WikiLeaks: China might pressure PHL on US ties

A confidential cable from the United States (US) Embassy in Beijing in 2009 cautioned that China might put “economic pressure” on the Philippines in the next three decades to rethink its ties with the US, according to WikiLeaks.

This is the latest revelation from over 250,000 secret US State Department documents recently released to the public by controversial website WikiLeaks.

In January 2009, on the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the US and the People’s Republic of China, US ambassador to China Clark T. Randt sent a confidential cable message to Washington.

“Just as no one in 1979 would have predicted that China would become the United States’ most important relationship in thirty years, no one today can predict with certainty where our relations with Beijing will be thirty years hence,” Randt said in the cable.

The confidential cable, disclosed by WikiLeaks on December 4, provided an in-depth, forward-looking assessment of US-China relations.

The message particularly expressed concern that China might exert “economic pressure” on the Philippines in an effort to gain support against Japan’s rising military strength in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as the US’ own military initiatives.

“Perceived threats to China’s security posed by Japan’s participation in missile defense or by future high-tech U.S. military technologies might cause tomorrow’s Chinese leaders to change their assessment and to exert economic pressures on U.S. allies like Thailand or the Philippines to choose between Beijing and Washington,” the cable said.

250,000 US documents

Over 250,000 US State Department documents were leaked to the public on November 29, including 1,796 diplomatic cables from the US Embassy in Manila, revealing the hidden back story of America’s diplomatic relations with the rest of the world.

The classified diplomatic cables is being released in batches by online whistle-blower WikiLeaks.

Several news outlets around the world, including the New York Times and the London-based Guardian, have access to the cable messages of the US State Department and have prepared their own databases.

Based on the media databases and WikiLeaks’ own database, GMANews.TV compiled the available data so far about US Embassy-Manila cables, such as: classification, most frequently mentioned topics, dates of memos, and others.

From the cable messages from the US Embassy in Manila:
# 982 were unclassified;
# 749 were “confidential,” and
# 65 were tagged as “secret” messages.

WikiLeaks founder Assange arrested in UK

Meanwhile, an AP report said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, surrendered to British police on December 7, as part of a Swedish sex-crimes investigation.

Assange’s arrest was the latest blow to the secret-spilling website that faces legal, financial and security challenges.

Assange has been hiding out at an undisclosed location in Britain since WikiLeaks began publishing hundreds of US diplomatic cables on the Internet last week.

Assange defends website in editorial

In an editorial published in an Australian newspaper Wednesday, a day after he was arrested in London in a sex-crimes investigation, Assange denied that the site’s publication of classified information has endangered lives.

According to an AP report, Assange wrote in the editorial, published by The Australian, “WikiLeaks has a four-year publishing history. During that time we have changed whole governments, but not a single person, as far as anyone is aware, has been harmed.”

“But the US, with Australian government connivance, has killed thousands in the past few months alone,” Assange said.

He wrote that democracies require strong media to keep governments honest and that WikiLeaks helps fulfill that role. “WikiLeaks has revealed some hard truths about the Iraq and Afghan wars, and broken stories about corporate corruption.”

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