China is about finished building an island in the Spratlys more than 800 hectares big, a surface area as large as in 300 of the world’s largest aircraft carriers or in two Ninoy Aquino airports.
China says the island will be used with only peaceful goals.
But, it could soon be weaponized with Chinese missiles and fighter bombers to swat all of America’s 10 aircraft carriers and their full complement of up to 900 jet fighters and helicopters.
The island could host some of China’s nearly 3,000 combat aircraft of which 600 are modern, 236 missile boats/gunboats, 65 submarines of which 14 are nuclear, 90 big warships of all kinds — destroyers, frigates, corvettes — and 355 attack helicopters.
The island could also store a few of China’s 240 nuclear bombs.
A violation of Philippine sovereignty, the island could squelch all Philippine shipping, fishing and oil exploration in the area.
So, our Filipino task is clear: oust China from the Spratlys.
The best way to do it is with an Economic Plan to turn the Philippines into a global economic power overnight.
The Plan would attract foreign investors with whom the Philippines can conquer China and the world at export wars.
Then the country would be earning substantial dollar revenues to afford to import all the weapons it needs to turn back China.
The Plan would make Philippine exports double every two to three years, as achieved by South Korea and Taiwan during their peak economic boom years past, instead of every 12 years, the historical Philippine record.
As a result, Philippine merchandise exports, growing 30-fold in 10 years, would exceed $2 trillion by 2025.
That means that the country could afford to start importing weapons at the rate of $150 billion per year by 2021.
Hence, it will have acquired nearly $1 trillion worth of weapons by 2025 including these:
1. 1,000 of the best combat jets in the world from the U.S., Russia and France matching the 1,000 that China is expected to have by 2025. Import cost: $150 billion.
2. 20 nuclear attack submarines from the U.S. to fight the 14 that China now has (growing to perhaps 30 by 2025). Import cost: $60 billion.
3. 50 Soviet diesel electric submarines to counter today’s 51 Chinese subs. Import cost: $20 billion.
4. 25 Destroyers each with 90 missiles effective against air, lands, sea and subsea targets and 90 frigates and corvettes. Import cost: $50 billion.
5. 1,000 helicopters and drones — for attack, utility, medivac, civilian construction, and submarine hunter-killing, all armed to destroy Chinese destroyers and subsea ships against China’s 385 helicopters. Import cost: $40 billion, including weapons and bases.
6. 50,000 missiles as an iron dome over the Philippines to destroy attacking Chinese missiles, and also to attack Chinese land and sea targets. Import cost $150 billion.
7. All kinds of supporting equipment and systems — Aircraft Warning Systems, Satellite surveillance and attack targeting systems, patrol boats, computers, telecom, training facilities, and so on. Cost: $200 billion.
8. 50 nuclear weapons bombs purchased from the USA to counter China’s 240. Why so few for the Philippines? Because 50 would inflict enough unthinkable damage so that neither China nor the Philippines would ever use their nuclear forces. But, America cannot by international treaties sell us the weapons. The Philippines will need the U.S. as a shield deterring China’s from going nuclear against the Philippines.
Acquiring those weapons by 2025 or 2026, the Philippines will have mastered their use by 2028 and could be expelling China from the Spratlys during 2029-30.
With the above military force, we may never have to fight China to win in the Spratlys. Philippine diplomats could simply ask China to hand over the island. Perhaps it will.
Or, if not (more likely), we could blockade the island and prevent any Chinese entry to it.
If the Chinese shoot at us, we will shoot back with equal power.
The Vietnamese have thrown back Chinese intrusions in recent years, resulting in Chinese withdrawals.
We will be able to do the same to China.
As a peaceful alternative step, we could, starting in 2021, when we start our weapons purchase program, offer to purchase from China the island for more than $100 per square meter — about $1 billion in total.
They may accept.
To help China save face, we could up the offer a lot.
With the 800 hectares acquired, we could develop the land in a way highly beneficial to Philippine physicians, nurses and engineers.
The island and nearby Palawan could be turned into a medical tourism center, as well as headquarters for oil exploration companies.
The island and Palawan, the largest Philippine province with an area twice as large as all of Singapore, could, with foreign investors, be turned into a rich new Singapore!
How useful many of our helicopters, cargo planes and ships will be for the development of Palawan, Spratlys and the Philippine in general — for construction, typhoon evacuations, medical emergencies!
And imagine how technologically advanced the nation will get by maintaining the weapons and developing a globally-competitive defense industry.
The country could grow like South Korea at this.
South Korea’s new fighter jet plane, the FA50, is gaining global popularity with global combat and training capabilities like advanced light combat planes made in Russia, Italy and Sweden.
The Philippines has already contracted to spend $450 million for these planes.
With a defense industry, the Philippines could also get into rocketry, missiles, and outer space technologies.
Of course, the defense industry will also stimulate our electronics capabilities.
Working with Boeing, General Dynamics, Northrup Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and similar global defense multinationals in Russia, Japan, Italy, Germany and France, the Philippines could develop substantial military weapons exports in the future.
The Economic Plan above that would attract foreign investors, double exports every two to three years, and enable strong weapons imports, would also give rise to a much stronger general rate of Philippine economic growth than now.
With the Plan, the Philippines could often grow 15% to 20% annually, as the best performing economies of modern times have done, or two to three times as fast as the 6% to 7% during President Aquino, and 5% or less in preceding Presidencies since Carlos Garcia in the late 1950s.
So we should institute the above Economic Plan.
But, sad to say, the Plan does not now exist in the Philippines.
Neither President Aquino nor any of the 2016 Presidential prospects — Binay, Roxas, Poe, Duterte and so on — has an inkling of it.
It is not being discussed in Philippine newspapers either.
What would be the elements of that Plan?
What might Filipino-Americans do to get it instituted?
I will discuss these questions in a forthcoming article.
I invite Filipino-Americans to join with me at developing, funding and promoting in the Philippines an Economic Plan above that would turn the country into a strong economic and military power.