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US alliances with Philippines and Thailand diverge

Monday, December 5, 2022

Significance

Bangkok and Manila are Washington’s only treaty allies in South-east Asia. Thailand took offence at President Joe Biden skipping the APEC event. Washington-Manila ties have improved since Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos became Philippine president in June.

Impacts

  • Bangkok will resist pressure from Washington to push Myanmar’s military government to negotiate with its opponents.
  • Since the expansion of US-Philippine security cooperation will annoy China, Manila may struggle to advance economic relations with Beijing.
  • As US security ties with Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam grow, doubts may rise over the need for treaty alliances in the region.

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