Manila overvalues new pact with Tokyo

Source:Global Times Published: 2015-6-5 0:13:47

The Philippines and Japan signed a strategic partnership agreement Thursday to shore up military ties. According to reports, Japan will soon supply military equipment, including 10 patrol vessels and P-3C anti-submarine reconnaissance aircraft, to the Philippines, in order to help the latter contend with China in the South China Sea.

 The agreement excited some in both countries, who believe this deal means a new strategic front exists against China. But Beijing will pay little attention to this Tokyo-Manila trick. Manila should bear in mind that all the games it has played over the past two years are to no avail. It can choose to be China's friend, or it can be a pawn of the US in the competition between China and the US. But it can't overestimate itself.

Manila is deluded if it thinks it can solve its disputes with China through courting the US and Japan, which will cost it much more than through engaging in negotiations with China.

China won't be unnerved by promises of equipment that Benigno Aquino III has obtained from Japan. If tensions in the South China Sea get worse, they will be nothing more than flashy "toys." They are in fact tools used by the Philippine president to fool his national citizens and package his failed South China Sea policy. China and the Philippines are in a row over the Nansha Islands. But reefs and islands Manila occupied outnumber those under control of China despite the uneven national strength. It's lucky for Manila that it faces a restrained China. China has never invaded the Philippines. In reality, the one-time Dutch and American colony was instead brutally ravaged by Japan.

The Japan-Philippine military collusion is a shadow puppet show manipulated by the US. Some ask: Shouldn't China reflect on its actions given the fact that several neighboring countries have tilted toward the US? The question is absurd. China has been very successful in delimiting borders with its neighbors through negotiations. Whether countries like Japan and the Philippines would lean to the US is by no means a moral yardstick to judge China and the US.

Washington has made many enemies across the world. US diplomatic institutions stationed abroad are closely guarded. In contrast, China in the world has no open enemies and its embassies and consulates overseas are very open. China has never waged a war over the past 20 years. We don't need to be told how to be a peaceful country.

Manila is finding trouble for itself. China, as it dedicates itself to national development and rejuvenation, would not be entangled by the Philippines endlessly. Therefore, a bottom line needs to be drawn in dealing with the Philippines.

Posted in: Editorial

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