WATCH THIS VIDEO THE CORRESPONDENTS of ABS-CBN…..Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo sold the Spratly Islands to China?
WIKILEAKS: CHINA USED ZTE TO BUY GMA INFLUENCE; A ‘TYPICALLY’ CHINESE DEAL
MANILA, AUGUST 27, 2011 (TRIBUNE) By Michaela P. del Callar – The United States did not see as a threat the flourishing ties between the Philippines and China during the past administration of former President Gloria Arroyo but said the anomalous National Broadband Network (NBN) deal awarded to Chinese supplier ZTE was “typical of the deals that China reportedly uses worldwide to make friends and buy influence,” a 2008 U.S. Embassy cable released yesterday by online whistleblower Wikileaks stated.
Then U.S. Ambassador to Manila Kristie Kenney, in her April 28, 2008 cable labeled as “sensitive,” believes the U.S. remains a reliable ally of the Philippines despite Manila’s increasing engagement with Beijing as corruption and graft-tainted projects entered into by the two countries had cast a dark cloud over its intensifying relations.
“Strengthened Philippine-People’s Republic of China ties do not imply a weakening of our strong bonds with the Philippines,” the cable said. “Recent scandals have reawakened long-held views among Filipinos that link ethnic Chinese to corrupt practices.”
The scuttled deal between Chinese firm Zhong Xing Telecommunication Equipment Co., Ltd., or ZTE and the Arroyo administration, is an allegedly overpriced deal that was supposed to establish a nationwide telecommunications network such as broadband Internet services, video conferencing, landline, mobile phone calls and e-mail requirements for all government agencies from the national to the local level.
Arroyo, her husband Jose Miguel Arroyo and close political allies reportedly received millions of dollars worth of bribes from the Chinese firm, according to witnesses who testified before Senate hearings.
“Unlike the World Bank, the IMF, and many bilateral providers of assistance here, China does not link its aid to issues such as good governance, rule of law, or respect for human rights.”
Thus, “public skepticism and scrutiny have underlined shortcomings in China’s soft power efforts,” Kenney said. .
The U.S. and China have been at loggerheads in Asia, where they have tried to court support and expand security and economic clout. In recent years, the Philippines’ bilateral relations with China, particularly the economic aspect of its ties, increasingly became more dynamic and vibrant than the U.S. In 2008, Kenney said bilateral trade figures surged to a record high of $30.62 billion, an almost 10-fold increase from the $3.14 billion in 2000.