GRP President Duterte is currently in China to forge economic and security agreements. He was welcomed by China as a firm ally and friend.
The visit is expected to pave the way for the large inflow of monopoly capitalist investments from China.
The Party and revolutionary movement has a critical view of the Duterte regime’s policy of amity and friendship with China. On the one hand, the revolutionary movement is aware that China has its imperialist self-interest in forging friendship with the Philippines. On the other hand, they also see the opportunities for positive changes in the economy and people’s livelihood which were long closed because of US domination and reliance .
China is one of the biggest capitalist countries and a burgeoning imperialist power. It was once a modern socialist country (1949-1976) before the new bourgeoisie which emerged from the bureaucracy wrested state power and destroyed the Communist Party of China and the socialist system.
China is currently confronting a capitalist crisis in finance and over production. Its inventory of surplus goods (steel, cellphones and other electronic products and parts) is growing as well as uninvestible surplus capital. It seeks areas to dump its surplus goods and bigger sources of cheap labor-power and raw materials to run its so-called Factory Asia-the network of tightly linked factories in different countries that engage in semi-processing.
China has imperialist ambitions. Along with the expansion of China’s economic empire, there is also its strategic deployment of military forces in various parts of the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa. China’s geopolitical interests are increasing and its challenge to US hegemony is growing.
Duterte’s friendship with China can help the Filipino people in their struggle to break free from US control and domination and end reliance on US imperialism. But this will happen only if the Filipino people’s national democratic struggle will continue to advance and if the Duterte regime will forge with them a patriotic alliance.
Several billion dollars of investments and loans from China are bound to build factories and plantations that are geared to supply the factories and market of China. In the name of unity with the Filipino people against US imperialism, China must be called upon to allot a substantial amount of investments to support national industrialization and genuine land reform to get the local economy to stand on its own feet. The protection of the welfare of millions of people must be ensured in every infrastructure project.
The struggle for genuine land reform must be advanced vigorously. The Filipino people must challenge Duterte to smash the economic power of the big landlords who long have served as power base of US imperialism in the Philippines and are among the principal factors for the backward economy.
It is China’s plan to build large plantations for export production. This contravenes the interests of the peasant masses and the minority peoples and is destructive to the environment. This must not be allowed to become a dominant aspect in the rural economy.
Duterte must train principal attention to distributing land to peasant tillers as a means of correcting a historic injustice, and to pave the way for modernization of local agriculture geared towards the production of food and other needs for local processing.
In his earlier declaration, Duterte has been busy attracting foreign investments, in particular, investments from state-private firms of China. This corresponds with China’s plans to build infrastructure for production and transportation in accordance with its plan to reach out to the farthest corners of the world to draw in hundreds of millions of people into its wide ocean of labor-power.
The Filipino people must insist that establishing steel and other basic industries must be given priority. Duterte must insist on China that its investments in export-oriented production should have a counterpart investment or assistance to more basic industries needed by the country.
To ensure that the people are not completely disadvantaged, Duterte must ensure that such policies will have a corresponding policy of protecting national interests. It must be insisted that a portion of investments be alloted to basic industries and that there should be technology transfer. There must also be clear-cut policy for protecting the environment and the national patrimony.
The people must challenge Duterte to protect the interests of the working class against very low wages and to repudiate the policy of privatization and commercialization of public services. The Duterte regime must take immediate steps to control prices of food, medicine, fuel and other basic commodities.
If Duterte will not uphold the democratic interests of the people, Philippine ties with China will only lead to replacing the giant that dominates and plunders the country and the perpetuation of foreign monopoly capitalist plunder of the country.
If the people’s interests are not prioritized, the promised new roads, bridges, rails and ports will be for naught. The economy will be glittery outside but underdeveloped inside. There will be factories but no industrialization; there will be plantations but the people will lack food and be condemned to hunger.
It is in the geopolitical interest of China to turn the Philippines into a bastion of anti-US imperialism. This is consistent with the aspirations of the Filipino people. To forge cooperation, China must recognize and respect the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Philippines.
As a friendly overture, China must stop its exclusive claims of the fishing area around Bajo de Masinloc. It can support the clamor for demilitarization of the South China Sea and avoid taking steps that contravene other country’s claims.
China can build long-lasting friendship with the Filipino people if it will support genuine land reform and the establishment of various basic industries. This is comparable to effort of the US and Japan to support land reform and building basic industries in Taiwan (from the 1950s) and South Korea (from the 1960s) with the aim of turning these into capitalist bases in the struggle then against the promotion of anti-imperialism and socialism in China and North Korea.
US imperialism is closely watching the forging of China-Philippine friendship under Duterte. Its agents in the AFP and other state agencies are mobilizing to prepare for measures to prevent the strategic weakening of US control and influence in the Philippines.
It promoting friendship with China, Duterte must also seek to weaken US imperialist influence and control of the AFP which has been dependent on US military aid and oppose the policy of suppression against the anti-imperialist, progressive and revolutionary forces.