The Duterte Chinese Brown-nosing Diplomacy

Is there even a single Duterte sycophant (DDS) who recognizes the irony of the “anti-war-peacenik-love-and-food-not-bombs” mantra they are trying to sell? That is quite rich coming from a bunch of bloodthirsty hyenas salivating at the prospect of a reboot of their demigod’s gory drug war. How about the narrative being peddled about the current president being a war freak who is trying to put our country into a proxy war with China on behalf of big bad Uncle Sam? It is as if we must ignore Chinese Commie aggressors blasting our people with powerful water cannons within our own Exclusive Economic Zonw (EEZ) and instead, make us believe that it is our government causing all the problems! Proxy war? How the heck is that a proxy war when we are directly being bullied and our rights are being trampled on by China right in our very own backyard? It’s quite amazing how the DDS mind works. Only one functional brain cell yet they manage to make so much noise.

So, anti-war, huh? Hugs for thugs. The DDS wants the Philippines to be “neutral” when it comes to the battle for dominance between America and China. Okay, well and good. But let’s assess what this “neutrality” actually means for us. Let’s suppose you are this 4’10” skinny middle-aged Filipina living alone peacefully in your little patch of house and lot. Then suddenly your next-door neighbor, a 6’1” 220-pound man in his 30s, decides to encroach on your property and take possession of a quarter of your space. Suppose that the jerk demands that you first ask for his permission whenever you plan to step on the quarter portion of your property that he stole? What are you going to do? Should you seek help from the barangay or the cops or even your friends and other neighbors in dealing with this guy or should you just submit to your bully neighbor? Using the DDS logic, the best way to deal with this situation is to simply yield to this big bully. Talk some senses into the guy and negotiate. Negotiate with what? You are not in a position of strength to dictate or even negotiate terms. If you even capitulate to your neighbor’s demand, that you only deal with him and not involve the barangay, the cops, or any other people, then you would be dumb to give away any leverage available for you to use in negotiating with the bully. You remain “neutral” by bending over backwards to the bully and not ask for help from others willing and able to help you? If this is what it means to be “neutral” for the DDS in our case then, good grief!

I am not a fan of jaundiced columnist and author, Richard Heydarian, but he does make an excellent point when he wrote:

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Moreover, there are few things as preposterous as calling for neutrality in regional affairs, given that (i) we have a treaty alliance with one of the two superpowers and, even more importantly, (ii) we are directly embroiled in territorial disputes with China with a clear risk of direct confrontation. Allies can’t be neutral but, more crucially, we can’t be neutral in our own disputes! Bobo ba tayo? Third, the Duterte camp keeps on harping on the need for diplomacy. I completely agree, because that’s like saying “water is wet!” Of course, we need diplomacy, since no one wants war, including China. But diplomacy without any leverage is tantamount to capitulation. Only fools think that a rising hegemon will concede on territorial and maritime issues based on polite talk and subservience.”

Neutrality has historically been reduced into a mere buzzword when conflicts happen right at one’s doorstep! For instance, Denmark, Norway, and Belgium were all neutral prior to World War 2 yet Adolf Hitler still invaded these countries so that Hitler can proceed to attack one of his main targets – France! More recently, why do we think Sweden and Finland decided to abandon their neutrality and decided to join NATO? Hello?! Putin’s Russian army, which invaded Zelensky’s Ukraine, is right next door to them! The four remaining European neutral countries? Only Switzerland is currently standing firm on its neutrality! Why? As Franz-Stefan Gady of the International Institute for Strategic Studies said: is only Switzerland that maintains relatively robust conventional defenses capable of fielding a credible military deterrent against a potential aggressor. Even though they are not part of NATO, Austria, Ireland, and Malta have de facto outsourced their territorial defense and security to the alliance, with the implicit expectation that it will come to their aid when needed.”

We should be like Switzerland as the Duterte sycophants said? Praytell, does the Philippines have a capable and credible military deterrent on its own against a powerful foreign aggressor like China? Anyway, with the close proximity of the Philippines to Taiwan, is it any wonder why China, known to be itching to invade what it considers to be its renegade province, wants to control areas within our territory or Exclusive Economic Zone? Heydarian pointed out:

In an event of invasion, the first 48 hours are extremely important, because that’s the window within which China will take advantage of its geographic proximity, and it will take some time before the American Navy Indo-Pacific Command, whether it’s in Hawaii or Guam, or in Japan, can respond to a major contingency, … That’s where the Philippines comes in.”

Indeed, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s (PBBM) view of the geopolitical situation in the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea is correct when he said:

When we look at the situation in the area, especially the tensions in the Taiwan Strait, we can see that just by our geographical location, should there in fact be conflict in that area … it’s very hard to imagine a scenario where the Philippines will not somehow get involved.”

So, will America support and fight for the Philippines in case war breaks out in the South China Sea that involves us? Duterte, a perennial America hater (going back to when he was said to have been denied an entry visa to the United States to visit a girlfriend), pontificates the idea that America won’t. Sure, we can grant him that idea of a possibility, but the question is: “Is it in America’s interest to welch on us?” Suppose America does welch on us and leave us twisting in the wind instead of honoring their mutual defense pact with us, what implications would that have with its defense pact with, say, Japan and South Korea? How will America’s credibility be impacted in terms of defense pacts with other nations? What would stop other countries where America has defense treaties with, like Japan and South Korea, from thinking twice about relying on America knowing that a nuclear psycho, Kim Jung Un, is right next door to them? Wouldn’t it be conceivable that these countries will start hyper-arming themselves which may very well kickstart another (nuclear) arms race that nobody wants?

