eastwind journals05 Jul 2016 06:19 pm
WHAT HAPPENS IF CHINA IGNORES THE HAGUE? Deep Economic Ramifications eastwind journals 185 By Bernie V. Lopez, firstname.lastname@example.org
if you think bread, you and your family shall be nourished if you think bullets, you and your family shall perish if you think peace, you shall inherit the earth if you think war, it shall come to you
The root problem actually is within China. There is a clear contradiction between the ruling Communist Party, which is behind the continued militarization of the Spartly-Paracel islands, and Corporate China, which is behind the effort to forge economic partnerships with Southeast Asian nations. One offers bullets, the other bread, which confuses the recipient, who instinctively may back away and turn to the West. Militarization will pre-empt economic partnerships. Coercion will pre-empt cooperation.
If The Hague decides in favor of the Philippines (due on July 12), and China ignores the decision, we are entering a new unprecedented situation. If China defies international law, its image will suffer in the eyes of neighbors whom it urgently seeks as development partners to get out of its current economic downturn. What are the deep economic ramifications of China defying the international communities?
China recently setup an investment bank to rival World Bank and ADB. Half the size of ADB and a quarter size of World Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was forged in June 2015 when 50 nations signed as founding members. AIIB’s goal is the development of infrastructure in Asia, including energy, power, transportation, telecommunications, agriculture, etc.
To understand the clout of AIIB, we enumerate here the founding members – Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Egypt, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Portugal, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
The first set of AIIB loans to global borrowers are due for approval this July, coinciding ironically with the The Hague decision. If China defies the The Hague decision, this may have a ripple effect on these loans. Borrowers, realizing China as a rogue nation defying international law, may become rogue themselves in retaliation, reneging on approved AIIB loans, or boycotting future ones. After all, there is the World Bank-IMF-ADB Consortium. Some observers say that is a far-fetched possibility. Borrowers would not dare renege on loans. But what if a Chinese warship sinks a Filipino boat in the Spratlys or a Vietnamese boat in the Paracels with a lot of casualties, would borrowers begin to dare? Historically, China has fired on numerous ships of ASEAN members. The radicalized moves of protagonists in a situation of heightened hostilities are unpredictable. An eye for an eye.
One example of a possible massive effect of The Hague on China is the proposed $40-billion 3,900-km. Kunming–Singapore bullet train railway, which will connect Singapore to deep within the China mainland. The impact on China’s international trade is vast. The rail will pass through Malaysia, Laos, Thailand, and possibly Vietnam, which, in a heightened conflict in the Paracel-Spratly area, may end up in the closure of the railway, and the boycott AIIB.
Indeed, AIIB has the potential to bring harmony in the Asian region if the economists preaching cooperation prevails over the Party preaching coercion. We are calling on the Communist Party to please understand Corporate China’s point that the key to peace and progress is cooperation, not coercion. (Sources – kunming-singapore / aiib-analysis / grenatec / aiib.org) Bernie V. Lopez, email@example.com
(The author is a Filipino senior columnist in the last 20 years, presently with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, a former radio-TV broadcaster at Radio Veritas and GNN, a former documentary producer-director for ABS-CBN, GMA7, TVS of Tokyo, and a former Ateneo University professor.)
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