- Aaron Jed Rabena
The “Chinese Wave” that has unfolded in the Philippines comes in the form of an overwhelming increase in economic and social presence (capital, migrant workers, tourism). The Chinese Wave is a result of the Philippines’ positive economic prospects, the enabling business environment under Duterte, and the political convenience brought about by Duterte’s China policy.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an added factor for the expanded economic interaction between the Philippines and China. Contrary to the mainstream notion that China’s BRI is mainly about infrastructure, the BRI actually encompasses all facets of bilateral issue-areas (policy coordination, trade, investment, financial integration, people-to-people ties) except defense and security.
While there have been greater investments and commercial interaction between the Philippines and China, there are apparent negative economic, social, and political implications that both China and the Duterte government ought to address.