By Alex P. Vidal
“It is important for people to be able to read all sides of every question; for a feeling of national unity does not come from one-sided or inadequate information, but from a sense of freedom impartially secured and of opportunity equalized by a just government.”—Jeannette Rankin
WHILE we are “obliged” or being obligated to adhere to the One China policy contained in the Joint Communique of the Philippines and China signed by the late former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. and Premier Zhou Enlai in June 1975, we can’t compel the People’s Republic of China to respect our rights and jurisdiction in the disputed West Philippine Sea and stop them from harassing our vessels.
In fact, our relationship with the People’s Republic of China has been a Punch and Judy show.
But if the People’s Republic of China wants us to explain something about a diplomatic faux pas, we tremble in our boots and immediately correct the “mistake” or “mistakes.”
If this isn’t a one-sided policy, we don’t know what is.
For instance, shortly after President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. made a gaffe when he congratulated newly elected Taiwan President Lai Ching-te, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) was forced to issue a statement “reaffirming” the principles contained in the Joint Communique of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the People’s Republic of China signed by President Ferdinand E. Marcos and Premier Zhou Enlai on June 9, 1975.
The Joint Communique states that “the two Governments agree to settle all disputes by peaceful means… without resorting to the use or threat of force.”
The Philippines has accused the People’s Republic of China of parking its navy and coast guard vessels near some artificial island. As a result, Philippine vessels cannot pass through this area.The Philippines called this a floating barrier.
Meanwhile, some of the major bilateral agreements signed between the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China over the years, were as follows: Joint Trade Agreement (1975); Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement (1978); Postal Agreement (1978); Air Services
Agreement (1979); Visiting Forces Agreement (1999); Cultural Agreement (1979); Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (1992); Agreement on Agricultural Cooperation (1999); Tax Agreement (1999); and Treaty on Mutual Judicial Assistance on Criminal Matters (2000).
On the eve of the 25th anniversary of their diplomatic relations in May 2000, the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China signed a joint statement defining the framework of bilateral relations in the 21st century.
FOUR WAYS TO LIVE LONGER, ACCORDING TO GOOD HEALTH: 1. Let the sunshine in (maintaining a positive outlook in life) 2. Do good works (volunteer in at least two organizations) 3. Say a prayer 4. Socialize selectively (The landmark MacArthur Study of Successful Aging established that people with strong social connections enjoy better health).
KEEPING OUR BRAIN YOUNG. The glut of information on the internet can seem mind-numbing, but the stimulation we get from wading through it exercises our brain, which may keep it more youthful. UCLA scientists who connected older Web surfers (all were 55 and up) to a brain-scanning MRI machine found that searching the internet, like reading a book, stimulates the brain.
ACCEPTANCE AND PEACE OF MIND. What will we do if something which is lost can’t be found, can’t be replaced and can’t be forgotten? Accept it! And live with a peace of mind!
CHUBBY HUBBY? Here’s a way to get him to slim down: Tell him overweight men are at high risk of clogged arteries–and not just heart. Because of those vascular problems, heavy men are 30 percent more likely to have erectile dysfunction.
GO FISH. Omega-3 fats are good for our heart, but they can also be a boon to our waistline. In a multi-center study involving 232 overweight volunteers on a reduced-calorie diet, researchers found that when the dieters ate a meal rich in fatty fish, they felt fuller longer than those who had eaten leaner fish, such as cod.
FOUR TRAITS MEN FIND IRRESISTIBLE. 1. Ignore him after five minutes 2. Be comfortable in your skin 3. Show off your playful side 4. Talk about what you really love (Source: Cosmopolitan)
ON THE PILL? There is no evidence that oral contraceptives impair your fertility, no matter how long you take them. (Source: Dr. Mary Jane Minkin, professor of Ob-gyne at Yale School of Medicine.)
BEST WATER FOR WEIGHT LOSS. If we’re trying to control our appetite, let’s drink fizzy water. The carbonation produces gastric distension, which can trick our tummy into thinking it’s full. Beyond sipping on bubbly, try seltzer with a dash of juice or enjoy a white wine spritzer. It’s a two-fer: It has fewer calories than a regular glass of wine, and we’ll eat less as well. Source: University of Ulster.
MEDICAL MONEY SAVER. The next time our doctor offers us a free drug sample for an ongoing condition, let’s think twice before accepting. Drug firms typically give out only more expensive brand-name drugs for samples, and in the long run, that can cost us money.
FROM EGGS TO FETUS. A fertilized egg is as small s the point of a pin. An 8-week-old fetus is about the size of a nickel.
THE SKINNY ON SUGAR DRINKS. An average child consumes 224 calories each day from guzzling sugar-sweetened beverages like soda, sports drinks, and punches, reports a Columbia University study. So, let’s take inventory of the liquid calories lurking in the fridge, and swap in calorie-free alternatives.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two daily newspapers in Iloilo.—Ed)