As expected, the Left is cranking out its propaganda machine to capitalize on US President Donald Trump’s visit to the county for the ASEAN and East Asia summits here.
You can be sure there will be protest marches, effigy- burning, and the usual chants and slogans against US-imperialism. That’s what they have been doing for decades since the late 60’s and until today.
But while the world has been able to move on, the Left refused to recognize new realities. Take for example Vietnam, which fought US in a bloody war from 1955-1975. Like our own Left, the communist leaders of resistance against US presence in Vietnam adopted the mantra against imperialism in the war against America.
Yet, today U.S. trade statistics show that its bilateral trade with Vietnam has grown from about $220 million in 1994 to $45.1 billion in 2015, transforming Vietnam into the 13th-largest source for U.S. imports and 37th-largest destination for U.S. exports.
Besides, even Vietnam has acknowledged the strategic importance of improving its relation with the US amid Beijing’s growing aggressiveness over disputed territories in the South China Sea. At the same time, Hanoi continues to reach out to China and other Asian countries like Japan and India.
Vietnam’s pragmatic approach to promote its national interest is not dissimilar to Pres. Duterte’s foreign policy of maintaining good relations with the US and strengthening ties with other countries such as Russia and China.
That is why the Left’s expected anti-US and anti-Duterte actions during the ASEAN summit does the country a disservice as it will undermine Duterte’s position as host of the leaders’ meeting, as well as efforts to promote the country’s image in the international community.
There is wisdom in a tradition observed in Congress to refrain from any negative comments against the Chief Executive either when on official trip abroad or welcoming other world leaders to the Philippines. The Left should pay heed.
It’s simply against good manners and Filipino values for members of the family to engage in a squabble when hosting a visitor at home.