BienDong.Net

In China, Rodrigo Duterte and Philippines May ‘Pivot’ Away From U.S.

BEIJING — President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, one of America’s closest allies in Asia, has said he wants to reduce American military influence in his country and build closer ties with China.

But he has stopped short of offering to do what China would like most: scrapping an accord that gives the United States access to five military bases in the Philippines. [READ MORE]

Political scientist Richard Javad Heydarian on Rodrigo Duterte, US-bashing, and the South China Sea

Four years ago, China seized the Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines in an act of aggression that provoked protests by Filipinos in cities around the world. A large coral atoll with a reef-rimmed lagoon, Scarborough Shoal lies about 120 nautical miles (222 km, 138 miles) from the Philippine coast.

China could create a “strategic triangle” for controlling the South China Sea by building an artificial island and military base there, and the Philippine’s new president, Rodrigo Duterte, seems willing to essentially let China have it (formally giving Beijing sovereignty could be grounds for his impeachment). [READ MORE]

Duterte's China visit could move regional goalposts

When Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Oct. 19, the two men will have the chance to reshape the future politics of Southeast Asia.

If China plays its cards right it could disable the US-Philippines alliance, fracture what is left of unity among the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and knock down another domino in its quest for regional hegemony. [READ MORE]

A Vietnam ‘Base’ for Russia?

Last week, a senior Russian defense official made headlines when he was reported as indicating that Moscow was considering plans to reopen key bases it had during the Cold War, including in Vietnam and Cuba.

In the early 2000s, Russia had scaled back its military presence globally, eventually closing bases at the Lourdes signal intelligence station in Cuba and Vietnam’s Cam Ranh Bay naval base, a deep-water harbor in central Vietnam along the South China Sea. [READ MORE]

THE EU, THE SOUTH CHINA SEA, AND CHINA’S SUCCESSFUL WEDGE STRATEGY

China’s economic statecraft has softened the resolve of some EU member-states and groomed them to advocate Beijing’s position on the South China Sea.

The slow erosion of Europe’s values as well as inability to come together and speak with one voice on rule of law contributes to the unraveling fabric of global governance. Beijing’s successful wedge strategy in Europe is the ultimate win without fighting.[READ MORE]

Xi Jinping: Where Does the Power Come From?

The first until 1978, broadly covering the Maoist era, saw mass campaigns, Utopian visions guiding social development, and an ideology based on class struggle.

After 1978, in the reform and opening up era, the focus shifted dramatically to making economic development and material improvements through marketization, privatization, and opening to the outside world. [READ MORE]

The Philippines Is About to Give Up the South China Sea to China

Next week Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte, who took power in late June, will make his first state visit to China.

Of course he’s hoping for a bonanza of loans and trade deals. What he’s not expecting or demanding: the return of Scarborough Shoal, which China seized from the Philippines in 2012, sparking demonstrations by Filipinos around the world. [READ MORE]

Hanoi Sinks Russia's Plans for Vietnamese Naval Base

The Vietnamese Foreign Ministry stated Thursday that it would not allow foreign countries to set up military bases on its territory.

The announcement was perceived as a response to Russian Deputy Defense Minister Nikolai Pankov, who said last week that Russia was considering reopening bases in Vietnam and Cuba. [READ MORE]

South China Sea Disputes Are On Duterte's China Agenda Ahead of Visit, But to What Ends?

Speaking on Monday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte told an audience of local government officials that the country should not “dwell on Scarborough Shoal.”

According to a translation of his Tagalog remarks posted by Rappler, Duterte said the Philippines should not dwell “because we don’t have the capabilities.” “Even if we express anger, it will just amount to nothing. We can’t back it up,” Duterte added. [READ MORE]

Behind Duterte’s Bluster, a Philippine Shift Away From the U.S.

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to expel American troops from the Philippines, accused the C.I.A. of plotting to kill him and insulted President Obama with an obscenity.

But beyond the blasts of hyperbole — he recently compared himself to Hitler — lies a real and potentially historic shift in Philippines foreign policy. [READ MORE]

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