General Admission

‘Digongmacy’ at work

By Al S. Mendoza

 

CHINA is untouchable, indeed.

That was proven once again in the just-ended Asean Summit in Manila.

The 11-nation Asean ending last weekend snubbed China’s incursions into disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

Screaming calls for a common Asean stand to protest China’s build-up of military posts and other hostile infrastructure along sites being claimed by Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and the Philippines didn’t even reach first base.

A draft speech for President Duterte deemed too soft and toothless was never revised to make it sound angry and against China’s show of force in the WPS.

No surprise there.

First, how can one afford to antagonize a giant like China?

China’s twin might of economics and military are just too much to brush aside.

Even if all the 11 Asean nations would pool their resources together to try to challenge China’s aggression, they’d be wiped out by China quicker than when LeBron James scores a winning fastbreak dunk.

Two, Mr. Duterte has increasingly become friends with China.

For the other Asean leaders to even try to attempt to show hostility against China would be tantamount to acting inappropriately and being impolite to the host’s interests.

Since Digong came to power almost a year ago, he has shown strong pro-China postures — consistently.

He contrasted this to his anti-US stance while at the same time expressed keen interest in strengthening PHL-Russia relations.

Isn’t Russia a US enemy – eternally?

No other PHL President before Mr. Duterte has ever shown an open dislike for Washington.

All Presidents before Digong were deemed running dogs of Uncle Sam.

That includes the late Tita Cory, the so-called restorer of Philippine democracy.

Her reign from 1986-1992 “survived” seven coups d’etat, mainly with help from Uncle Sam.

But under Digong’s watch, we are now undergoing a massive diplomatic overhaul as regards our dealings with America.

And don’t look now but because of that, the US is now seriously studying its foreign affairs offensive.

Be not surprised that we are now being taken seriously by America now.

As proof, American President Trump has invited Mr. Duterte to visit Washington.

It’s like the mountain is now going to Mohammad.

China being America’s No. 1 rival — militarily and economics-wise —Trump, for all his weirdness and unorthodoxy, now looks at Digong on a different plane.

That stems from Digong’s diplomatic offensive of putting more emphasis on aligning strongly with China now than the US.

Talk about “Digongmacy,” the art of winning over an enemy — including the perceived.