Orchestrated Conflicts In The South China Sea

In the Philippines, the Duterte government has initiated a huge infrastructure investment program to achieve an upper-middle income economy. The objective of the Rosario-Carpio opposition is to play out Chinese investments and to restore the pre-2016 status quo. 

Externally, Duterte has recalibrated Manila’s relations with the US and China. The goal of the opposition seems to be to sleep-walk Manila into alliance entanglements, supported by tensions in the South China Sea; to ensure continued VFA and more. 

Last Friday, Philippines, via Foreign Secretary Locsin, said constructively it was “imperative” for the ASEAN to adopt a “Code of Conduct in the South China Sea whereby all parties, including China, accept restraints.”

Over time, military objectives will benefit no country in Asia, not even Washington. US goals are supported by peace and development, not by military and rearmament, as progressive Democrats and moderate Republicans know only too well. As career officer and historian Andrew Bacevich has noted, a Cold War against China is misguided and will not benefit anybody: “The immediate threats to our collective safety and well-being—perhaps even to our Republic—are here within our own continent, not on the other side of the planet. As a remedy to those threats, armed might is largely irrelevant.”

What the Philippines and Asia need, especially in the aftermath of COVID-19, is accelerated multilateral cooperation, peace and economic development – not escalated divisions, conflicts and rearmament.

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Dr. Dan Steinbock is an internationally recognized strategist of the multipolar world and the founder of Difference Group. He has served at the India, China and ...

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