TAMING CHINA, THE FIERCE BEAR * We have to be gentle but strong

We have to be gentle but strong, benevolent and belligerent all at once.
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By Bernie V. Lopez, eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com
Freelance blogger, retired columnist Philippine Daily Inquirer


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We Filipinos are in a dilemma how to deal with China. He can bully us around because we are small. We can fight back but it’s a losing battle. The option of international courts has failed. China simply ignores D’ Hague and deals with our Presidents whom he believes he can manipulate.


There is one avenue of recourse that has hardly been exploited – persuading China that cooperation is better than domination. Tall order, you may say, but not really. How do we make China have a change of heart and use gentleness not force? Perhaps the key is balancing our benevolence with belligerence. Be gentle but be strong.




There is the story of a big grumpy giant. When he enters the room, everyone cowers in fear. But a child approaches with a smile with no semblance of fear.


CHILD – Hi, would you like some candy?
CHILD – How about a piece of cake?
GIANT – No. Get away.
CHILD – Okay then. Let me see. How about we become friends?


She offers her hand and the giant, lonely for so long, feared by everyone, hesitates, then takes her hand, the beginning of a long lasting friendship. Eventually, the giant is no longer feared and gets more friends.


Lesson of the story – benevolence is just as contagious as belligerence. Even children can melt feared giants. When he gives you a stone, give him bread. If you give a stone back, he will get a bigger stone, but you have no bigger-bigger stone. You lose. Eventually, the giant will see that bread, not bullets, is the key to his own growth, cooperation breeds progress. That’s how a child wins over a giant. It’s not really a ‘win’, it is a win-win. Everybody happy. That is how we have to ‘educate’ China.


If you apply this lesson to relationship with China, perhaps there is a silver lining in the dark cloud that haunts us. Not everyone believes in the story of bread not bullets. They believe in an eye for an eye. But if you look back through history, an eye for an eye has spawned wars which killed thousands if not millions on both sides. Perhaps, there is a time to resort to bread-not-bullets rather an-eye-for-an-eye. Maybe there are creative ways we can think of like the child who ‘conquered’ the giant. We must look at the two options very well. There are two facets to China, the armed authoritarian and the gentle businessmen.


In the end, we must BALANCE our attitude to China. We must not let her abuse our goodwill. 
It is a difficult tight-rope walk – be gentle with the giant but impose a limit to goodwill, if she abuses. Show benevolence and belligerence all at once. Be gentle but be strong.


The knee-jerk reaction of most of our Presidents to turn to America for help is the biggest blunder of all, to pit one giant against the other, because we are an ant sandwiched by two elephants. In the next Pacific naval war, carrier fleets may become useless. Hyper-sonic missiles with speeds of 10 to 20 times the speed of sound can neutralize an entire carrier fleet before it can react. China and the US both have hypersonics. They both also have ‘explosion-less’ EMP bombs that can paralyze all electronic devices in a large area, the total game changer. If one giant is cornered, the nuclear option is easy. One small nuke is needed, that is all, to trigger World War III.


Finally, we need to pray for peace. The Lord has ways we know nothing about in achieving such peace for us. How did David beat Goliath? It was the Lord who beat Goliath for him. So let’s pray for the Lord to give us a David, a win-win with Gotliath, China.


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