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Academia: United States igniting the Conflict between Philippines and China (9)

By Ander Vltchek  (People's Daily Online)

11:33, May 08, 2012

US Airforce at Clark (People's Daily Online/Ander Vltchek)

Progressive Manila-based news magazine Bulatlat analyzed the conflict on April 20, 2012 (On Philippine Sovereignty, US & China):

The standoff with China over the Scarborough shoal (known as the Huangyan Island in China) and the competing claims over the Spratly Islands have been all over the news recently. The Aquino government has been blowing hot and cold in its dealings with China. Its only consistent position is allowing the US to increase its military presence in the country and justifying a more frequent conduct of US-RP Balikatan joint military exercises.

It is ironical that while the Aquino government is asserting the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity over these oil-rich areas, it is surrendering the same to the US.

In the meantime, the mainstream media in Manila, which is basically controlled by the local political clans and economic 'elites', is increasingly martial and predictably aggressive. Coverage of the 'conflict' consists of everyday shouting from the front pages of newspapers, magazines and television screens. Some headlines are more fit for the titles of Bollywood movies than for the coverage of something that could lead to a military conflict.

"There are more and more slogans like 'We will defend our territory until the last drop of blood'", shrugged his shoulders Professor Eduard Tadem. "It's all bordering on chauvinism."

What makes this confrontation especially unfortunate is that the relationship between the people of Philippines and China is historically very good. The Chinese introduced many diverse trades; they intermarried and even fought alongside the local people for the independence of the Philippines from Western colonial powers."

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