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  • The Malaysian Prime Minister

  • warns the Philippines

  • About bad Chinese Money

  • Is this the beginning of a new era

  • in the South China Sea?

  • This is China Uncensored.

  • I'm Chris Chappell.

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  • The Philippines.

  • One of my favorite places in Southeast Asia.

  • Mostly because of the food.

  • Last week,

  • Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad

  • made a state visit to The Philippines.

  • We also discussed on economic matters

  • the trade between both countries are increasing,

  • but they are largely in favor of Malaysia.

  • I believe there is still room for improvement

  • and from my meeting with Mr. President (Rodrigo Duterte),

  • we would encourage private sectors from both countries

  • to explore opportunities of collaboration and venture

  • in new cooperation and investments.”

  • But while Mahathir was trying to warm ties

  • between Malaysia and the Philippines,

  • he had a word of warning about another countryChina.

  • Speaking to a Filipino news network, Mahathir said,

  • If you borrow huge sums of money from China,

  • and then you cannot pay,

  • when the person is a borrower

  • he is under the control of the lender.

  • So, we have to be very careful about that.”

  • I'm sure he wasn't talking about any borrower in particular.

  • He just said, “Countries *like* the Philippines

  • should 'regulate or limit influences from China.'”

  • You know, so these borrowers don't get Sri Lanka'd.

  • See, in 2008, Sri Lanka began construction

  • of a deep water container port,

  • funded by Chinese loans.

  • Ten years later,

  • when Sri Lanka couldn't pay the loans back,

  • China forced Sri Lanka

  • to give them the port on a 99-year lease.

  • A port that could someday become an ideal naval base.

  • To be used against no country in particular.

  • How does Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir

  • know so much about the Chinese regime

  • using debt to trap other countries into making bad deals

  • that is, “debt trap diplomacy”?

  • Well, Malaysia was almost a victim of it.

  • Malaysia's previous Prime Minister

  • who was massively corrupt, by the way

  • secured $34 billion dollars worth of

  • Chinese-funded infrastructure projects.

  • Those included a Chinese state-owned company

  • buying a 40% stake

  • in a deep water shipping port near Kuantan.

  • The Communist Party does love its ports.

  • It was going to be a key part of

  • the Chinese Communist Party's Belt and Road Initiative.

  • That's a global network of trade routes

  • and infrastructure projects that China is creating,

  • and that basically drive debt trap diplomacy.

  • Or as the Chinese state-run media likes to call it,

  • win-win cooperation.

  • Because no matter what happens,

  • China wins!

  • Until Mahathir Mohamad took the 2018 election

  • in his own surprise win.

  • That happened after the massive corruption

  • of the previous Prime Minister had been exposed.

  • Corruption that the Chinese regime

  • had agreed to help him cover up,

  • in exchange for Belt and Road deals.

  • What's a few billion dollars between friends?

  • Well, a few billion dollars

  • plus illegally spying on journalists.

  • Unsurprisingly, Mahathir made Chinese infrastructure

  • projects and influence a key issue in his campaign.

  • None of our people are employed as workers.

  • None of our companies are used for designing

  • and planning and supervising, et cetera.

  • We gain nothing.”

  • And since Mahathir took office,

  • he has been negotiating or canceling

  • what he thinks are unfair Chinese infrastructure deals.

  • For example, he's renegotiated a $20 billion dollar rail link.

  • And completely scrapped Chinese-backed oil and gas pipelines.

  • That was a big hiccup in the Chinese regime's

  • plans for control of Southeast Asia.

  • And now Mahathir is encouraging

  • Philippine president Duterte to do the same.

  • Kind of like your friend warning you

  • against dating his crazy ex.

  • But how many of us actually listen to that friend?

  • Before Duterte was elected in 2016,

  • China and the Philippines had been in a standoff

  • over territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

  • But Duterte decided to set those disputes aside.

  • Instead, he focused on an ambitious 180 billion dollar project

  • he creatively calledBuild, Build, Build.”

  • But the problem was money money money.

  • And that opened the door to Chinese investment.

  • In 2016, Duterte secured $24 billion in investment,

  • credit and loan pledges

  • from Chinese President Xi Jinping's government

  • to upgrade his country's infrastructure.”

  • According to the London-based think tank Capital Economics,

  • corruption problems are a part of Chinese investments,

  • and the Philippines already has a trade imbalance

  • approaching unsustainable levels

  • meaning it imports way more than it exports.

  • And so Mahathir told Duterte, you know,

  • countries who take out big Chinese loans,

  • I'm not naming names here,

  • but maybe they should be careful.

  • Fortunately for The Philippines,

  • China has been a bit slow about making good on

  • that 24 billion dollars they pledged

  • to upgrade infrastructure.

  • And the Philippine Finance Secretary says

  • the Philippines will definitely, never ever

  • get caught in a Chinese debt trap.

