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Philippine Journalist Refutes the ‘Debt Trap’ Story

Sept. 30, 2018 (EIRNS)—A Philippine journalist (long in touch with the Larouche movement) issued a stinging rebuke to the “debt trap” story flooding the Western press—and also in the Philippines—by the anti-China conspirators. Zaida Reyes begins her article of Sept. 26 in the Daily Tribune:

“For the past few years we have been reading incessant accusations from Western media and academic circles, then echoed in social media, about China’s alleged debt trap diplomacy. Here in the Philippines we are also bombarded with propaganda that the Philippines-China agreement is leading the country into a debt trap with Beijing.”

The facts, however, show that the nation’s foreign debt, which is $72.2 billion, under Duterte has been reduced by nearly $1 billion. Less than 1% of that debt is from China. Reyes quotes from Duterte’s Finance Secretary Carlos Sonny Dominguez who told a Senate hearing in July: “ ‘When the Americans bombed Manila (in 1945), then gave us little money to fix it up, they extracted from us....’ ” She continues, “Clearly, the Philippines has been chained to a debt trap since the 1950s under IMF structural conditionalities.”

Reyes also points to the Repeated forced devaluations and “structural adjustments” forced on the country: “i.e., ‘decontrol’ trade, devalue the peso and liberalize capital flows causing the peso to slip,” multiplying the foreign debt through currency manipulation, with nothing being built by this false debt.

She explains:

“The Philippines has been chained to the IMF, World Bank and ADB [Asia Development Bank] debt trap since the 1960s, yet Amboys (American boys) in the country such as Magdalo’s Rep. Gary Alejano, Amboy think tanks like the Albert del Rosario Institute and its stable of writers and talking heads such as Richard Heydarian [a Filipino who is the darling of the CFR and the CSIS—ed.], behave as if this fact did not exist and instead point an accusing finger at the Duterte administration’s financial dealings with China constituting such a minuscule amount today as the ‘debt trap’ problem.”

She further states that “much of China’s financial commitment so far has come in the form of grants,” while the large loans for big infrastructure projects are at about 2%, and will dramatically improve the productivity of the nation with roads, railways, water control and more. President Xi Jinping will be visiting the Philippines in December, where several major projects will be officially signed. “Yet, even before this mega government-to-government project is being signed,” Reyes continues, “privately led Chinese investments have already been arriving by the droves.”

She concludes: “So let’s get it straight, the ‘debt trap’ has been the legacy of the Western Powers working through their multilateral financial institutions—the IMF, World Bank and the Japanese-led ADB.”

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