Monday, May 16, 2005


President GMA's State Visit to China, 2004

Sure. The United States is “worried” about how the Philippines, its former colony and traditional ally in the SEA region, is slowly cozying up to the new giant China. With the exchange of diplomatic visits between the two Asian nations, it seems that the Philippines is slowly weaning away from its overdependence on US trade. Trade between China and Ma-yi (the ancient Chinese name for Mindoro and the islands in general) began long before Spain and the US came into the picture.

Lately, President Hu Jintao made a State Visit to Manila to commemorate the 30th anniversary of our diplomatic relations and brought with him gifts worth US$ 1.5 B in support of the “golden age of Sino-Philippine relations”.

As said before, we must be cautious of men bearing gifts. What does China want in exchange for these gifts? Continued support of the One-China Policy? That’s a given. After all, we cannot rely on our own military, much less on our mutual defense treaty with the US, to protect us from China if we decide to recognize Taiwan.

What we don’t see, however, is that China, aside from being a vast potential market for Philippine goods, is actually our largest competitor. Already, we have lost our major US share for Christmas trimmings to cheap Chinese labor.

Soon, they will overtake our other major industries (garments, for one) where we used to excel over other SEA nations. Stories about pirating have been rife, with Filipino designers being hired by Chinese companies to learn, observe, and eventually copy original Philippine designs in furniture and interior accessories.

Limahong’s descendants obviously still lurk about. While we – excuse this term - pander to the giant, it may be too late to realize how it is has ‘killed’ us while weren’t looking.


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