Why is Duterte soft on China?
China is slowly eating up our territory, but President Duterte remains quiet. Many are confused as to why he is maintaining his position of quiet passivity.
I believe the problem stems from his life-long reputation of being a tough guy. He never runs away from a fight—backing down would mean loss of face. He can hurl tough words at the United States and he is sure he would not get challenged to a fight. But if he stands up to China, he would immediately be confronted, and he would have a fight that he realizes he cannot win. He would have to back down and lose face.
Hence, it is easier to flaunt his friendship with China and assert that all differences with a friend can be resolved through silent diplomacy. We can only hope that Mr. Duterte and his group will be replaced after the 2022 elections.
Rene Torres, Makati City, [email protected]
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