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Philippines will slowly strengthen hand against China

Friday, July 23, 2021


Duterte’s initial decision to scrap the pact was in line with his personal antipathy towards the United States, and his wish for better ties with Washington’s rival, Beijing, despite Philippine-Chinese tensions regarding the South China Sea. Separately, the Philippines and Japan held their first-ever combined air force exercise earlier this month.


  • The Philippines will strengthen defence ties with India and South Korea as well as Japan.
  • US vaccine supplies should help the Philippines speed up its COVID-19 inoculation programme.
  • Duterte will continue to encourage investment from China and downplay Beijing’s assertiveness in the South China Sea.

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