Duterte's Most Recent Move In South China Sea Will Strain China-Philippine Relations Again


Ralph Jennings




 December 7, 2016


China and the Philippines have warmed to each other since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in Manila. In October the president of five months visited Beijing where China pledged $24 billion in aid and both agreed later to discuss how they might work together on a sticky maritime dispute. That dispute, over control of a resource-rich South China Sea tract, had pushed relations to a brink between 2012 through mid-2016. Duterte’s predecessor took China to the world arbitration court, which ruled in July against the Beijing basis for claiming nearly the whole 3.5 million-square-km (1.4 million-square-mile) South China Sea including parts overlapping Manila’s standard 370-km (200 nautical-mile) exclusive economic zone.