China suffers from rapid growth without the resources to sustain it. I have no doubt this is what’s driving their aggressive stance.
Territorial disputes are ongoing. Most of the island claims are islands claimed by the Philippines as well.
During this month alone, Chinese nationals have been arrested in the Philippines.
A fishing boat was seized off the coast of the Zambales province. They were producing “shabu” (a slang term for crystal methamphetamine), not fishing. All of the suspects were Chinese nationals.
Recently, a woman was arrested at the Manila airport. She had shabu in her luggage worth millions of pesos. She too was a Chinese national.
President Duterte’s drug war is effective. It needs to be. One packet of shabu can cost an addict more than a day’s wages. I agree with his reasoning. Why should the poor become even more poor due to being addicted to an illegal substance? Responsible parties have to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. If the law isn’t enough, other methods have to be used.
The thought of being killed is a strong deterrent. Hundreds of drug pushers and drug users have already turned themselves in to authorities.
The United States Navy is patrolling the seas in and around the Philippines. That includes the South China Sea, where the island claims are being disputed. China has already built artificial islands, two that I know of.
China’s aggressive behavior started after the Philippines forced the United States military out of the country. I understand why they did it but I also know it was a bad decision.
An agreement is in place that allows the United States military to use facilities belonging to the Philippines for 10 years. After all, the Philippines constitution doesn’t allow American bases in the country.
The Philippines, on its own, can’t defend itself from China. Without the support of the United States, China might be encouraged to take matters further than diplomatic relations. As it is, they still claim those islands as their own.
I have a stake in this matter because I own a home in the Philippines and I live here. My family (on my wife’s side) is here. I may not have any say in any matter (I’m only a permanent resident) but I can influence the family members who do.
My future in the Philippines depends on the Philippines being a good place to live. Keeping China out of the picture is the best way to keep it that way.