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The China Visit: Importance of Duterte's visit to China explained

The China visit
By Serafin Ledesma Jr.

Pres. Rodrigo Duterte is embarking on one of his biggest and most important missions as President: a visit to China.

He is not going there by jet-ski. He is flying there on board a jumbo jet with a retinue of businessmen and cabinet members. This will be his first journey to the heartland of the world’s second largest economy. China, once colonized and derided by the West and attacked and raped by Imperial powers, isolated itself for several decades behind a bamboo curtain to nurse its wounds.
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Barely two decades ago, the new leadership emerged from its cocoon. A nation of over 1-billion populace was a cheap source of labor and a people wanting to learn and earn no matter what it takes. The first to make a foray into China was the United States of America, followed by several European countries. Singapore followed later.

China’s race into the apogee of economic power could only be equaled by the supersonic blast of the era. The rickshaw and the bicycles which used to be the icons of China are gone. Today, European luxury cars are a commonplace. The labor force has become a strong middle class living in high rise condominiums. The commune squares are virtually gone leaving only a few that serves as mementos of what China was before. The farmers in the rural areas now reside in duplex townhouses and the least among them use scooters and bantam cars. Its massive infrastructures connects every nook and corner of the country and cut shorts routes by way of long bridges built across its waterways and seas. It boasts of 19,000 kilometers of railways and through these network run speed trains that are simply mind-boggling.

China’s huge population has become the world’s biggest consumer market. On the other hand it churns out various products that are exported worldwide. Vegetables, fruits, electronics, tools, buses, garments, heavy machineries, chemicals, construction materials, steel, solar panels, train coaches and railways to include state-of-the art technologies and more. The list can go on and on and only the skeptics who are still mired in the prejudice that China will never get anywhere close to the league of advance nations will find these enumerations fantastic and comic.
Modern China makes the US of A ancient and Europe classic. That’s why among the investors in this single biggest market in the world are Americans and Europeans.

It is therefore incomprehensible why some quarters find it revolting and odd for President Duterte to make this visit to China when all others across the vast oceans are going gaga wanting to have a slice of the China’s progress. Territorial conflicts are a universal plague among nations. The Aquino government failed to grasp that and continued with its child play up to the end of his term.

This time is Duterte’s time. You may not like his mouth, but at the end of this voyage we might give him an A for his native wit in diplomacy and economy. Former Pres. Fidel V. Ramos failed to see and appreciate things the way this incumbent President pilots his way to China. FVR was sent to China as a special envoy, but he did not fly to Beijing instead headed towards Hong Kong. The leaders of the Special Region were not of any help. You can see this even with just a simple expectation our fishermen could resume fishing in he Scarborough. None of this happened.

This time an Ateneo dropout with an incorrigible language will sail across the sea that binds The Philippines and China. If no red carpet was laid for US Pres. Barrack Obama in his recent visit to China, it is of bated breath that with or without carpet Duterte and his retinue of businessmen (who were supportive of other presidential candidates before) will be received by China with a ceremony fit for an emperor. The Chinese leaders knew by now that behind the expletives that comes freely from the mouth of Duterte, is a sincere, compassionate and determined leader who is not cowed by the size of the enemy to earn respect. A leader they found to have something in common with theirs.

(Last August, after I attended a Media Forum on One Belt One Road, I gave an unsolicited brief to President Duterte for whatever it was worth. That time, I never heard of any of our government officials talking about Pres. Xi Jinping centerpiece program which revolves around OBOR initiative that reaches out to many countries in Asia and Europe by way of infrastructure projects and marine routes.

With $4.4-trillion financial package as support funds, China and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank which is its entry in world finance, it is not farfetched that many if not most of Duterte’s plan for the Philippines will find fulfillment. Only then will FVR and other skeptics will realize that after all the Mayor of Davao City may not only be running after druglords and pushers but also economic savvy.

The China Visit: Importance of Duterte's visit to China explained The China Visit: Importance of Duterte's visit to China explained Reviewed by Raelyn Luchansky on 2:31:00 AM Rating: 5

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