The illicit aggression by China with regards to the Spratly Islands dispute reminds us of Japan’s clandestine operations prior to World War II. Japanese merchants entered the Philippines through the north, posing as merchants and traders, and as the war unfolded they became officers of the Imperial army.
After so-so-successful war encounters with the Russians and Chinese, Japan considered itself a superpower then and had plans for Southeast Asia when they declared in 1938 the New Order for East Asia. This declaration of Japan’s plans for dominance in the region further deteriorated its relations with western nations.
Subsequently in 1939, the United States announced its withdrawal from its commercial treaty with Japan. Two years later, American volunteer pilots begin to arrive in China. They began to wreak havoc on Japanese forces. Then in 1941, the United States, which at the time supplied 80 percent of Japanese oil imports, initiated a complete oil embargo, threatening to cripple both the Japanese economy and its military.
On December 7, 1941 Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. The United States and China formally declared war on Japan the next day.
There are parallelisms between then and now.
China is at the height of its economic power and military might now. It is on its way to become a No. 1 superpower, even exceeding the US and others. The dragon is spewing fires of conquest. The Spratly Island bullying is just a start.
The US, with its wait-till-they stumble foreign policy, is just waiting. Waiting for the enemy to make a false move is part of the waiting game.
Whether the other superpowers like Germany, UK and NATO allies will allow China to become No. 1 remains to be seen. The rise to the very top will not be easy. It is within the realm of justifiable speculation that China may have given the US veiled threats, causing the US to come up a stance of neutrality regarding the Spratlys. It is not unlikely that the other countries like the US owe China favors.
China is arrogant and unafraid. It is no longer the waking dragon; it is now the rampaging elephant. The Philippines relies on the US and the US alone, and has never thought to develop ties with other countries, much less any country within the Southeast Asian sphere. It is time that a foreign policy be established that will make the Philippines self-reliant even if it is to stop problems from within the country and not rely on another foreign power to fight our troubles for us.
The waiting game is a game of “sabong”(cockfight). Call it “chicken” game if you will, and we know even now which rooster will win.