Monday, June 13, 2011
SENATE OFFICE, Manila, June 14, 2011-In the midst of the controversies between China and the Philippines, Senator Ralph G. Recto yesterday said that the country’s trade with China is bigger than the United States (US) that boycotting everything “Made In China” is foolish and ill-advised, saying that the country should do the reverse by engaging in China through intensified trade and investments instead of boycotting their products.
Recto reacted on the statement of Albay Governor Joey Salceda who is a staunched advocate to boycott the China-made products in retaliation to China’s bullying in the disputed Spratly’s and in Western Palawan, adding that the retaliation through trade against China’s repeated intrusions in Spratly Islands and the West Palawan Sea has become the only viable alternative to ordinary Filpinos since military provocation was not an option.
“China is our biggest trading neighbor,” Recto said, explaining that the right response is to increase our trade and investments with China and wait for the proper time to find the right growth formula to settle the issue in Spratly Island.
“If the country would be able to close its $900-million trade deficit with China, it would be scoring a “big economic victory" more meaningful than trying to sink one of their vessels,” Recto said, adding that the country imported $7 billion worth of goods from China in 2010 while shipping a little over $6 billion goods to China.
“The country should act accordingly and should not boycott as China is part of the emerging economies and touted by respected global bodies to be in the Top 25 countries with strong economies by 2025,” Recto said, advising the government that we should engage in China diplomatically and business trade sound relations should be maintained.
Recto furthered that the country should start modernizing its armed services not to engage China or any country laying claim to Spratly militarily, but to protect its fishermen, ships and cargoes and territorial waters, explaining that there is a need to build the AFP not for arms race but to protect our coral reefs and fishermen.
“You need to do it. You have to start somewhere,” Recto stressed, saying that to protect the country’s territorial sovereignty gains importance more than ever now that the disputed Reed Bank in Western Palawan has been renamed as “Recto Bank” in honor of his grandfather, nationalist Claro M. Recto.
“The AFP led by the Philippine Navy should start buying modern equipment and fleet. We should start buying some of these equipment and I don’t care if we buy them from China,” Recto added. (Jason de Asis)
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