“If one day China should change her color and turn into a superpower if she too should play the tyrant in the world, and everywhere subject others to her bullying, aggression, and exploitation, the people of the world should identify her as social-imperialism, expose it, oppose it and work together with the Chinese people to overthrow it.” ~ Deng Xiaoping speech at the United Nations, April 10, 1974
Sounds prophetic, eh? But those were the words 48 years ago of the late paramount leader of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) who propelled this Asian country into becoming the world’s second-largest economy by nominal gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010.
He must be turning in his grave now that China has become indeed socialist only in words but imperialist in deeds.
Despite the paranoia of some well-meaning individuals that the Philippines may become another Ukraine in the event of a shooting war between the US and China, I believe that President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. was on the right track when he agreed to accelerate and expand the implementation of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) during the recent visit of US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
This means that there will be four more US bases from where US troops can operate in various parts of the Philippines.
Presently, the five locations are Antonio Bautista Air Base in Palawan, Basa Air Base in Pampanga, Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija, Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu, and Lumbia Air Base in Cagayan de Oro City.
For me, these bases — which are not really permanent — serve as deterrents against any foreign aggression.
PBBM was also right when he decided against activating the Philippines’ mutual defense treaty (MDT) with the United States of America (USA) over the laser-pointing incident between the Philippine and Chinese coast guards in the South China Sea.
He thumbed down the earlier suggestion of former Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio that the Philippines invoke the 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT) with the United States after a China Coast Guard (CCG) ship struck a Philippine patrol vessel with a military-grade laser that temporarily blinded some of its crew.
The Chief Executive maintained that such an incident was “not enough” to invoke the MDT with the US.
To recall, The Philippines has an MDT with the US signed in 1951 that allows the two countries to help each other in case of foreign aggression.
But PBBM kept his cool.
In case of a US-China confrontation, we should be daring enough to take sides or choose the proverbial lesser evil.
It’s our choice between democracy and a one-party dictatorship.