Fetalvero: What does China really want?

Noemi Fetalvero
·2 min read

WHAT exactly has been agreed upon by China leader Xi Jin Ping and President Rodrigo Duterte regarding the continued presence of Chinese vessels on Philippine seas? Duterte prefers diplomatic means to address the issue. He earlier admitted that the Philippines cannot equal the military capability of China.

When pushed to react to China’s aggressiveness, he said: “I do not want Filipinos getting killed if we waged war with China.”

Steven Kull, psychologist, arms policy analyst of the Social Science Research Council in the Department of Political Science in Stanford University and author of “Minds at War,” wrote: “The conflicts of policymakers are only made known through verbal arguments.” Kull revealed what experts and analysts said: “They pointed out that it was necessary to present a kind of double image or a two-track approach. A former Pentagon official explained that officials are always dealing with contradictory audiences... there are inherent contradictions if they want to appear gentle and thoughtful to their own public and tough — and just a touch of being irrational to their adversary.”

Another former Pentagon official was quoted to have explained: “Politicians play to various audiences and they’re always saying things for effect... they speak with a forked-tongue so they say all kinds of inconsistent things.”

Kull’s book helped me understand the positions being taken by Ping and Duterte who have been evasive, short of being transparent on what their foreign policies and agenda are, as if engaging each other on psychological warfare.

Kull discussed International Security and Nuclear Strategy. Filipinos’ knowledge of the topic is limited. We are aware of the protests filed by our government with the United Nations Tribunal, whose decision was snubbed by China.

Newly installed US President Joseph Biden said that America will only interfere in the territorial dispute should the Philippines seek its help. Biden did not elaborate what assistance it will give.

Kull wrote that security motives are overridden by the will to survive.

“There are other factors that have the capability to override the concern for individual survival for collective security.”

Is Duterte’s ambivalence a strategic defense initiative for our country to survive?

Political analysts are aware of China’s systematic move to eventually fulfill Xi Jin Ping’s ancestors’ dream of homogeny — that is, to conquer the entire Asia.