By: Elena Grace Flores A foreign press post a YouTube video that shows China’s use of concessional loans that leaves some countries overwhelmed by debt. Then, asks if their sovereignty is at risk when they’re unable to pay it back? The style of writing is very safe with the “question” form. It is actually not accusing the Chinese government of taking advantage but merely inquiring. The cases of countries like Sri Lanka and Malaysia are featured. However, there’s no mention about the USA that owes China at least $1.138 trillion. As safe as it may sound, this creates havoc to common readers. This is very timely for the Philippines’ plan to allow such loans for President Rodrigo Du30’s “build, build, build” project. To think that this comes out prior to the mid-term election. Do they really think that they are more clever than Filipinos?
YouTube video byElena Grace Flores
[VIDEO]: Tony Lambino corrects Carpio’s description of patrimonial assets that misleads people.
Foreign Press Inquiry
The video implies that China is pumping billions into developing countries around the world to help fund and build major infrastructure projects. President Xi Jinping flagship economic policy, the ‘One Belt One Road’, the initiative is billed as a transformative global trade network with China at its center that Beijing says will bring prosperity to developing nations. But is China’s use of concessional loans leaving some countries overwhelmed by debt – and is their sovereignty at risk when they’re unable to pay it back? it asked.
America’s Debt to China
The U.S. debt to China is $1.138 trillion as of October 2018. That’s 29 percent of the $3.9 trillion in Treasury bills, notes, and bonds held by foreign countries. The rest of the $21 trillion national debt is owned by either the American people or by the U.S. government itself.
Supreme Court (SC) Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio recently warned that the waiver indicated in the Chico River irrigation project means China can take any “patrimonial assets” in case the Philippines fails to pay off its debt. However, Finance Assistant Secretary, Antonio Lambino said that the Philippines would not lose the gas-rich Reed Bank, as it is not considered a patrimonial asset. This is based on the 2002 ruling of Carpio himself.
What are Patrimonial Assets?
Lambino throws the question back at Carpio, the most senior among the justices in terms of stay in the SC. “How does his 2002 Supreme Court decision, that he penned, relate to this case? What he wrote there is those patrimonial assets are not things that can increase the national wealth, that has a public purpose or have a public use,” Lambino said. “Wouldn’t a gas reserve increase national wealth? And that is what I would ask him, and what is his thinking about that?”
No Debt-Trap- Just Black Media Propaganda
The Philippine government is managing debt well, contrary to countries like Sri Lanka, said Lambino. Most inquiries by the opposition are just the templates of a standard loan. They fail to read or understand the clauses and fine prints that protect the interests of the Filipino people or the country in general. This kind of propaganda which is half-baked can generate false impressions that the government officials in power are corrupt. Such misleading news already strips the people of the able public servants that are for the welfare of their citizens. Take the case of Mayor Abby Binay in Makati. The corruption allegations against her family made her look hungry for power when she faces her own brother during the upcoming election. In reality, this is democracy in action. The effective criteria when voting should be the concrete public service track record. The Binays and the Marcoses have that but they are perceived as “thieves” by black media propaganda.