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http://www.pldt.com/beaker.htm :

I am not anti-Chinese...  The issue of China's invasion of our territory is a struggle against the political/military machine that controls the People's Republic of China.  End of discussion.

if not now when

May 1999

Splat go the Spratlys by guest writer "Bee"

Just a few hours ago, I was greeted by an acquaintance who commented on the Pentagon's warning concerning China's true intention in the Spratlys.  Then he remembered my own warning written many long months ago.  "Looks like you were right," he said.
Back in December last year, following the ASEAN meeting in Hanoi, I told the President (in writing) that the military installations China was building in Philippine waters were not a one-shot-deal, but were part of a systematic effort to build a permanent complex of "naval air stations."  If and when completed, I said, this military complex would give China a tremendous forward base of operations far outside the Chinese mainland and only 132 nautical miles from our shores.  Not only would Manila be within easy striking distance, but shipping lanes throughout the entire South  China Sea would fall prey to their harassment.

"A large enough network of naval air stations," I wrote.  Those were the exact words I used to describe to the President what I predicted was China's ultimate intention.  And now, no less than the Pentagon in Washington has confirmed that China has a five-year plan to expand these installations into a command/control facility for its AIR AND NAVAL FORCES.

To those few who did not listen, I guess I could always say I told you so.
But vindication is bittersweet.  China, I told the President, remains single-minded in its bid to take all of the Spratlys.  Are we as committed to stopping them?

Last week in Makati, I had a "19th Tee" conversation with former V.P. Salvador H. Laurel, who is still our country's foremost foreign policy expert.  Laurel, if you will remember, was once Foreign Affairs Secretary himself, and he did not mince words about the current state of our foreign policy.  "These (foreign policy makers) are third rate," was how he described some cabinet advisers to the current Administration.  His compadre at the table, the distinguished Atty. Abe Cruz, seconded by saying that the state of our foreign policy "is a shambles."

"Deng Xiaopeng once told me," Laurel continued, "that the WHOLE of the Spratlys and the South China Sea has been owned by China for five thousand years.   `We will get Hong Kong back,' he told me, `and we will get the Spratlys.'"

THAT IS HOW COMMITTED China is about stealing what belongs to us.

Atty. Cruz went further.  "It's an issue of international law," he said. "Some parts of the Spratlys, which are actually parts of the Philippines, are within our 200-mile EEZ.  This means by international law the Philippines has the exclusive right to all the natural resources there from the sea floor up."  He reminded us that China's facility on Mischief Reef is built on a marine foundation that is completely submerged 24 hours a day.  In other words, they have no claim to that small piece of land because, by international law, it is not land if it is not above the waterline.   Therefore, by international law, the Chinese facility there is dead within Philippine waters.

I ask again: how committed are we Filipinos to stopping China?

In retrospect, I have grown tired of all the arguing and all the soft-brained suggestions from people (Filipinos and expats) who continue to treat China as a benign tumor whose danger is more bark than bite.  I have heard moronic individuals suggest that the Philippines join China and become its new economic-political ally.  I have heard naive and ignorant imbeciles suggest that we will risk nuclear holocaust if we don't appease China's territorial expansion. I have even heard blathering dim-wits say that this crisis awakens pride in all Malay peoples who have shaken the yoke of white imperialism so that Japan should now imitate the Philippine example and kick out American military bases in Okinawa.

Idiots.  All of them.  Argue with an idiot and he will drag you down to his level, then he will beat you with experience.  If a little knowlege is a dangerous thing, then the stupidity of a few in high places will prove fatal to our country's future.  And if we are to find a way to stop China, then we must do it within the next 18 months.  That is how small the window of opportunity is for us.

BECAUSE IN THREE YEARS TIME...

China's five-year building program will be too advanced for us to remove without the use of extreme prejudice.

At the end of my conversation in Makati, I was asked by one of the fellows at our table, "Where do you stand on this issue."   To which I replied, "I don't care about the rest of the Spratlys.  I care about what is Philippine territory.  What's ours is ours."

If we have to embark on a multi-billion peso modernization program for the AFP, let's get the money and do it.  We need a defense force that is strong and self-sufficient in the long run, otherwise we will forever be grovelling like beggars for American "generosity."

If we have to maneuver for American intervention, then let's engineer it.  Let's face reality: it will take 10-15 years before we can build a strong and self-sufficient military force capable of defending our shores.  And that's if we start now.  We don't have more time.  On our own, there is no way we can force China to stop in five years, let alone in the next 18 months.  Let's swallow our pride and stop worrying about losing our beards when we're about to lose our necks.  This is business, not personal.

And...

If we have to tear down China in the international media, SO BE IT.  Now is the time to torpedo China's tarnished global image, now when anti-China sentiments in Americ