A dangerous double act
Updated: 2014-06-25 07:10
Philippine president benigno aquino iii made it crystal clear in Tokyo that he does not care whether Japan nullifies the pacifist nature of its current constitution, nor what that means for regional peace and stability, as long as his country can get Japanese money and military hardware.
Together with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Aquino highlighted the "challenge" of "safeguarding" the region's security and "advancing the rule of law". Which he portrayed as an "important area of engagement" between the Philippines and Japan, and "at the heart" of his visit to Japan.
Abe, on his part, availed himself of Aquino's flattery of a positive Japanese role to promote his "three principles of the rule of law", and "policy of proactive contribution to peace", a prescription he has been pedaling globally with China as the imaginary enemy.
The regional situation is "becoming increasingly severe", as Abe put it, so their countries need to embrace each other more tightly for peace's sake.
Should this be the case, Aquino would be correct in stating "nations of goodwill can only benefit".
But it is not. Nor are they nations of goodwill. The validity of both Abe's and Aquino's statements rest ultimately on one common premise: The current tensions in the Asia-Pacific are not of their making. This is contrary to the truth.
Despite their innuendo, everybody knows China, with territorial disputes with both, is their common target.
But in order to lend credibility to their China-bashing, they have to rely on their pathetic old ploy of standing facts on their heads.
In outright disregard of historical and present facts, both the Philippines and Japan have blamed China for results of their own provocations. Moreover, they have spread the vicious theory that since China has disputes with multiple neighbors, it is the source of regional tensions. And with their American masters disseminating the allegation of China's "increasing assertiveness", they are barking even more loudly.
However, lies are lies. Neither Abe's claim of a "rule-based approach" to dispute resolution, nor Aquino's attempt at "international arbitration" changes the illicit nature of their provocative moves against China.
Beijing was rational in making clear that it does not make trouble, but it will not be afraid to act should others make trouble.
Yet more has to be done to make that statement credible. Besides exposing the true colors of illicit claimants, it must make sure it is ready for all possibilities.
(China Daily 06/25/2014 page8)