tough and irresponsible. It would be better if he apologized, but given his personal history, China should not hold its breath.

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24 Comments

  1. Teach this ABNOY some diplomatic manners and the art of human relations…. for a person to earn and command respect .he must practice the same.

  2. It is so funny that Filipinos still have love for the Chinese. HA HA HA lets see if they still have love when the Chinese come and occupy the Philippines. Then we will see what these idiots who criticized about Aquino comparing China to Nazi Germany. The Philippines should just react to the current events and not in the past, I guess these idiots who side with China would probably agree that China owns the entire Southeast Asia as the Chinese have been in the area for a long time, longer than the Spaniards, Malays, etc.

  3. Pete GAbriel on

    It may be wrong to compare them to Nazi, but the do not have a problem calling the Philippines whiners and cry babies, and a lap dog of America. China is not interested in diplomacy, they want West Philippine sea because of its military strategic location and the minerals and fish to feed the billions of Chinese. It seems like Manila times is just too accommodating to Chinas’ wishes!

  4. China is worst than NAZI Germany.
    Those who disagree with me are Chinese Sympathizer or even a Sleeper cell of the Chinese just like what the Japanese did before the start of WW II.

  5. I agree with Pres. Pnoy. What is happening now is the same as what happens when Germany was on the rise prior to World War 2. Germany was humiliated in its defeat in WW1 and chafe at the chains imposed on them by the victors. After it became strong industrially and militarily, it march to conquer its neighbors.
    Only the brave will call a spade a spade. Lesser person will try to pacify (exactly what Chamberlain did) which in turn emboldened the aggressor.

  6. ted penaflor on

    Tama lang ang sinabing comparison ni PNoy sa China at N@zi. Truth hurts. Mabuti na ang nagsasabi ng derechahan kesa magpaligoy-ligoy pa. Tayong Filipino kasi ay plastic ayaw sabihin ang tunay na saloobin kaya sinasamantala tayo ng banyaga.

  7. BS Aquino III is adding more fuel to a developing fire that he himself started. His one-tract mind is a shame to all Filipinos. Spewing inflammatory statement from a supposed president of a country really smacks of irresponsibility and unstatemanship.

  8. I agree with President Aquino statement. To those that are blind or don’t want to see what the China is doing, try to live with our soldiers at Spratly even for one day and you’ll see. To those people that are against on what the President said, open your eyes and start listening. Kantahin nyo ng buo ang ating national Anthem para matuto kayo.

  9. China is worse than Hitler. It should get out of the West Philippine sea now!

  10. The damage has been done once those words left Aquino’s mouth.

    Even tho he tried to walk it back a few days later. Aquino: No intent to hurt Chinese with ‘Nazi’ comparison is like closing the barn door after the animals escaped.

    China being a military and economic super power who has no reason to worry about the Philipppines but that doesn’t mean China will laugh it off and not react to the insult.

    China could flex it’s economic muscle and make things more difficult for the Philippines, what will the Philippines do about that ? More insults ?

  11. I wish the world would understand that BS Aquino is just “high”..when he uttered those remarks.

  12. We have an old saying in the United States, the truth is an absolute defense. China is acting like nazi Germany why should we tip toe around that fact?

  13. Roldan Guerrero on

    It is again a display of “GROSS STUPIDITY”. Everything is getting worst in the hands of the PIGNOY. Would it be comparable to a video game, I would like to play fast forward to shorten the term of this dangerous president. All critical national undertakings now should be paused, we should wait for 2017 to continue to move forward. We are in a very dangerous and critical situation in the hands of a president even more stupid than the North Korean President.

    • I do not agree with your position. This president did not follow the path of our previous presidents of kowtowing to the Chinese with bended knees and supplicating hands. We have shown the Chinese what a David can do in the face of a Goliath. Pnoy manage to internationalize the South China Sea issue. Keep on tract the modernization of the AFP (put on hold for decades by past presidents) and had cemented military alliances with friends.
      Appeasing China is the biggest mistake the Philippine can take. You do not appease a bully. You confront it head on.

