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Politics & Law

Manila’s apology to Hong Kong is a presage of a deal, not a fight


Philippines Bus Hijacking

Philippines Bus Hijacking

The following are the views of the author, and not necessarily those of China Daily Mail.

Is it just a coincidence that the Philippine Government made a four-year late official apology to the families of eight Hong Kong tourists before Obama’s visit to East Asia in April, and after the historic pact sealed in March with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)?

To finalise a peaceful settlement with the MILF was definitely at the top of President Benigno Aquino’s short term agenda in early 2014. However, sensible and responsible leaders in Manila know that it is in the long term interest of the nation to make a deal rather than a fight with Hong Kong – a heavy weight component of the Greater China.

Despite the cacophony played by certain short-sighted analysts and journalists, who for unknown reasons like to provoke a warlike tension between the Philippines and the greater China, Manila has wisely adopted a pragmatic approach to dissolve the four year long dispute between the two cities.

It is unknown to outsiders what has been done and who has worked for it behind this apology. Yet, it is not a surprise that the Obama Administration may have contributed to this deal. While those belligerent analysts still hold their wishful thinking mode to expect that Obama’s visit would solidify his Asian allies’ positions to fight against China, Manila’s apology to Hong Kong should alert their attention that this mode is fragile.

By solving a simple “face” issue, the incidental enmity is no longer an obstacle that can block the path for a larger deal, an international deal, or even a multi-national deal in South East Asia. If such a deal can be achieved, the several million dollars compensation paid to the Hong Kong tourists and their families is just a small bet for a gigantic lottery. Beijing will be more than happy to offer generous advantages to Manila to seal a commercial deal for the resources under the sea.

For more details, please read: The Philippines and China will have a deal rather than a fight (chinadailymail.com)
 

About keith K C Hui

Keith K C Hui is a Chinese University of Hong Kong graduate major in Government and Public Administration and the author of "Helmsman Ruler: China's Pragmatic Version of Plato's Ideal Political Succession System In The Republic" (2013).

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