RP’s Pivot to China*

Due to popular demand, Beyond Deadlines is reposting every Monday the still relevant articles of retired Armed Forces of the Philippines intelligence chief Brig. General Victor Corpus that appeared in his BD’s column, Views from the East.

Oct. 26, 2016

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte’s China trip may be the first shot fired to save the world from nuclear destruction. At least it has diffused the tense situation in the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea and shoved under the rug one legal justification (PCA Hague ruling) or pretext that the US can use to wage war against China.

This is reminiscent of the Tonkin Gulf Incident that the US used as pretext to wage war against North Vietnam; or the so-called “weapons of mass destruction” of Saddam Hussein to wage war against Iraq.

President Duterte has preempted US war plans by shoving the PCA under the rug – hopefully for the rest of this century – so that the Philippines and China can really engage in a “win-win” solution on the SCS issue. The whole nation should be grateful to the President for not allowing the Philippines to be a pawn in this Great Game of the superpowers.

Although the flash point in the South China Sea has been diffused somewhat by President Duterte’s visit to China, the danger of a major war still persist in another flash point in the world: Syria.

China has already joined the side of Russia and Iran in Syria. Negotiations between Russia and the US had bogged down; and Russia had declared that it has deployed S-300 and S-400 air defense systems in Syria and will shoot down any aircraft that will attempt to attack Syria. In effect Russia has declared a “no-fly zone” in Syria.

If the US and its NATO allies decide to cross this red line set by Russia, it will mean the start of world war 3.

In this case of a worst-case scenario, the Philippines might still get involved because of EDCA and the VFA, as well as its military alliance treaty with the US. If the US uses the EDCA bases as jumping boards or launching pads to attack China, China will surely retaliate; and such retaliation can be nuclear in nature if the war among the great powers turn nuclear.

This is the great danger that EDCA and the VFA bring to the Filipino people. We can just hope that President Duterte recognize this problem in due time and act accordingly before a worst-case scenario such as this come to pass.

One consolation for Filipinos is the fact that President Duterte’s declaration in China of RP’s separation from the US of its military and economic ties may prompt China’s leadership not to retaliate against US EDCA bases in the Philippines; but against mainland US itself – as China has now the capability of doing so using its DF41 ICBMs and nuclear submarines.

China’s leadership will now think twice before releasing and raining their barrage of missiles on the Philippine EDCA bases when RP President Duterte is bullshitting their principal adversary.

But still, no one can say for sure.

 

* The opinion of this author is his/hers alone. It is not necessarily the views of Beyond Deadlines.

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