Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte met with President Xi Jinping in Beijing, China in April 2019.
Kenzaburo Oe | Kyodo News | Getty Images
More than five years later, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s Beijing-friendly attitude has not been able to curb China’s invasion of the South China Sea during the conflict, according to political and risk analysts.
Held by the Philippines General election to vote for the new president in May As Duterte’s six-year term ends. Duterte has sought a close relationship with Beijing He declared he was pleased to set aside his territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea.
Neighboring countries in Southeast Asia, including China and the Philippines, have been involved in territorial disputes in the South China Sea for decades.
China claims almost the entire waterway.In recent years, China has built artificial islands in the sea, and Chinese fishing fleets have Maritime militia A swarming area that is internationally recognized as belonging to another country.
“The most favorable scenario for the Philippines is to change the mindset of the leaders elected in May 2022,” said Peaches Lauren Vergara, Head of Strategic Intelligence for research and advisory firm Amador Research Services.
Vergara writes that the next president of the Philippines should move away from “the attitude of the losers as shown by current leaders” and challenge China’s claims more firmly. December report published by the Institute for Policy Studies of the Asian Association.
CNBC has contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines and the Chinese embassies in Singapore and the Philippines for comment on the report. No one has replied at the time of publication.
With only a few months left for President Duterte, China’s promised infrastructure investment in the Philippines has fallen short of expectations, but tensions between Manila and Beijing are rising again in the South China Sea. December report by the Think Tank International Crisis Group.
“Many Filipinos are increasingly skeptical of reconciliation with China when it comes to abandoning claims for various controversial maritime features,” he read the report.
The South China Sea, a resource-rich waterway, accounts for about 27% of the Philippines’ total fishery production, Vergara said in a report by the Institute for Policy Studies of the Asian Association. A group of scientists reportedly warned: China’s activities in disputed waters threaten fishing..
Meanwhile, tensions with China have also hampered the Philippines’ oil exploration efforts at sea.
“This will seriously impact a country’s ability to achieve energy security as a major source of natural gas for electricity supply — Marampaya — We are nearing exhaustion. “
Some of the Duterte governments are more vocally protesting the presence of Chinese vessels in parts of the South China Sea, which is internationally recognized as belonging to the Philippines.
May, Foreign Minister Theodoro Lopecin Jr. Directed an unusually aggressive tweet in Beijing When the two countries collided over the South China Sea. Lopecin Jr. accused China of tensioning “friendship” with the Philippines.
China’s growing aggressiveness and Duterte’s “obedience” to Beijing, according to Vergara, are pushing the issues surrounding the South China Sea into the limelight in the Philippines.
Some analysts said the Filipino presidential candidate, who looks like pro-China, could face opposition from the public.
Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., son of the late Ferdinand Marcos, participates in the 2022 presidential election at the Sofitel Harbor Garden Tent in Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines on October 6, 2021. After submitting a candidate to do, speak to the media. ..
Rouelle Umali | Getty Images News | Getty Images
Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, same name) led the latest polls on presidential elections. In a December survey by independent pollster Pulse Asia, 53% of respondents chose Marcos Jr. as presidential candidate.
Compared to Duterte, Marcos Jr. will seek a “more balanced relationship” between the United States and China if he is elected, the Practical Responsibility of Risk Consultancy Eurasia Group in South and Southeast Asia. Peter Manford said in a report last month.
The South China Sea is one of the controversial issues in geopolitical competition between the United States and China.U.S. Presidential Government Joe Biden Have Called for China’s “illegal” allegations When “Bullying” at the sea..
The Philippines is in a challenging position in the contest.Southeast Asian countries Defense Treaty with the United States, China is the largest neighbor and top economic partner.
“There remains a serious question of whether the Philippines can move between China and the United States without armed conflict,” the International Crisis Group said.
“For now, Manila is well hedging, but as Beijing tries to assert its ambitions in the region and Washington retreats, the balancing act may soon become unacceptable,” he added. ..
Think tanks said the Philippines could not resolve the conflict in the South China Sea alone. Countries need to work with neighboring countries on common concerns such as fisheries management and law enforcement to manage territorial disputes.
The Philippines should also promote the finalization of a “code of conduct” to manage maritime tensions between Southeast Asian countries and China, while leaving diplomatic channels with Beijing open to reduce misunderstandings. The group said.
“Neither of these steps can resolve an increasingly established maritime dispute, but it can help keep the risk of maritime incidents escalating towards a dispute low.”
Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte’s Chinese point has not eased tensions in the South China Sea
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