It seems the Chinese aren’t really a nice bunch of people. After a Chinese fishing vessel allegedly ramming and sank a Filipino boat, it left its crew of 22 to a possible death at sea. Neither the Chinese government nor Malacanang have made official statements on the matter beyond a statement issued by the Philippines’ Secretary of Defense Delfin Lorenzana who described what happened as “not the expected action from a responsible and friendly people.”
This leaves a lot of people in a difficult situation. With a growing resident population of Chinese nationals in the Philippines, possible racial tensions could start to simmer. It also does not help that the government of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has cultivated a cozy relationship with China and has been viciously criticised for it by the Opposition.
There is a big lesson to be learnt here and it is that the Philippines needs to be more independent and self-directed in its conduct among its global peers. It is quite evident that there is a lack of healthy two-way respect between China and the Philippines. A relationship with no mutual respect is one that is doomed and may be potentially damaging if not rectified.