  • I mean sure, it happened to Sri Lanka,

  • Pakistan, Montenegro, The Maldives,

  • Djibouti and a bunch of other countries,

  • but it will never happen to the Philippines!

  • That's true...if they don't take too much Chinese money.

  • Either way, though, there's another aspect of

  • the Chinese regime's debt trap diplomacy

  • Mahathir also warned about

  • too many Chinese workers.

  • He said, “Foreign direct investment

  • should not involve bringing huge numbers

  • of foreigners to live in the country

  • because that might disturb

  • the political equations in the country.”

  • In other words,

  • these foreigners are taking our jobs!

  • Somehow it sounds so different

  • coming out of the mouth of a 93-year-old doctor.

  • Since Duterte took office in 2016,

  • somewhere between 2 and 3 hundred thousand

  • Chinese workers have come to the Philippines.

  • The population has basically tripled.

  • Chinese nationals now get more than

  • half the working visas granted by the Philippines,

  • and the majority of special work permits.

  • And a lot of them work in online casinos.

  • Which is...a very interesting career choice.

  • Plus, a lot of Chinese workers

  • are in the Philippines illegally.

  • Recently the government has been

  • conducting mass raids.

  • And Mahathir said,

  • If huge numbers of any foreigners

  • come to live and stay in the country

  • or even to influence economy,

  • then you have to do some rethinking,

  • whether it is good or bad or the limits

  • that we have to impose on them.”

  • You know, any foreigners,

  • not from any country in particular.

  • But for China, Mahathir threw a major wrench

  • in the communist regime's plan

  • to use debt trap diplomacy in Malaysia.

  • And if he's now becoming a rallying point

  • for other southeast Asian nations

  • to abandon China's version of so-called

  • win-win cooperation,”

  • it might just become a lose-lose scenario

  • for the Chinese Communist Party.

  • Which I'm torn about,

  • because I don't believe in no-win scenarios.

  • But Mahathir didn't stop at economics.

  • He also called out China's territorial claims

  • in the South China Sea.

  • Trillions of dollars of shipping goes through it,

  • along with untapped oil and natural gas deposits.

  • China claims basically all of it.

  • Obviously that competes with claims

  • by both the Philippines and Malaysia.

  • As I've said, Duterte has mostly backed down,

  • even though the Philippines had the strongest claim

  • after a ruling from the Hague

  • rejected China's claim in favor of theirs.

  • But while Mahathir was in the Philippines,

  • he said China should define its so-called

  • ownership of the South China Sea.

  • While also saying he'd be totally fine with China's claims,

  • as long as they basically take no action on it.

  • But somehow,

  • I don't imagine the Chinese Communist Party

  • will be too agreeable about owning something

  • without controlling it.

  • They're not great at letting go.

  • Just ask Hong Kong.

  • So, what do you think of

  • Mahathir's message to the Philippines?

  • Leave your comments below.

  • And before you go,

  • now is the time I answer a question

  • from a member of the China Uncensored 50-Cent Army

  • fans who support the show with a dollar or more per episode

  • through the crowd funding website Patreon.

  • Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe asks,

  • China's working age population has already peaked

  • and is expected to fall by 23% by 2050.

  • Why did it take so long for CCP to ditch its one-child policy

  • when the long-term devastating effects it would have

  • on China's economy and ambitions as a world power

  • have been obvious for some time now?”

  • Very good question, Sir Wilfred...

  • which is definitely your actual name.

  • Well, on the surface,

  • the One Child Policy was about making sure

  • China's population didn't grow too fast.

  • But birth rates were already falling before it even started.

  • So why even have the One Child Policy?

  • Because underneath,

  • there were even more benefits to implementing

  • a policy of massive top-down control.

  • The One Child Policy gave the Party an excuse

  • to put a whole new level of monitoring into place.

  • Employers were literally required

  • to monitor women's menstruation cycles.

  • As you can imagine,

  • that level of bureaucracy created lots of jobs!

  • Plus, local officials could also make money off of

  • fining people who violated the policy.

  • Like, you didn't register with the authorities

  • before getting pregnant.

  • Doesn't matter if it's your first kid.

  • Pay up or get dragged to the forced abortion van.

  • And another benefit was controlling the masses

  • by making them control each other.

  • For example, if a woman violated the policy,

  • everyone in her factory or work group would be punished.

  • So now you have people watching and reporting on each other.

  • And local officials would also be punished

  • if their area went over their population quotas.

  • Hence, the forced abortion van.

  • Now, the examples I gave

  • didn't happen everywhere, because,

  • like a lot of the Party's top-down control,

  • it was unevenly enforced.

  • But I think you get the gist.

  • The One Child Policy was a massive intrusion

  • by the state into the fundamental level of society:

  • the family.

  • And even through it  wasn't necessary

  • for controlling population growth,

  • it was great at controlling the population.

  • So the One Child Policy makes sense...

  • in a sort of, evil authoritarian kind of way.

  • That's why

  • when they ended the One Child Policy in 2015—