The problem with the Dutertards is that very much like the sheep that they are, they simply swallow Duterte’s pro-China/anti-American vitriol hook line and sinkers. Again, being “neutral” and taking the China appeasement approach, is tantamount to that example of a 4’10” skinny middle-aged Filipina submitting to her neighbor bully’s aggression, encroachment, and terms, just in order to avoid angering the bully further. Why, in the fentanyl god’s name, should we not ask for help from other countries with similar values and interests if we are incapable of defending and asserting our rights by ourselves? Besides, by going into defense agreements with other like-minded countries, does that necessarily mean wanting to go to war with China? The Dutertards, with their one-dimensional thinking, seem to believe so. These dolts don’t seem to realize that the type of kumbaya diplomacy they are pushing our country to go for is essentially coming into the negotiating table in a position without any leverage. We don’t have any military capabilities for a credible defense posture, they don’t want us to involve powerful allies like the United States of America, they don’t want us to risk further riling up China by asserting our Arbitral Award when it comes to the West Philippine Sea, these geopolitical Einsteins are essentially China’s useful idiots helping the Chinese stack the cards against us! For what? To go back to the Duterte era of “good and respectful” relations with the Chinese? Hello?! Remember the time when a Chinese ship struck and sunk the Philippine fishing vessel Gimver 1 that almost killed all 22 of its crew members in June 2019? If not for the help of Vietnamese fishermen who picked up our compatriots in the middle of the ocean under darkness, we would have lost 22 Filipino souls! How about the other encroachment incidents during Duterte’s watch? In April 2019 the Chinese sent many ships near Philippine-occupied Pag-asa Island? Have we forgotten how tense that incident was? Remember the 200 Chinese ships that tried to again encroach within our EEZ at the Julian Felipe Reef back in March 2021? Did Duterte’s Chinese brown-nosing appeasement policies during his tenure demonstrate respect for Filipino rights and good faith on the part of the Chinese? Were these the goods we got from the “Secret Agreement” Duterte had with China?

Because of the failed policies of Duterte as well as the continued aggression and duplicity of the Chinese, PBBM was wise to move to change the country’s strategy. PBBM recognized that the traditional diplomatic ways in dealing with China has not and does not seem to work. He pointed out:

Well, [up] to this point, we have resorted to the traditional methods of diplomacy where, should there be an incident, we send [a] note verbale. Our embassy will send a démarche to the Foreign Affairs (Ministry) office in Beijing, but we have been doing this for many years now, with very little progress,

We have to do something that we have not done before. We have to come up with a new concept, a new principle, a new idea so that we move, as I say, we move the needle the other way. Let’s move the needle back, so that paradigm shift is something that we have to formulate.”

What was this new strategy? PBBM went on to engage with partners in the Indo-Pacific region and other countries from around the world to discuss about the Chinese challenge and for the Philippines’ partners to come up with a joint position. The result? There have been at least 18 countries that have expressed strong support for the Philippines against Chinese belligerence and blatant disrespect for the Rule of Law. Just this month, no less than the G7 nations expressed strong support for us and against China’s aggressive use of coast guard and maritime militia in the disputed areas of the South China Sea, as well as its obstruction of neighboring countries’ freedom of navigation. PBBM has effectively isolated China from the world and has used its relationship with like-minded countries it shares common interests with, as leverage in the negotiating table. Now that more countries have outwardly shown disapproval of Chinese aggression and expansionism, China has found itself in a losing face situation. In Chinese culture, the concept of face is very important as it is tied with public image and honor. As the website Pandanese has shared:

In Chinese culture, losing and gaining face are ingrained in everyday life. To gain ‘face’ or respect from others, you must keep their dignity intact while also avoiding embarrassment and preserving dignity in yourself to not lose your social standing in your peer group or society. China has embraced this concept tightly, using it as a self-regulating system to avoid embarrassment and negative repercussions should anyone fail morally: broken relationships, tarnished reputation, and compromised social status, outward appearances being some examples. … Losing face can lead to disastrous outcomes for your reputation.”

In addition to our newly acquired leverage of having the ability to diminish China’s image or make it lose face, PBBM has also effectively shown that the Philippines does have other cards on the table that China needs to respect. For instance, the Philippines has allowed its allies to place missile systems in the Philippines, acquired modern military weapons and ships, and further beefed up current military bases where American military is allowed to use through the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA). Of course, these are not meant to threaten to attack China but to send a message that at least the Philippines has options in making things difficult, if not potentially devastating, for China’s hegemonic ambitions should it continue to proceed with its aggression towards us. PBBM’s strategy has resulted in reminding China that we do not want war with them, but should they continue to jerk us around we do have options at our disposal to make things quite damaging for them, not only for their reputation but also militarily which of course boils down to financial repercussions. That is leverage and PBBM’s strategy of having leverage is certainly a lot better than Duterte’s submissive Chinese brown-nosing policy where we are coming into the negotiating table in a position of weakness.

It is really quite amazing how Dutertards don’t seem to understand how diplomacy and negotiations work. One would think that engaging in diplomacy with leverage is common sense, right? However, for the Duterte cultists, it seems that sense is not necessarily common amongst them. We have to marvel at how these Duterte cultists have become quite the unwitting Judases that they are. One thing seems clear, if our country were a house, these DDS bunch will be rooting for the termites!

2 Replies to “The Duterte Chinese Brown-nosing Diplomacy”

  1. Curious abt the us empire brown nosing the us empire is vile and degenerate not to mention war criminals

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