How clever, how subtly Machiavellian — “Wow China, Amazing China.” Erstwhile Secretary of Tourism (now Senator) Richard Gordon should protest that his marketing pitch –“Wow Philippines” — has been plagiarized. Thailand might also not be happy that her immensely successful “Amazing Thailand” has been taken in vain. I wonder if there will also be a “China Truly Asia” campaign directed at Malaysia. I have not seen “Wow China” but heard that it can be viewed at the government channel, of all places. That is cultural diplomacy, I suppose.
Frankly, I am amazed at the number of interviews, commentaries, reportage, spoofs about China emanating from the USA. China is accused of conducting “unrestricted warfare” like financial “debt traps,” Confucius Academies, legislative lobby groups, cultural and educational programs like “1000 Talents.” Most apocalyptic is the race, to dominate no longer outer space but the invisible immensity of cyber space. China’s methods are not that unconventional. The IMF and World Bank have used the debt trap to destabilize countries. The USA still uses Hollywood and Walt Disney to brainwash gullible generations in developing countries. In the Third World, we are not strangers to dumping, Cuban-style embargos, coups d’état, devastating regional wars all underpinned by the USA, purportedly in defense of their national interests, and ours.
Today, Americans themselves are so discombobulated that they are asking if and when their empire is going to collapse. I never thought I would live to see the USA so insecure about its place in the universe. I think the USA has met its match in China.
China is not the Federation of Indian Nations that was driven to near extinction. Nor is it Mexico which lost half of its territory. Nor is China like Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the First Republic of the Philippines. China is not Vietnam whose national territory the USA divided during a 20-year war. China is not Colombia from which Panama was carved because of a canal. China is not Guatemala who was sacrificed for United Fruit, nor is it Nicaragua, Grenada, or El Salvador. China is not Chile, nor Argentina, nor Venezuela, Egypt, Palestine, Syria and Iran, and a host of other developing Third World countries, espousing a more sustainable South-South relations, minding their own business.
The United States separated Taiwan from China. More recently, it pushed China to join the World Trade Organization, gave it “most favored nation” status. Its millionaires transferred their instruments of production to China for a bigger profit margin because there labor is very cheap and workers cannot form unions, much less go on strike. By doing that, the labor-intensive manufacturing sectors of Southeast Asia plunged into a dismal sunset. The Philippines lost even its thriving industry of Christmas, Halloween, and Easter decorations which had employed millions of Filipinos. Who cares; we are not “most favored nations.”
Obsessed with a Cold War vintage “domino theory,” the USA believed that by making China its economic, technological, and financial, petrochemical platform, it would destroy the Communist Party. They envisioned the Chinese masses revolting against the totalitarian regime demanding political rights once economic needs were fulfilled. But, the very opposite is happening. The Chinese Communist Party is very astutely carrying out its “one country, two systems” to the very extreme, to the cardinal points of the world. Who would have thought when President Gustavo Arbenz of Guatemala and President Salvador Allende of Chile (accused of being socialists) were cavalierly overthrown, that one day, the Middle Kingdom, once mercilessly divided like a melon by Western empires, would silently, without haste, without firing an harquebus or a krag, would dominate the world and cyberspace? Now, what is the USA going to do about 5-G, Huawei, the 9-dash line, the Silk Road that morphed into an infrastructure girdle called One Belt.
Wow China. Amazing China. How I wish my mother would have witnessed all this before she passed away.