Ver F. Pacete, Sun.Star
image from, with caption: On March 18, the Philippines and the US agreed that American troops can rotate and store military hardware in Antonio Bautista Air Base in Palawan, Basa Air Base in Pampanga, Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija, Lumbia airport in Cagayan de Oro and Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu.
MANY Filipinos look upon America as our guardian angel just in case China will go beyond the Spratlys. Filipinos who are more than 70 years old have repeated to their grandchildren the “I Shall Return” story. We do not blame them for their “raw understanding” why the Philippines was involved in WW II.
I am sure that President Obama and President Digong are worried on how to defer China from destabilizing East Asia and how to encourage the Chinese government to contribute to multilateral global governance. World leaders know that China is not yet a military peer competitor of America but it has become powerful enough to challenge U.S. allies in East Asia. ...
On global governance, a Chinese leadership that feels strong on the international stage but scared at home has been even more reluctant than usual to pay economic and political costs to help stabilize the global economy, mitigate climate change, punish rogue regimes and aggressive states, and pressure nuclear proliferators. President Digong by now should have seen the “Achilles heel” of China.
In dealing in all these, America has also committed notable mistakes, particularly in the areas of rhetoric and public diplomacy. President Obama’s administration adopted overly muscular language about “pivoting” back to East as the United States withdraw from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. China is not happy about it.
“Pivoting” means sending more submarines to Guam, rotating F-22 aircraft through Japan, sending littoral combat ships to Singapore, entering a free-trade pact with South Korea, and negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership. In the Philippines, we have more “war games” with brother Americans (including some of our girls). ...