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This article appears in the January 13, 2023 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.


Philippine President Marcos Rejects U.S. Instructions, Revives BRI and More

[Print version of this article]

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Philippines Office of the Press Secretary
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Beijing, China. Jan. 4, 2023.

Jan. 7—Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. visited China, January 3-5, in his first state visit beyond Southeast Asia since becoming President in June 2022. It was a blatant rejection of the orders issued by wanna-be “governors-general” Tony Blinken and Kamala Harris who, during their visits to Manila over the past year, “explained” to their former colony’s new leaders that they must join in the U.S.-led effort to isolate China, decouple the economies of all the “democracies” approved of in Washington and London from the Chinese economy, and denounce China as an “autocracy” that doesn’t submit to the “rules-based order” dreamed up by the oligarchs in the West.

The visit was a joyful success. Marcos had in-depth meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other leaders. At the end of his meeting with Xi, Marcos told reporters they had a very long meeting, and that he is “very optimistic” about the relationship:

We had a very fruitful exchange of ideas and beginnings of a plan for moving forward. We covered so many subjects, much more than is usual for these very formal meetings. We talked about the trade imbalance between our country and China and what we can do to remedy this. We also discussed what we can do to move forward, to avoid any possible mistakes, misunderstandings that could trigger a bigger problem than what we already have.

Overall, Marcos flanked the anti-China hysteria being whipped up by Western nations, saying,

China is the strongest partner of the Philippines, and nothing can hold back the continuation and development of the Philippines-China friendship.

On another occasion he said this about his meetings in China:

I hope to prove to the world through this visit that the Philippines-China relationship is in very good shape and is very important, and that both sides attach great importance to this relationship and are committed to taking it to a new height.

The two Presidents signed 14 bilateral agreements and concluded $22 billion worth of trade deals. The agreements included an updated MOU on China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI); a new line of communication for any disputes in the South China Sea; and accords on agriculture, infrastructure, energy (some of it “renewable”), and tourism. There are infrastructure agreements for new bridges over the Pasig-Marikina River in Metro Manila; improvements in the Manggahan Floodway that controls flood water in Metro Manila in the rainy season; and support for the ongoing bridge project to connect Davao City to Samal Island in the Davao Gulf, a 3.98 km span that will be toll free for the thousands of motorists who are expected to use it. Davao City is the main city in southern Mindanao, the second largest island in the Philippines.

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The proposed 3.98 km Davao-Samal Bridge that will cross Pakiputan Strait to connect Davao City and Samal Island. Design and construction are to be shared by Chinese and Filipino companies. President Marcos led the groundbreaking on Oct. 27, 2022.

Most importantly, the two presidents agreed to restore the stalled joint development of oil and gas reserves in the South China Sea. (The “zero-carbon” fanatics trying to stop all fossil fuels will not be pleased.) It was a powerful demonstration of “Peace through Development,” even while the U.S. continues to deploy naval vessels through the area in provocative demonstrations intended to evoke military and political chaos in the region. During his visit to Manila in August 2022, U.S. Secretary of State Tony Blinken ranted about America’s preparations to rush to defend Philippine vessels in the South China Sea when the “evil Chinese” attacked them. Blinken’s visit coincided with the provocative visit of then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan.

Marcos emphasized upon his return to Manila that the strong relationship with China was not intended to undermine relations with the U.S.:

I emphasized to President Xi how my administration intends to pursue an independent foreign policy, that we are more than willing to cooperate whenever possible in the pursuit of regional peace and our two countries’ national interest.

China’s Reaction

A Jan. 4 editorial headlined “Marcos’ Visit Makes China-Philippines ‘Tension’ Collapse on Itself,” in China’s state-linked English-language daily, Global Times, stated that the three-day visit by President Marcos to China means that—

The so-called tension between China and the Philippines, created by Western public opinion not long ago, collapsed on itself. The hype without a factual basis eventually failed to take root.

In regard to the cooperation agreements, especially the joint oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea, Global Times added:

This reflects two themes: First, mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation between China and the Philippines will be continuously promoted, which is the locomotive and engine leading the development of bilateral relations. Second, divergences in the South China Sea will be managed and controlled, and will be prevented to become a stumbling block of pragmatic cooperation, or a fuse of a crisis that could undermine peace and stability in the South China Sea.

The editorial went on to emphasize the special importance of the BRI:

The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative is in deep cooperation with the Philippines’ “Build, Build More” and “Build Better More” programs. The two sides have carried out nearly 40 intergovernmental cooperation projects in fields such as epidemic prevention, disaster relief, infrastructure and agriculture. China-Philippines relations are on a new starting point as Marcos began his China visit.…

It is worth mentioning that Marcos has a positive attitude toward China-Philippines joint development of offshore oil and gas. If his visit can promote the resumption of relevant negotiations between the two countries, it will be a significant progress…. The joint development of oil and gas is a crucial step in building the South China Sea into a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation. We hope that Marcos’ visit will bring new opportunities and usher in a new “golden age” of China-Philippines friendship.

Operation Marcos

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Du Xiuxian
Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. and his mother Imelda Marcos with Mao Zedong, Changsha, China, Sept. 27, 1974.

EIR published “Operation Marcos: A Development Plan for Asia and the World,” an article by this author, in its June 14, 2019 issue. It reviewed the role of Ferdinand Marcos, Sr. in transforming the Philippines from an impoverished nation of primarily small farmers into a developing agro-industrial nation, leading all of Southeast Asia in modernization and development. It included eleven industrial projects, the building of Southeast Asia’s first nuclear power station, agricultural projects which made the nation food self-sufficient, and more. Marcos and his wife Imelda also established friendly relations with nations demonized by the Anglo-Americans, including Iran and, most importantly, China. Imelda visited China in 1974 with her young son Ferdinand (now the President), and President Marcos visited the following year, establishing formal relations with Beijing in 1975.

Such “win-win” cooperation, my 2019 article suggested, was the model needed for a new cooperative agreement, not only between the Philippines and China, but, together with China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a model for the development of all nations toward a new paradigm based on security and development.

But the Marcos plan for the Philippines to become a modern agro-industrial nation was not to be. Nor would his plan for expanding friendship and cooperation between the Philippines and China come into being, as the U.S. instigated what was the first of its imperial “color revolutions” aimed at keeping poor nations in a state of poverty, hunger, and economic and political weakness. The then U.S. Secretary of State, George Shultz, and his deputy Paul Wolfowitz, working with their political assets in the Philippines, overthrew Marcos, installing a puppet regime under Cory Aquino that quickly shut down all the industrial projects, mothballed the nuclear plant (which had been finished and was ready to start generating electricity), and scrapped the food self-sufficiency program. The Philippines sank from being the envy of the other poor Asian nations into a decrepit impoverished mess.

Now Marcos’s son Ferdinand Jr. has the potential to implement his own version of “Operation Marcos,” to the benefit of all nations. His China visit could be the start of such an extension of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, worldwide. This is the vision of the future required to stop the mad drive of the U.S., UK and NATO for war on Russia, and eventually China, under the “Global NATO” strategy.

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