Daily Archives: July 29, 2016

CHINA’S GLOBAL ECONOMIC OFFENSIVE

CULTURAL NOTES

July 29, 2016

CHINA’S GLOBAL ECONOMIC OFFENSIVE

By Arturo P. Garcia13620168_1267189539973023_1546217399480246871_n

China’s global economic offensive is on the roll and the Philippines is one country that China is looking at to export its world renowned railways system.

President Rodrigo Duterte is looking at China’s investments in railways to solve the Philippines’ recurrent traffic problem. During his first SONA speech last July 25, , he promised the “Manila –Clark railways, Sangley to Manila,  Panay and  the Mindanao Railways “ before his end terms in 2022.

He is surely excited for this projects because he is warming up relations with China after the The Hague July 12 ruling favoring the Philippines claim to the South China Seas disputed islands.

According to William T. Wilson of The National Interest Internet magazine, “South America will receive Chinese funding.    PRC’s  President Xi has pledged  $250 billion over the next decade. This includes an HSR system spanning the Brazilian rain forest and traversing the Andean mountains.

If that was not ambitious enough, Chinese business tycoon Wang Jing has announced his intent (though plans are currently stalled) to challenge the Panama Canal by building a $50 billion, 170-mile canal crossing Nicaragua. “ This will break the American monopoly over the Panama Canal for the last hundred years.

Last year, the Chinese news agency Xinhua announced that Beijing had already completed over one thousand projects in Africa, including 2,233 kilometers of rail construction and 3,350 kilometers of highway paving. In January of this year, China announced that it would help build a series of transportation grids (railroad, bridges and roads) linking fifty-four African countries.”

Wilson added, “ To penetrate the struggling but affluent European market (China’s largest trading partner), China is financing the upgrade of the Greek port of Piraeus and a $3 billion bullet train from Belgrade to Budapest.

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Another network of rails, roads and pipelines, starting in the Chinese central city of Xian, will stretch westward as far as Belgium.

Beijing has already started building an eight-thousand-mile cargo rail route between the Chinese city of Yiwu and Madrid. China is also in the lead for building a proposed HSR in California. A project that did not materialize. “

The railway was supposed to be built between Los Angeles to the “sin city” of Las Vegas, Nevada.  Equally important, are the other financial institutions, either Chinese-based or initiated by China.

According to Wilson, “ The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (to finance infrastructure construction throughout Asia) has fifty-seven member countries. China plans to provide much of the $100 billion in initial capital.

Then there is the Export-Import Bank of China, which lent more than $80 billion in 2015. This dwarfs the Asia Development Bank, which lent $27 billion over the same period.

China also plans to build a $46 billion economic corridor—pipeline, rail, roads, bridges and more—through Pakistan. The goal is to establish a trade route connecting Gwadar, a port on the Arabian Sea, to northwest China. This enormous project is driven in part by Beijing’s desire to build additional routes for its energy imports from the Middle East—to lessen its dependence on sea routes.

Tehran has been most receptive to Chinese infrastructure projects, hoping it will help make Iran a key trading hub between Europe and China.

Earlier this year, the first freight train from eastern China—traveling through Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan—completed the journey in just fourteen days, compared to forty-five days by sea. Sino-Iranian trade increased from $4 billion in 2003 to $52 billion in 2014, and Tehran hopes to boost that figure to $600 billion over the next decade.

Naturally, the global infusion of Chinese capital has fostered some geopolitical tension as well. Moscow, for one, is far from pleased about losing preeminence in Central Asia, a region it had dominated for two centuries.

China has built an oil pipeline from Kazakhstan and a gas pipeline that has allowed Turkmenistan to break its dependence on Russia.”

But no worries. China itself is dependent on Russia and Middle East oil exports especially from Saudi Arabia and Iran. China’s an industrialized state has sweet oil, meaning crudely refined oil. Thus it is dependent on outside sources.

That’s present a problem for China itself. That is why it is claiming the whole of the China Seas for oil. They need it much as other national needs it too.

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PRESIDENT DUTERTE: PLEASE WEAR THE BARONG PILIPINO PROPERLY

CULTURAL NOTES
July 29, 2016

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: PLEASE WEAR THE BARONG PILIPINO PROPERLY

By Arturo P. Garcia

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I criticized former President Fidel Ramos on his habit of folding his Barong Pilipino, the national costume for men during his term as President from 1992 to 1998.

Actually, President Ramon Magsaysay started this national tradition when he took his oath of office as President of the Philippines in December 30, 1953. His Barong Tagalog then was ripped when he waded with the crowd who all wanted to shake his hands.

I find it in bad taste, because Barong Pilipino is a formal wear. It is our national custume for men and woman. To treat it like a long sleeve or an informal wear is a disgrace. It is like being informal after a party or an event, when you fold it up ¾ style.

Americans or Europeans do not roll up the sleeves of their buiness suits.

Maybe President Duterte loved General Ramos so much that he is copying his style. But I find it still in bad taste because he is the president.

But no protocol can stop Duterte because unlike us, Manilans who take pride in wearing our Barongs on special occasions, he is not used to wearing Barongs. He is used to wearing long sleeves and folds it.

In fact, he finds it’s itchy and he is not fond or used to wear it as a formal wear. Thus he is used to folding it ¾ style, like a Troubinise long sleeved polo shirt.

But he must be used to wear it as a formal wear of a President. If not he will be copycatting General Ramos, who loved to show that he is working “ because he rolled up his sleeves.”

But “rolling up sleeves” does not mean you are working. Duterte is the President but if that’s how he would like to wear it, its better not to wear the Barong then roll up his sleeve.

Mr.President, please respect our national costume.

That is my unsolicited advice to him.

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