The Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP-1930) reiterates its continuing condemnation of the uninterrupted presence of US military forces in the Philippines (particularly in potentially resources-rich areas of Mindanao) under the “Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA)” and the “Mutual Defense Treaty (MDT)”. The PKP-1930 likewise condemns the ongoing “Balikatan” joint military exercises participated in by 4,000 US troopers and a bigger number Philippine forces in several places of our country along the tense West Philippine Sea (part of the South China Sea).
The PKP-1930 is deeply concerned over the very apparent plan of the USA to draw the Philippines and other ASEAN nations, as well as Australia, Japan, South Korea and other Asian countries, into a new and broader military alliance (an “Asia-Pacific NATO”) aimed at the “containment” of China. The PKP-1930 continues to call for an Asia-Pacific region free from foreign military bases and forces, and free from nuclear weapons. The recent conduct of joint US-Vietnamese naval exercises off the coast of Da Nang, and of joint Chinese-Russian naval exercises in the East China Sea, are only further adding to the regional tensions.
Without losing sight of China’s positive and considerable role in the development of the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) group as a rising counterpoise to US imperialist hegemony, the PKP-1930 is however concerned at China’s growing show of military force in the ASEAN region. This is apparently part of China’s own hegemonic plans which may be seen from the trail of Chinese take-overs of power transmission and railway lines and mining companies in the Philippines and other parts of Asia and Africa ; the take-over of ports in Greece and oil fields in US-occupied Iraq ; the drive to dump more exports to our region to compensate for the demand slowdown in crisis-hit imperialist countries ; and the taking away of substantial capital resources from the Philippines and other countries of the region where overseas Chinese businessmen or taipans control considerable chunks of banking and finance.
China’s rising general pattern of hegemonic conduct cannot be viewed separately from the policies of the Chinese Communist Party which is at the helm of the nominally socialist state of the People’s Republic of China. A supposedly communist party which counts on private businessmen and capitalist multi-millionaires among its members ; which shuns the cardinal principle of proletarian internationalism ; which has better relations with bourgeois parties than with communist and workers’ parties ; which attracts overseas Chinese businessmen to invest in China the loot extracted and plundered from neighboring countries ; which embraces imperialist transnational corporations and allows untrammeled markets ; which tolerates anomalous dealings of Chinese state corporations with corrupt regimes in the Philippines and other countries ; and whose electronic media allow rabid expressions of great Han chauvinism and even militarist threats against Vietnam and other ASEAN countries, may bring harm to the security of its neighboring countries as well as to the long-term interests of the great Chinese working class.
The threat from a capitalist-oriented China is becoming more evident now that the global capitalist crisis is seriously affecting China’s TNC-dependent export manufacturing, and the value of its large hoard of basically worthless US dollars which China amassed over decades of dependence on the US market. The need to unload its dollar hoard by buying energy and other resources in other countries has brought Chinese state capital in confrontation with the interests of the working peoples in many countries.
The PKP-1930 is gravely concerned over the rising tensions in our region as a result of China’s growing military assertion of her dynastic claims over island groups in the South China Sea which are very far away from her own shores. For example, there is a continuing standoff between Philippine and Chinese naval vessels in the area of the Scarborough (“Panatag”) Shoal which is only around 124 nautical miles from the coast of Zambales province in the main Philippine northern island of Luzon. This area is around 480 nautical miles from the coast of China’s Hainan Island, and is well within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Philippines under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Although this area of the West Philippine Sea is generally considered as part of the “South China Sea”, this “South China Sea” nomenclature does not vest China with territorial hegemony over the whole area. In the same way, the “Sea of Japan”, “Gulf of Thailand”, “Indian Ocean” or “English Channel” nomenclatures do not vest Japan, Thailand, India or England with exclusive territorial domain over the whole of those areas.
The PKP-1930 supports the ASEAN’s multilateral approach to the solution of the problem of overlapping territorial claims over these island groups --- through peaceful negotiations, multilateral cooperation in resources exploration and exploitation, and even recourse to United Nations arbitration. The PKP-1930 is wary of China’s refusal to discuss the ASEAN countries’ claims over these island groups, and would not want a repeat of China’s military strike on Vietnamese positions in some disputed parts of the Paracel Islands, which is reminiscent of the British imperialist attack on Argentina over the Malvinas Islands.
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Note : The foregoing article was taken from the April 2012 issue of SULONG! (Forward!), the monthly organ of the Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas (PKP-1930, the Philippine Communist Party).