Herman Tiu Laurel / Phil-BRICS Strategic Studies / August 23, 2020
(Ungga-unggas Part 2)
Steve Bannon is better known for his anti-China demagoguery and being ally of dyed-in-the-wool YouTube anti-China propagandists Simone Gao of the regular show Zooming In and Chinese billionaire-fugitive hiding out in the U.S.A.
If the US was at all interested in universal justice they would also indict Bannon in the recent arrest of one Guo Wengui, for the $ 1-million yearly fee Guo has been paying him to demonize the People’s Republic of China and its leadership.
The People’s Daily called Bannon a cheater engaged in “anti-China business”, that has been a very lucrative enterprise ever since the US “pivot to Asia” was announced by Barack Obama in 2009.
Closer to home, I noted that many have joined the racist business since 2011, including some who used to be anti-US imperialist. I recall I once praised UP’s Jay Batongbacal for a paper he wrote against US imperialism, but as we all know now his career has since deteriorated into China-bashing. I also tried balancing the likes of Richard Heydarian in my old GNN shows but his reputation as a US hack now precedes him.
And so it is in this is the segue from my “ungga-ungga” response to Juan Ponce Enrile and Homobono Adaza’s pitch for the Amboy line against Chinese tourism and commercial investments in the Fuga Islands that could turn those sleepy isles and waters into the “HK and Hawaii of the Luzon Straits”.
Many among our novo-riche are still mesmerized by the anti-China mirages, that have been stirred by Spanish and American racism into the Filipino psyche as dissonance to his second place as “little brown brother to the whites”. Otherwise known as colonial mentality, the indio in us has been inserted into our culture as inferiority complex to the whites who steal our savings, but superiority complex to the “intsiks” (and the “bombays”) in the competitive market.
It’s all business as usual for these pseudo-academicians who rake in the almighty dollars from subversive NGO funding to bash China, or for Enrile’s threatened monopoly of some illegal businesses north of Luzon. Or for Bono, just a chance to spew his diarrhea of words to regale his small coteries of admirers reading him drop out-of-contest legal latin terms such as “de jure”.
The sinking Dollar
People should be noticing how the Philippine Peso is rising in value against the US Dollar, P49.80 maybe lower, and if they don’t then they are missing a major sign of the long-predicted Asian Century rising.
There is no solid reason for the Peso to rise against the US Dollar – it is the US Dollar sinking against all the significant currencies of the world. This simply indicates the impending demise of the US Dollar as the major international currency.
The US economy actually saw the start of its decline in the 2008 US Global Financial Crisis centered in the US. That was also the first sign of China’s rise as the global dominant economic and financial power. Western economies then relied on China’s internal stimulus investments and consumption to sustain their economies, but behind its “cooperation” with China, the US craftily prepared its reprisal – the “Pivot to Asia” and now the “Trade War”.
Europe started feeling the US losing grip of itself reflected in the increasingly uneasy mood of the annual Munich Security Council (MSC) meetings where the Western Alliance gather to plot its unified march. The unease culminated in the MSC 2020’s theme “Westlessness” reflecting the “lostness” of the Europe as US leadership dissipated into a drift. I wrote about this in February of this year (https://www.pna.gov.ph/opinion/pieces/277-westlessness-and-us-in-asia)
Will there be a rebound of the US Dollar and the US economy which the Covid-19 has brought done to its knees?
Peter Schiff, famous for his prediction of past US recessions and the disaster of 2008 says now the US economy is in Great Depression levels and the US Dollar will crash completely while gold will boom. Judging from all the projections available the US economy won’t be able to recover until 2022 or 2023 – if at all. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hJC-OZI6PA)
Countries desperate for recovery
All the countries of the world are desperate for economic recovery during these tail-end months of the Covid-19 pandemic while imminent vaccine approval and releases in late 2020 can start ensuring normalization through the next two years.
Among the significant economies of the world only China posted remarkable positive Q2 economic growth at 3.2%. It is projected to hit 5% and 7% in the next two quarters.
In the Q2 this year, Japan fell 7.8%, South Korea 3.3%, Germany 10.1%, France 13.8%, Canada 25%, Russia 8.5%, and as Reuters reported “Covid-19 crushes US economy in second quarter” crashing by 32.9%.
All these economies except for South Korea, are not expected to join China at the end of 2020 restoring overall positive growth.
China is expected to grow 3% while the US is expected to contract by 8%.
Change is coming to the US as the ruling class ponders its nation’s future in the midst of the bleak outlook. The Biden camp currently leading the polls have issued the following two indicative statements I have tracked: 1) Forbes reported on August 8, 2020 that “Biden says he will end Trump’s Tariffs On Chinese goods; 2) and on August 19 the SCMP reported Biden saying “US must forget ‘America First’ to counter China challenges…”
But none of these changes, if they come about as the Trump camp hopes to eke out an electoral college win as in 2016, ensures US V-shaped recovery.
