Philippines Leadership Sure Closer Ties with China, Russia to Benefit Philippines

President Rodrigo Duterte poses with Chinese sailors during a tour of the Chinese warship Chang Chun docked at the Sasa Port in Davao City. File photo
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MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Wednesday defended President Rodrigo Duterte’s efforts to seek closer ties with China and Russia following the release of a poll showing that majority of Filipinos distrust the two countries.

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Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said renewed ties with China and Russia would “provide a healthy opportunity to appreciate and understand these two countries.”
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“As the president charts an independent foreign policy, the public needs a deeper understanding of the need for expanding our diplomatic horizons,” Abella said in a statement.
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“Our enhanced relations with China and Russia will bolster our international relations and give us more room to grow, expand, and become more rooted as we get to know ourselves better as a nation in a community of nations,” he added.
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A Pulse Asia survey conducted in March showed that 63 percent of Filipinos distrust China, which is embroiled in a maritime dispute with the Philippines over some areas in the South China Sea. Only 37 percent of the respondents trust China, the lowest among the eight countries and organizations covered in the nationwide survey.
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More than half of respondents or 56 percent also distrust Russia while only 42 percent trust the European country.
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President Duterte is seeking stronger relations with China and Russia and has announced his “separation” from the US to pursue what he described as an “independent foreign policy.”
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To boost ties with China, Duterte announced that he is willing to temporarily set aside an international tribunal ruling that favored the Philippines and voided China’s maritime dispute in the South China Sea.
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He also claimed that Russia was willing to provide military equipment that the Philippines can use to curb terrorism.
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Uneasy ties with US

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While the Philippines’ diplomatic ties with China and Russia are improving, its relationship with the US, its traditional ally, has been uneasy because of differences over Duterte’s war on illegal drugs.
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The US, under then President Barack Obama, called out Duterte for the spate of killings related to his clampdown on narcotics and has urged him to investigate the summary executions of suspected drug offenders.
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Duterte responded by accusing the US of interfering with a sovereign country and by enumerating its supposed atrocities during its invasion of Iraq in 2003, the Vietnam War and the Philippine-American War.
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Despite Duterte’s tirades against the US, the Pulse Asia survey showed that the superpower continues to be trusted by majority of Filipinos, enjoying a 79 percent trust rating.
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The United Nations, which was repeatedly badmouthed by Duterte for expressing concern over the killings linked to his crackdown on narcotics, got a trust rating of 82 percent.
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  (The authors say, China prefers places with lots of poverty and corruption and not too much interest in rule of law or human rights…)

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On July 12, 2016 a ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague said China’s nine-dash line claim (shown above) was invalid and not recognized in international law.

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One Response to “Philippines Leadership Sure Closer Ties with China, Russia to Benefit Philippines”

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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