BLIND SPOT: Vulnerable like china in his hand


There has been something creeping under the radar within this decade. It’s not so much that it’s a covert operations of sorts. It’s actually covered by mainstream media, and has spawned some youtube videos. It’s just that it’s not something we pay attention to. There has been a recent wave of infrastructure projects in African nations. “In one of the most ambitious infrastructural projects in Nigerian history, in July 2016, a 400km coastal railway from Lagos in the west to Calabar in the east” started construction. “In the summer of 2017 Kenya unveiled its largest infrastructural project since independence (1963), a 472km railway from the country’s biggest port, Mombasa, to its capital, Nairobi.” “Ethiopia also unveiled the even more ambitious USD4 billion 756km Addis Ababa-Djibouti railway, which connects the country’s heartland capital of Addis Ababa (elevation: 2,355m) to the nearest natural sea port in neighboring Djibouti on the Red Sea.” “USD11 billion will be invested in a new megaport and economic zone at Bagamoyo, Tanzania.” “Autoroute A1, a colossal 1,200km east-west highway across the northern tip of Algeria from the Moroccan border to Tunisia” has been constructed. (https://www.thebusinessyear.com ) Impressive, are they not? Those are but just a few of projects across the African continent through loans with national governments to not US, not EU, not IMF, not the World Bank, but the People’s Republic of China.

Now, let’s look at the other side. “with more than $1 billion in debt to China, Sri Lanka handed over a port to companies owned by the Chinese government.” “The Chinese often insist that their equipment is used and often also their people. Workers from rural areas of China, who would otherwise be unemployed in China, now come and work on these projects.” “There have already been cases where African countries have defaulted on debt to China “ “The Center for Global Development, a non-profit research organization, analyzed that Djibouti, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, the Maldives, Mongolia, Montenegro, Pakistan, and Tajikistan will find themselves vulnerable to above-average debt under China.” “Angola is the most indebted African country to China. It has an estimated debt of over US$25 billion.” “Most of Angolan oil is going towards the repayment of Chinese debts, despite Angola being the second largest producer of oil in Africa.” “Ethiopia has an estimated debt of US$13.5 billion. (https://qz., https://www.dw.com, https://www.africanexponent.com)Similarly, those are just some lashes of loans with China.

Wait a minute. How does all these concern us? Sad as it may seem, I can’t pay their debts. Because just last week was National Winnie the Pooh Day. (Hey, we shouldn’t do that. Just think of the time when Filipinos are branded as brown monkeys, dogeaters, or pickpockets.) I mean, Chinese President Xi Jinping paid the Philippines (yes, the same nation whose helpless sovereignty his big bully of a nation challenges with the occupation of some islands in the South China Sea) a state visit; and you’re thinking” the nerve of him coming here!”. But, oh well, they seem to be best friends with our own president. The world does not run out of weirdness. They even exchange mutual admiration, sort of like Trump and Macron. Maybe they’re planning to be the Asian version. Reports are all over that Xi struck some more than 20 deals between China and the Philippines, a prominent item is a joint oil exploration in the disputed territory. What on earth! After a lengthy time of squatting, and they want to be partners? What the…? (Look, I’m not mad; it’s just weird.) Then our President, in his expected anti-US and anti-EU self, berates Western past aid for having done nothing to too little, and looks with promise to Chinese aid. Yeah! Go China! Considering what Chinese loans have done to numerous African nations, and some Central, South and Southeast Asian nations, what are we getting ourselves into? Mr. President Duterte, Sir, are we sure of what we’re getting the whole nation into? This simply apocalyptically scary. China has gone on a rampage of setting debt traps on developing nations which they had taken on their clutches. In the inability to make payments, the Chinese government negotiates with exclusive access to resources, exemption from local policies, utilization of Chinese resources and the like, in exchange to an attractive decrease or writing off of debts. What happens is nations are held under the mercy of China. Discreetly, many developing nations have become Chinese subjects following this sly style. And Filipinos, countrymen, the Lord forbid, we have taken steps toward that miry quicksand.

“For the nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; those nations shall be utterly laid waste.”

Isaiah 60:12