THIS is not about the Chinese people, lest someone accuse me of being engaged in racist rhetoric and Sinophobia. This is about the Chinese state, the one headed by Xi Jinping and his Communist Party, the one that is taunting us like barbarians at the gate that we call the West Philippine Sea. This is the one that has a history of encroaching into our exclusive economic zones, ramming our fishing vessels and leaving our fishermen to their death had they not been rescued by the Vietnamese, and the one whose megalomaniac leaders fixated on image building left the world in the dark on a virus that has now infected millions and killed hundreds of thousands and has devastated world economies, including ours.
And we have this problem, which for all intents and purposes is because we have a president, who has reneged on his promise to fight for our interests.
President Rodrigo Duterte could have played hardball with the United States if he indeed wanted to project an independent foreign policy. But he could have done so also without playing it soft on China.
After all, we had the upper hand. We had just been handed an important victory by the arbitral court at The Hague. In fact, as candidate Duterte, he evoked a future leader who was poised to slug it out with Xi Jinping. We can still vividly remember his threat to ride a jet ski in the rough waters of the West Philippine Sea bearing our flag to impress on China that he was raring to play hardball.