“Nazi” Tag on China Unacceptable

“If there is to be World War III, the South China Sea could be a major candidate location where the spark that triggers the war occurs,” writes Jean-Pierre Lehmann on Forbes website. The situation in South China Sea has been getting more intensive. There are several tensions involved, including that between the Philippines and China. In June, Philippine President Benigno AquinoIII delivered a speech which likened China’s role in the South China Sea to that of Nazi Germany. During a visit to Japan, Philippine President also called on the United States to prevent China further developing its influence in the area.

Is Aquino trying to provoke China? Now, let’s not overestimate what the President is capable of. Aquino is stirring up animosity between China, the U.S.A. and Japan. (Why else would America and Japan be involved? Neither of the two neighbor the South China Sea).

Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, territorial disputes between the Philippines and China have not arisen over a short period. They are long term issues. There is no way for the Philippines to solve the problem alone. Aquino chose to make the statements at a time when tensions over the South China Sea issue were especially heated.

Aquino is seeking common ground with America and Japan in order to secure their backing. He made it pretty clear that only by allying with the two nations, the Philippines could take a “tough” stance against China.

The situation reminds me of a scene in The Trouble Shooters, a novel by Chinese novelist Wang Shuo. During the scene, a thug walked down the street, brandished his fist at pedestrians, and demanded “who dares to defy me?” Then a gigantic brute stepped up and retorted “I dare to challenge you”. The thug was stunned. He looked the big guy up and down, then changing his tone, he yelled at the crowd: “now, who dares to challenge us”?

Aquino’s speech came after the US president, Barack Obama, weighed in on the growing tensions in the South China Sea, urging regional powers – particularly China – to respect the law and stop “throwing elbows”, according to CBS news. With America’s backing, Aquino dares to challenge China unscrupulously.

China, given its history of being invaded by western powers, naturally aspires to develop itself into one of the world’s great powers in 21st century. However, unlike western imperialism, Chinese leaders stressed its rise shall be peaceful.

In thousand years of historical exchange with the Philippines, China has never launched a war against its Filipino counterpart. In regards to territorial disputes, China has always stuck to the principle of solving disputes through political and diplomatic means. So, why did Aquino compare the Chinese to Nazis? As the speech was made in Japan, the comment serves as an awkward remainder that Nazi Germany used to be Japan’s close ally. However, has Aquino forgotten that it was the Japanese – not the Chinese – who invaded and occupied the Philippines from 1942 to 1945, who killed thousands, and forced Filipino women into sex slavery? It’s an irresponsible act to compare China – an ally of the Philippines during the World War II – to Nazi Germany.