FIL-AM LOIDA LEWIS IS THE NEW CHINA PUBLIC ENEMY NO 1

[PHOTO -LOIDA NICOLAS-LEWIS SAYS, "First be a citizen of the world and follow the rule of law," LEWIS IS CHAIR OF US-PINOYS FOR GOOD GOVERNMENT]

MANILA, JULY 22, 2012 (INQUIRER)  By Rodel Rodis - China’s newest Public Enemy No. 1 is no longer exiled human rights activist Chen Guancheng but Loida Nicolas-Lewis, the New York-based national chair of the US Pinoys for Good Governance (USP4GG).

After Lewis held a press conference in Manila on July 14 to announce the worldwide campaign to “Boycott Made in China Products,” China’s government-controlled media fired back with a newscast calling on the Chinese people to boycott a chain of convenience stores in China believed to be owned by Lewis.

According to the English language translation of the nationwide newscast, “Chinese are not happy with one particular Filipino. The mastermind behind calling on Filipinos throughout the world to carry out large-scale anti-China demonstrations was revealed to be Filipino-American Loida Nicolas-Lewis, Chairman and CEO of TLC Beatrice (China), Limited, a Cayman company that operates retail convenience stores in four Chinese cities: Xiamen, Chengdu, Suzhou and Guangzhou. Chinese netizens were shocked by this news and urged a boycott on her businesses in China.”

Unfortunately for Lewis’ former Chinese business partners who bought out Lewis’ ownership interest in the “Beatrice” stores – at a substantial discount – several years ago, the China authorities are boycotting a wholly-owned Chinese business.

In her July 14 press conference in Manila, Lewis explained that her group’s call for the global boycott of all kinds of China-made products was a way of matching China’s diplomatic and military arrogance in claiming ownership of the Scarborough Shoal and the Kalayaan Group of Islands in the West Philippine Sea.

“The ‘Boycott Made in China Goods’ campaign will not be limited to Filipinos. This campaign will be carried out globally to encourage all the people of the world to join,” Lewis said.

Ted Laguatan, USP4GG spokesman, said in the same press conference that he expects the campaign to go viral. “We hope to achieve the level of response and outrage that was generated when the Americans found out that the US Olympic team’s uniforms for the London 2012 Olympics were made in China,” Laguatan said.

At the press conference, Lewis also announced that her US Pinoys group will initiate the Global Day of Prayer for Peace in the Scarborough Shoal on August 21, the 29th anniversary of the martyrdom of Ninoy Aquino.

On August 21, 2011, USP4GG sponsored a Day of Prayer for Peace in the Spratlys which was held in 175 cities throughout North America. “This year the global target is 300 cities,” said Charito Benipayo, coordinator of the 2011 Northern California prayer campaign that was held in 20 cities in Northern California.

Information about the August 21 Global Day of Prayer can be obtained from uspgg.org.

“Faith and prayer are the best ammunition we Filipinos have against China,” Lewis declared.

Chinese newspaper slams PH, Vietnam for running to US for help By Jerry E. Esplanada Philippine Daily Inquirer

[PHOTO -According to Liu Zongyi, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s "every topic targeted China by insinuation. It seems the US is tightening its encirclement of China. But on the other hand, we can see the weakness of the US' ‘back to Asia’ strategy."AFP]

MANILA, Philippines—One of China’s top newspapers has assailed the Philippines and Vietnam for their alleged “attempt to grab islands and waters (in the South China Sea), which don’t belong to them by riding the back of the tiger,” apparently referring to the United States.

The Beijing-based Global Times, in a July 16 report, also said Manila and Hanoi “hope to get massive military assistance from the US, which the US can’t afford to provide.”

The report, titled “Clinton’s trip highlights weak points of US return to Asia,” was written by Liu Zongyi, a research fellow of the Center for South Asia Studies at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies.

It noted that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “made a trip encircling China recently.”

“From Japan to Mongolia then to Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, Clinton mainly focused on three things: backing Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines in disputes with China over maritime territorial sovereignty, balancing China’s economic influence in Asian by enhancing trade and economic ties with Southeast Asian countries, and promoting support for democracy and human rights as the core of US Asian strategy while attacking China’s development model,” it said.

According to Liu, Clinton’s “every topic targeted China by insinuation. It seems the US is tightening its encirclement of China. But on the other hand, we can see the weakness of the US’ ‘back to Asia’ strategy.”

“The Obama administration’s strategy covers political and military fields, as well as trade and economy. But the strategy seemingly is gradually losing its edge,” said Liu.

From the military perspective, Liu pointed out “the US has enhanced its deployment in the Asia-Pacific region and interfered in territorial disputes between China and relevant countries. The South China Sea disputes and the Diaoyu Islands dispute have been intensified as the US wedges in. But the US aims at checking China by taking advantages of these disputes rather than directly confronting China. Getting involved in an armed conflict with China is the least desirable option.”

“Clinton’s Asian tour mainly focused on promoting trade and economic relations, catering to some Asian countries’ pleasure. The US hopes to block the economic integration of East Asia and compete with China for economic influence. But if the US could really shift its competition focus with China from the political and military fields to the economic field, this would benefit the regional stability and prosperity in East Asia,” the report said.

China “advocates establishing a new type of relationship between China and the US in which the overall pattern cannot be influenced by specific problems.”

“Avoiding conflicts is the first step. The Sino-US relationship should develop based on mutual respect, mutual promotion and peaceful competition,” Liu added.

Last weekend, the Global Times ran a report quoting Liu Weimin, a spokesperson of the Chinese foreign ministry, as having said Beijing opposed Manila’s plan to offer oil exploration contracts in the South China Sea (called by Philippines as the West Philippine Sea).

Liu said China “has repeatedly lodged representations with the Philippines for their bidding out oil exploration contracts in some of the blocks, which have violated China’s interests.”

“Without permission from the Chinese government, oil exploration activities by any country or any company in waters under China’s jurisdiction are illegal,” she also said.

Liu also called on the Philippines to make its due contribution to maintaining peace and stability in the disputed waters.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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