Press Release
June 14, 2011

Not boycott of products
Proper response is increased trade relations with China

Sen. Ralph G. Recto yesterday said instead of boycotting their products, the country should do the reverse by engaging China through intensified trade and investments.

"The Spratlys' question should be settled peacefully. You can't be saber rattling with China. It's our biggest trading neighbor," Recto said.

"The right response is to increase our trade and investments with China and perhaps, maybe with the right growth formula, we can get even economically years from now," he added.

Recto stressed that the country's trade with China is bigger than the United States (US) that boycotting everything "Made In China" is foolish and ill-advised.

He said if the country would be able to close its $900-million trade deficit with China, it would be scoring a "big economic victory" more meaningful than trying to sink one of their vessels.

The country imported $7 billion worth of goods from China in 2010 while shipping a little over $6 billion goods to China.

Recto likewise noted that as part of the emerging economies and touted by respected global bodies to be in the Top 25 countries with strong economies by 2025, the country should "act accordingly" and should not be "boycott happy."

"We should not only engage China diplomatically but also through business," Recto maintained.

The senator nevertheless said the country should start modernizing its armed services not to engage China or any country laying claim to Spratlys militarily, but to protect its fishermen, ships and cargoes and territorial waters.

"You still need to build the AFP not for arms race but to protect our coral reefs and fishermen," he said.

He added: "You need to do it. You have to start somewhere."

Recto stressed protecting the country's territorial sovereignty gains importance more than ever now that the disputed Reed Bank in Western Palawan has been renamed as "Recto Bank" in honor of his grandfather, nationalist Claro M. Recto.

Recto said the AFP led by the Philippine Navy should start buying modern equipment and fleet.

"We should start buying some of these equipment and I don't care if we buy them from China," he said.

Albay Governor Joey Salceda has advocated the boycott on China-made products in retaliation to China's bullying in the disputed Spratly's and in Western Palawan.

Salceda has said retaliation through trade against China's repeated intrusions in Spratlys Islands and the West Palawan Sea has become the only viable alternative to ordinary Fiilpinos since military provocation was not an option.

News Latest News Feed