By Boy Ner
Perry, in reaction to your write-up (China’s ‘gunboat diplomacy’) on China, I’m posting portions of my discussion with Malaya columnist Rey Arcilla:
Rey, you mentioned “long-term national interest” but you were not clear on how succumbing to China’s demand of boycotting the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony will have such effect? If we talk on the business angle, we also deal with the EU and US. If we talk of the number of Filipino workers we can send to China, my question is do we have to keep on relying on OFWs to sustain our economy? If we take the line of Aquino to save those drug traffickers, my answer is let them rot in jail for they have added shame to the Filipino nation. We are not only known as a nation of domestic help, brides for sale/mail brides, factory workers but also drug couriers. Where’s our pride as a nation? Although there is the realm of possibility that China will eventually become the world’s most powerful nation, it would not necessarily mean that it would run to our favor. Remember that China has a history of aggression and domination, the most recent was what it did to Tibet and we can include Mongolia too. Incursions and occupations of islands within the territorial limits of Philippines, Vietnam and Japan have been made by China, which I consider as indicator. China during the time of Genghis Khan was the biggest and most powerful Empire in history and no Empire forgets its past glory. I would rather have United States as the lone super power having proven its compassion and respect for democratic values.
Rey, Tibet has its own culture and language. Its last leader, the Dalai Lama was forced to flee and escape captivity from the invading Chinese Army. Also, based on historical accounts, ” the interaction between China and Tibet started in 640 AD when the Tibetan king Songtsan Gampo married the Chinese Princess Wen Cheng, a niece of the Tang Emperor Tai Zong.” As a matter of fact, during the reign of Gampo ” he added parts of the Yalung River Valley of Cathay” to his kingdom and ” his descendants conquered the vast region that is now the Chinese provinces of Qinghai, Gansu and Xinjiang.” Another historical fact is the signing of a peace treaty between Tibet and China in the year 821 or 822 delineating the border between the two Empires.
There is no question Genghis Khan was a Mongol but remember that before he came into power, Mongols as a unified people did not exist as a political reality. China was also divided and was united by the conquering Mongols and from history we know that his grandson Kublai or Khubilai became the Emperor of China under the Yuan dynasty and Genghis Khan was posthumously declared the Tai Zu Emperor. Besides this belief by the Chinese leadership that they once ruled the world, the Hans (Chinese) and the Mongols as well as the Manchus have similar features and therefore considered as being of one origin.
There are two Mongolias and I was referring to Inner Mongolia although again based on history the Khalkha Mongols declared independence in 1911 under the name of Mongolia. There was a Russia-Mongolia Agreement, which expressly forbade the Chinese Army from entering Mongolia and the Chinese Hans from resettling. Another agreement known as “Friendship Treaty of Alliance between Russia and China” concluded in 1945, recognized Mongolia’s independence. Mao Zedong himself went to Moscow and signed this treaty. The Chinese Red Army took advantage of its might by conquering not only the Mongols and Tibetans but also the Uyghurs who are mostly Muslims.