Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he had asked China to help in the fight against Islamic State-linked militants by sending ships to patrol southern waters plagued by raids on commercial vessels.The Philippines has a loose cannon.
Speaking to newly promoted army generals, Duterte said he had sought China's help in dangerous waters in the south to check the activities of Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim rebel group sustained by piracy and kidnap-for-ransom activities.
A surge in piracy off parts of the Philippines is forcing ship-owners to divert vessels through other waters, pushing up costs and shipping times.
Duterte said piracy in the Sulu Sea between eastern Malaysia and the southern Philippines would escalate to levels seen in Somalia, and raise insurance costs for firms and increase prices of consumer goods and services.
"We would be glad if they have their presence there ... just to patrol," Duterte said, adding that China could send coastguard vessels, not necessarily "gray" warships.
I have a Horace E. Scudder fable:
ONE cold night, as an Arab sat in his tent, a Camel thrust the flap of the tent aside, and looked in.Emphasis added.
"I pray thee, master," he said, "let me put my head within the tent, for it is cold without."
"By all means, and welcome," said the Arab; and the Camel stretched his head into the tent.
"If I might but warm my neck, also," he said, presently.
"Put your neck inside," said the Arab. Soon the Camel, who had been turning his head from side to side, said again:—
"It will take but little more room if I put my fore legs within the tent. It is difficult standing without."
"You may also put your fore legs within," said the Arab, moving a little to make room, for the tent was very small.
"May I not stand wholly within?" asked the Camel, finally. "I keep the tent open by standing as I do."
"Yes, yes," said the Arab. "I will have pity on you as well as on myself. Come wholly inside."
So the Camel came forward and crowded into the tent. But the tent was too small for both.
"I think," said the Camel, "that there is not room for both of us here. It will be best for you to stand outside, as you are the smaller; there will then be room enough for me."
And with that he pushed the Arab a little, who made haste to get outside the tent.
It is a wise rule to resist the beginnings of evil.