Written by Mart Shalom E. Bernales
Hillary Clinton, a former U.S. Secretary of State, says she is anxious that the Philippines might end up as a “province” of China if the country remains unable to act against Chinese actions in the West Philippine Sea.
In an interview with Rappler, Clinton specifically stated that there is a real threat that the Philippines will no longer be able to act on its own without China’s approval, regardless of whoever is in the position to run the government.
“I worry about the Philippines becoming basically a subject of China through financial investments, through the buying of influence, through the undermining of institutions,” Clinton told Rappler. “I think that there’s a real danger that, left unchecked, the Philippines – no matter who the leader is – would find itself increasingly unable to act without Chinese approval. I don’t think that’s the kind of future that the Philippines would like,” she added.
“I think if you care about the future of the Philippines, about the independence of the Philippines… then you need friends and the U.S., I hope, is the premier friend to stand with you and protect you against further incursions by the Chinese to basically dominate Filipino society,” Clinton continued.
Ex-DFA Chief Albert del Rosario backed Hillary Clinton’s statements, saying that if Manila fails to stand up against the actions of Beijing, then Clinton is correct.
“In our opinion, Secretary Clinton is absolutely correct in expressing her fear that the Philippines could become a subject of China. To the last Filipino, under the leadership of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, we must finally stand up to Beijing’s duplicity and being a bully,” Del Rosario said.
Numerous critics point out that Duterte and his administration are way too friendly and very much held back in the WPS issue.
Back in 2016, when Pres. Duterte assumed the presidency; his administration can be observed being close to China since the Chinese government has been generous in giving the Philippines loans to fund its “Build, Build, Build” program.
Tensions continue to rise as critics call out Duterte to lead the charge in protecting the Philippines’ sovereignty over the resource-rich West Philippine Sea and stop hiding letting his officials take over the issue.
While the U.S. openly expresses its support to the Philippines and citing the Mutual Defense Treaty between the countries and Pres. Duterte continues to insist on resolving the issue diplomatically; China continues to swarm the Philippines’ territory with militia vessels.