by Alan Robles
China has been busily engaged in mysterious activities in the West Philippine Sea, aka South China Sea. Dredging and filling, it's apparently turning slivers of coral barely protruding above the water into full-fledged large islands.
What could all this island bodybuilding and buffing be for? It can't possibly be to build military bases bristling with guns, missiles, planes, and hostile-type installations intended to harass air and maritime traffic - right? After all China itself assures its intentions are purely peaceful and it OF COURSE is not encroaching on other countries' territories and stealing islands. It's probably prepared to swear this on the sainted relics of Mao, assuming it can locate them.
Given Beijing's denials, we're left to speculate just what it is China is up to. Here is a list of reasonable explanations, drawn up by the best experts and analysts coffee and deadlines could fabricate at short notice.
1. It's a diplomatic initiative and they want to bring China closer to the Philippines
As in REALLY close. As in they're extending mainland China. In this scenario Filipinos, shouldn't be surprised if one day they wake up and find the West Philippine Sea totally filled in. Then Chinese diplomats will appear in public, point to the new land mass on the map and proudly announce: “South China, see?”
When that time comes Filipinos will realize the vast advantages to be gained by being able to drive straight from Manila to Beijing. Advantages such as – well, our experts are still working on that. On the part of China, this bridging of the gap will successfully move their illegal satellite dishes to a more practical range that will allow them to pick up all our latest wholesome and exciting telenovelas.
2. China's making a pirate copy of the Philippines
After all, China has pirated just about everything else: music, movies, drugs, computers, cars – why not an entire country? Stealthily, sand grain by sand grain, it is building an exact replica of the Philippines, one that will be more cooperative and will be populated by pirate Filipinos who won't have a sense of humor and won't talk too much.
A word of advice to Beijing: if this is what you're doing, don't make pirate copies of our politicians. Please.
3. China's building an awesome waterpark
Thrills and spills for the entire family! Pay admission right at the western beaches of the Philippines and get to swim in waters you previously thought were your own! Marvel at the sight of Chinese pandas, all armed with assault rifles. Enjoy the stirring sounds of the Chinese national anthem played everyday! Thrill to the sight of flaming, cartwheeling aircraft as they're blown out of the sky by missiles for trying to sneak into the theme park without permission. Possible screaming involved.
Yaya meals will probably be an option.
4. China is on drugs
Given its history of opium consumption, all we can say is we wouldn't be surprised.