China is preparing to seize Pag-asa Island Philippine territory. As reported by the Qianzhan (Prospects) business and strategy info site, the Chinese military has drawn up an attack plan for execution this year. The alleged strategy is to contain the hostilities within the disputed Spratly archipelago, at the eastern edge of which are Pag-asa and eight other Philippine islets and shoals.
The nine sea formations comprise the municipality of Kalayaan, Palawan. More than 250 civilians permanently reside in the biggest, Pag-asa, under a mayor and a town council. Most are fishermen, seafood traders, and goatherds. An undisclosed number of Philippine Marines hold base. Pag-asa has its own waterworks, sun- and diesel-powered electric plant, cell phone site, seaport, airstrip, town hall, schoolhouses, and chapels.
China has been lusting for Pag-asa for decades. It claims historic right over all of the Spratlys and the South China (West Philippine) Sea by virtue of an unfounded ancient map. The area is rich in undersea food and fuel (5.4 billion barrels) reserves. A Chinese naval assault of Pag-asa reportedly will spring northward from the smaller Chinese-held Sansha Island, and westward from Mischief Reef, which Beijing grabbed from the Philippines in 1995. In 2012 Beijing also occupied the traditional Filipino fishing grounds, Scarborough Shoal.
Why 2014? Beijing likely sees it best to strike while the Philippines is weakest. A series of natural disasters, including the strongest typhoon in world history and a 7.2-intensity earthquake, leveled its central region. The country is torn by communist insurgency and secession from Moro Islamists. Political dynasties sap the economic life, keeping the people poor and ignorant to maintain their hold on power and the public till. As corrupt and inept is the bureaucracy — China’s signal that the coast is clear for un-repelled attack. Still being retooled from thieving generals, the Filipino army is undermanned and underequipped. The National Police is unfocused. Filipinos have no basic military nor disaster training; the ROTC was scrapped a decade ago after one cadet was slain by an extortionate officer. In the wake of last November’s Super Typhoon Yolanda, the national disaster coordinator refused to dispatch soldiers for emergency rescue and relief, crying the troops might go hungry. Politicking divides even the Philippine Boy Scouts and Red Cross.
Worst for Filipinos but best for Beijing are traitors in Manila and the provinces who give away Philippine metals to Chinese miners. From Cabinet and local posts they grant gold, silver, iron, copper, nickel, lead, chromite, zinc, cobalt, and magnetite sites to Chinese bribers. The precious metals are shipped off to the mainland, to be fashioned into weapons and surveillance systems with which Chinese warships and jetfighters grab Philippine shoals — and will use to invade Pag-asa.
The Chinese mines come in legal and illegal forms — all economically and environmentally destructive. The bribe for the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources merely to entertain a “legal” mining application is P2 million to P5 million, quintuple to approve. Not a single operation admits its true output or pays the right taxes; ores and processed metals are smuggled out. (Read More...)