‘Mga propagandista ng China, desperado na’ | Balikan ang ating panayam kay retired Navy Rear Admiral Rommel Jude Ong tungkol sa China influence operations sa West Philippine Sea. CHRISTIAN ESGUERRA

China propagandists are desperate to win the anti-war narrative over the Philippines, a retired high ranking Philippine Navy official said.

In an episode of Facts First with veteran journalist Christian Esguerra, retired Rear Admiral Rommel Jude Ong said that China propagandists “have a level of experimentation and if it does not work, they will be using another message.”

“They adapt to whatever propaganda line or messaging is possible, which can resonate with the emotions of the Filipino people, our general public, to get them to engage, to be drawn into their interests,” explained Ret. Navy Ong. he said.

(“Nagaadapt sila kung anong propaganda line o anong messaging yung pwedeng ano, pwedeng mag-antig ng damdamin ng Pilipino, ng ating general public, para pumasok, para pumaloob doon sa kanilang interes”)

Referring to China’s West Philippine Sea operations, Ong said propagandists are getting desperate given that the country has been forging various partnerships with different institutions and countries, such as the strategic partnership with Australia.

Ong sees the illogical argumentation as “a sign of desperation and the fact that they’re losing the propaganda war.”

“I look at it positively,” says Ong.

China’s grand strategy

Ong explained China’s operations over the West Philippine Sea has nothing to do with its rift with the United States but more with its grand strategy which ends in 2040.

“They [China] have a grand strategy, and it has a timeframe, which is until 2040,” he said.
Part of the said grand strategy is to establish sea control over the northeast and south China seas and expand it towards the mid-Pacific.

(Meron silang [China] grand strategy na buo na, and may timeframe ‘yon, 2040”)

Ong said that the challenge for the Philippines is that its strategy or planning revolves around the 6-year planning cycle.

“So every 6 years, we start from scratch. We are readjusting based on the policies of the new administration, and we’re dealing with a state actor like China with a long-term perspective,” he said.

(So every 6 years, back to zero tayo, eh. Nagrere-adjust tayo based on yung policy ng panibagong administration, and we’re dealing with the state actor like China na long term yung pananaw niya”)

He added that China has adjusted to the Philippines’ transparent approach over the Ayungin Shoal but it does not mean that China has lost its intention to seize it. Quianna Verazel Dizon