The Philippines' pivot to China


Jay L. Batongbacal




 October 12, 2016


President Rodrigo Duterte's upcoming visit to China may formally mark the swing back of the pendulum called Philippine foreign policy. In the past few months, the Philippines has steadily and unambiguously provided China with all the concessions it wants in the aftermath of the arbitration: no hype over the arbitral award, withdrawal of patrols from the EEZ, and stepping (and potentially breaking) away from the alliance with the US, as well as other allies. At the same time, after a sustained push to get the ASEAN members to begin standing up to China in the SCS and securing a massive legal victory that could be the solid basis of a united front between claimants, the Philippines has dropped the ball and withdrawn at the eleventh hour to deal bilaterally with China.