Chinese and American interests in the Philippines

June 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

China’s ambassador to the Philippines Ambassador Liu Jianchao will have to sit side by side with his American counterpart Thomas Kirk, the US trade representative in incoming Philippine president Benigno Simeon Aquino III’s inauguration. China and the US are engaged into a verbal tussle shortly after US Ambassador to the Philippine Harry Thomas urged China to be transparent in its deals with the Philippine government. Thomas’ remarks were, to my mind, uncalled for. It presumes that those deals entered by China with the Philippines were all motivated by selfish desires.

Thomas should not even go to that extent. Every nation or country who transacts with their respective neighbours have a trade policy or a state policy that they follow, some strictly to the letter, while others, with some modifications. The United States is also motivated by a policy, which many seemed to call greedy.

China, by the way, has been trading with the Filipinos for centuries. In America’s case, trade only started in the early 18th century. Fact is, China is part of this country, the same way this country is like a brother or a sister country of the emerging Asian giant. Relations with China are deeper than what the country has with the United States, yet, the North American giant is fast catching up.

Probably Thomas was referring to China’s involvement in the botched ZTE-NBN deal, which many Chinese officials were directly involved. No one, not even that petty CCP official who met the Arroyos in Shenzhen was prosecuted and incarcerated. While, if that pertains to any US official, that guy would have been crucified first here, before being hauled back to the States for some soul searching in one indescript jail cell.

That’s probably the difference between China and the US. At least the Americans have this policy of transparency and a unique aversion to graft or corrupt practices. IN China’s case, especially that ZTE deal, officials probably tolerated corrupt practices. The very fact that those ZTE officials involved are still living the high life shows one how China treats its corrupt officials.

There is an impression that the incoming administration will be more convenient dealing with the Americans than the Chinese. Aquino has been supported by the US even prior to his candidacy and this would very well be the very nature of the relationship–a close, even more engaging relationship than in the previous dispensation.

With this, China has to contend with being on a secondary role for the next six years.

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