On Araw ng Kagitingan
Oppose Chinese imperialism! – Anakpawis solon
Manila, Philippines – On the observance of the 2019 “Araw ng Kagitingan” (Day of Valor), Anakpawis Party-list Representative Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao urged the people to “oppose Chinese imperialism” and assert the “right to self-determination” and “national sovereignty,” particularly on the issues of the West Philippine Sea, loans for the Chico River Pump Irrigation Project and other bilateral agreements. Imperialism, on traditional definition is the policy of extending a nation’s rule over foreign nations, often by military force or by gaining political and economic control of other areas, while radical political economists defined is the the highest stage of monopoly capitalism.
“It is imperative that Filipinos, as a people, should be united in viewing China as an imperialist power, so as to generate the broadest resistance movement against its impositions in the country’s affairs,” the lawmaker said during the protest of “Atin ang Pinas” in front of the Chinese consulate office in Makati City.
He said that Chinese imperialism is characterized of its export of capital to the Philippine economy, our country as its market for its manufactured goods, and its source for raw materials, its encroachment of our national territories for geo-political interests and plunder of our national patrimony. It is sealed with its political dictates on the present administration, whose policy towards China ranged from appeasement to friendly, amid its aggressions.
The lawmaker also branded Chinese imperialism as blend of “soft power” and “hard power,” concepts coined by analysts on international relations. Hard power is the use of military might, such as the aggression in the West Philippine Sea, harassment of Filipino fishermen and outright seizure or occupation of the national territory, while soft power is via luring the Duterte government of pledges or financial backing for its P8 to P9 trillion “Build, Build, Build” program, and the 29 bilateral agreements, including the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation on oil and gas development.
“Filipinos witnessed Chinese aggression in the West Philippine Sea, and we had a glimpse on the contract for the Chico River Pump Irrigation project, which was only made public due to broad people’s protests and was plagued with provisions inimical to Filipinos,” he said.
He also urged the people to learn from the experiences of other countries, such as the eight “Belt and Road Initiative” member countries who are now imperiled as they fell victims of the “Chinese debt-trap.” These are Djibouti, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Pakistan and Montenegro. Their debts to China, which funded infrastructure projects, already reached to around 40 to 90% of their gross domestic products. Prior these, Sri Lanka was forced to hand over control of its strategic port to China in 2017.
“The hard lessons on Chinese imperialist ambitions are in front of us, and concretely experienced by the international community, but President Duterte is evidently ensnared by its ‘soft power,’” the lawmaker said.
He called for all Filipinos and citizens that value and right to self-determination and national sovereignty across the globe to drumbeat “Atin ang Pinas! China layas!” He blamed the Duterte administration’s years of inaction for the aggravating Chinese incursion, that already reached to the snatching of territorial waters of Pag-asa island municipality. He also faulted President Duterte of voluntarily violating Republic Act 3046, as amended by RA 5446 and 9522, or the baselines of the country’s territorial sea.
“There were reports that Filipino fisherfolk were able to sail at the Panatag Shoal, and we attribute this to the Filipino’s ceaseless assertion of our rights. China is being exposed to the world as an imperialist power, and the people’s resistance pushed it back at this moment. It is a paper tiger, and Filipinos should unite ferociously to totally expel its forces from the Philippine territory, and hold the Duterte administration accountable, as its policy towards China is synonymous to violation of ‘national sovereignty’ and ‘right to self-determination,’” he urged. ###