Here are just few examples: resistance from allies is growing, Germany is holding up against US sanctions pressures to drop the Russian gas supply pipeline Nord Stream 2, while US decoupling from China is working to China’s advantage as Huawei develops its own chips and leave US industries dry.
China’s clear road forward
China has a head start in the crucial post-pandemic period and would seriously threaten to leave the U.S. behind in the race towards 2050 as the dominant economic power. While the U.S. tries to retrieve the pieces of its Western Alliance after the Trump tempests, China’s” Belt and Road” will be cementing the trade with Central Asia, Europe, Asean, Asia, South America, Oceania and Africa while nurturing its own internal market.
China will continue to rely on its huge internal economy and market as its “gravitas” in dealing with the rest of the world while the US sorts out its confusion without end until it settles to a limited role in the 21st Century as sheer regional power serving as custodian of North America’s interests and taking its seat among five to ten major powers in a multi-polar round table in a newly structure world with more equity among regions and civilizations.
From what I have been tracking of China’s plans for its own continuing growth, opening its western region of twelve giant provinces for economic development still presents a huge opportunity for expanding China’s march forward, while opening up to encourage foreign investments and the Belt and Road to push expanded trade continues as problems and opportunities along the way continue to rise and subside.
China’s adjustments, opportunities for the Philippines
For the Philippines, China is the only opportunity for the future, its market now gobbling up our traditional agricultural export such as bananas to new goods such as avocados and dragon fruit.
Last year we had 1.8-million tourists from China, we should aim to double that. We must not forget President Xi Jinping’s annual pledge at the China Import and Investment Exhibit to import $ 40-trillion worth of goods and services in the next 15-years.
The Philippines must latch on to this opportunity that President Rodrigo R. Duterte has opened up for country with China, fighting tooth and nail and over the now dying ideological bodies of the pro-American and anti-China groupies led by discredited Justice Antonio Carpio and the mainstream media.
The Philippines lost to Thailand and Malaysia after the 1985 Plaza Accord that pushed new industrialized countries Japan, Taiwan and South Korea to relocate due to the “nationalist” agitators here.
Post pandemic China will have considerable adjustments to make to adapt to internal and external pressures on its economy.
Rising Chinese labor costs, even though considerable portions will be taken over by robotization, will still factor in Chinese production and like post-Plaza Accord Chinese enterprises will be relocating – that’s why the principle of opening up Fuga Islands to development is an important principle to fight for.
The “ungga-unggas” (see part 1 for definition) or the fake patriots spewing the anti-China line and propagated by the treacherous mainstream media (highlighted again recently by the totally ludicrous and inconsequential faked “province of China” labelled beauty product) are serious obstacles and saboteurs to Philippine economic recovery.
Even the POGOs have a role in the economic recovery, as I am intrigued to see that even Franklin Drilon seems to be going for it.
The “ungga-unggas” sabotage the economic cooperation with China using outright faked events such as paying off vendors to sell Chinese flags on our Independence Day, setting up “Province of China” streamers in arbitration anniversaries, distorting accidents into attacks such as the Gem-Ver fishing boat incident, using thousands of trolls to distort China’s messages such as the “Iisang Dagat” video, sensationalizing on baby peeing on the beach into a national issue threatening a 1.8-million touristm market, ad nausea.
The China tourist market alone would be a major part of the Philippines economic recovery if we could just match the 3-million Chinese tourist Vietnam is getting, or even the 11-million Chinese tourist Thailand regularly receives each year.
The Travel and Tourism Review Weekly headlined on May 5, 2020 “Chinese tourists drive Vietnam’s recovery”. President Duterte must crack down on the “ungga-unggas” sabotage of the opportunities for our economy.
Pillars for the Philippine Economy
Let’s face it, the Philippines will be in dire economic straits for the next five years with hundreds of thousands of repatriating OFWs and millions of jobs lost domestically and most of which will not be replaced unless government has a firm hand to guide the national economy back to health – while facing forces that seek to sabotage it and bring about a revolutionary situation or regime change.
Nilo Tayag, the crusader for “Filipinism” and a Duterte revolutionary government (RevGov) is not off target as the imperative in the years ahead is to empower the State to economically restructure society and the domestic economy for revenue generation, productivity and export trade – this is one pillar.
But who else can the Philippines trade with in a major way and seek investments if not China, hence it is the other pillar.
Appeal to the US? How will their aircraft carriers and saber-rattling in the South China Seas help our economic development?
Japan? What market can they offer compared to the 1.4-billion consumers of China.
Europe? They can buy a few things here and there, but what they can get form Asia they get faster and cheaper from Africa and the Middle East.
It’s time we face the hard fact as a nation, that China is the pillar for our economic stability and ascendance.
So, I appeal to President Duterte and to our “woke” Filipino people, let us work together to fumigate our body politic and national information milieu of the scourge of the “ungga-unggas” and eradicate them all.
Let us as a unified nation work with our Asian neighbors and chiefly with China to lift the hammer and pound the hot steel of economic recovery and from thence our prosperity.