  14. sonny dela cruz on

    The Editorial is missing the point, whatever President Aquino has said about China. Remember, history repeats. China made a military alliance with Russia and soon they will have a military exercises in China sea. What does this mean. The pattern is the same of the ww2. Germany & Japan an axis allied, Hitler made his move in Europe and Japan made their move in Asia-Pacific region. Now, Russia is moving their forces in Cremea and China is doing expansionism in Philippine waters. The Chinese navy is firing on our fishermen fishing inside the Philippine waters not to fish. They are firing with live bullets and not just water cannons as they used to be. Is that a diplomatic way what China is doing? Maybe those structures they are building in the reclaimed islets are CONCENTRATION CAMP for Filipino fishermen caught fishing inside the Philippine waters. Philippine doesn’t need to talk to China unless they demolished all the structures they built and then China has to get out of the Philippine waters.THEN LET’S TALK.

    • AMEN!!! Kabayan…

      What China is doing now is EXACTLY the same move as Japan did before the start of WW II.

      How many rich Chinoys living on the Philippines are actually Sleeper cells or China supporters?

  15. christinetan on

    It appears that the Philippines main weapon against China’s aggression in SCS is Aquino’s temper tantrum, mania and name-calling. Add tactless diplomacy. To expect that China could be stopped from what it is doing with Aquino’s demeanor is to hope that Don Quixote would finally defeat the windmill. It makes Aquino the Don Camote of the Pasig River.

  16. What can you expect from Pnoy who is insensitive, brazen and unapologetic to people whose sentiments and feelings he had taken for granted and ignored ignominiously, like the Luneta victims, Yolanda victims and lately the 44 SAF heroes. Pnoy abnormal behaviour or unstatesman ‘ s approach in foreign policy issues is to be expected based on his personal traits and undesirable character. Pnoy has grown-up like an untouchable spoiled brat whose ego is as big as his empty head. Pnoy choice of words in an issue discussion is more like a street smart ( like buhay pa na man kayo , diba?, Bahala kayo sa buhay Hindi ako makikiramay sa di ko Kilala). Pnoy lacks the finesse of words of the educated, civil and that of a leader. In the hope of appearing tough, he sounds like a bum! We are lucky his term is about to end and for sure Pnoy will fade in the history as a treasonous leader for strongly supporting the BBL. Pnoy is a total failure as President in all counts, education, poverty, crimes and inclusive economy. Pnoy ‘s leadership hallmark is that of a “political bribe giver” to be able to obtain Congressional consensus. His corruption policy is merely a facade of his government as his allies and friends continue to roam around scot-free!!
    The Aquinos, Ninoy, Cory and Benigno 3rd (Pnoy) are aberrational leaders who just muddled up a strong country via Yellow adoration, which poisoned the minds of the people. Pnoy could not have been elected had the people’s mind were clear and unaffected by the “yellow fever”. People wrongly adulation and idolized the Aquinos for they have done nothing for the country but only for their own self-interest!

  17. Dapat matutunan ni Aquino,mag-isip muna bago mag-salita! Nakasalalay sa kilos niya ang kinabukasan ng bansa!
    Laging pinaiiral ang yabang at tapang,kaysa mahinahon at matalinong desisyon! Sayang na ulo puro mata lang nakikita mo!

    • Marcospolo, walang Utak Ang ulo NI Pnoy! Pati na ang mata ay Malabo parang Utak niya. Kaya wala kang aasahan na tama ang gagawin NI Pnoy (sira utak). Wala ring tapang siya para lumaban, dahil yabang Lang
      Siya. Puro TULO LAWAY Lang ang gagawin niya. Kahit babae diri sa kaniya.
      Walang balls siya only Bals-y. His sister! Ha ha ha