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China’s aggressiveness in PHL

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Has China taken over the Philippines?

 

With recent developments, this may well be a relevant question being raised by Filipinos who are concerned about the future of their country. For one, it is known that Chinese taipans have taken control of the Philippine economy from malls and supermarkets (Henry  Sy’s SM and John Gokongwei’s Robinsons) to airlines (Lucio Tan’s Philippine Air Lines, Gokongwei’s Cebu Pacific), to banks and financial services (Henry Sy’s Banco de Oro, Lucio Tan’s Philippine National Bank), to properties (Andrew Tan’s Megaworld, Double Dragons Properties, Henry Sy’s SM Development) to rice and food cartels, hotels and resorts, gambling casinos, among many other sectors.

 

And not content with its vast territory which hosts the world’s biggest population of over 1.6 billion, China is in aggressive military buildup and reclamation in the South China Sea claiming that all of sea, the air above it and the islands, shoals and reefs within that sea is all owned by China. Sadly, China has even encroached on Philippine territory and those within its exclusive economic zone such as Panatag Shoal, Kalayaan in Spratlys, among others. And reports have it that the gravel and sand used in the massive China reclamation may have come from the Philippines. What is worse is that China continues to ignore a ruling by the International Tribunal favouring the position and claims of the Philippines on the Panatag Shoal and others.

 

Lately, mainland Chinese businessmen are in the limelight for its controversial deal with the city government of Manila converting the over-a-century historical landmark Army and Navy Club building besides the US Embassy and within the Rizal Park into a hotel-casino, triggering the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption to file charges to all those involved. Then Chinese groups with ties with mainland China and allegedly with involvement in the reclamation in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea, are being tapped again by the administration of Mayor Joseph Estrada to build a 408-hectare island in Manila Bay for the city’s proposed business and tourism expansion. According to an industry source, the reclaimed land, more than four times Makati’s business district, will rise next to the Baseco compound at the mouth of the Pasig River, with the dredging and land-filling works to be provided by China Harbor Engineering Co., the same contractor that had earlier been tapped to reclaim 214 hectares off Davao City.

 

There should no rush to give way to the Chinese groups to control further the country’s businesses and much worse to reclaim an island right in the mouth of the Pasig River in Manila Bay. There should be thorough studies and strict regulations against the Chinese “invasion.” If the trend continues, the Philippines may well end up a China territory one day without a single bullet shot. Do Filipinos like this to happen?

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