Is Duterte serving China’s interest or PH’s?
President Duterte’s position on the Philippines’ maritime dispute with Beijing will destroy chances of stopping assertive China’s creeping usurpation of the Philippine claim to the West Philippine Sea.
In its confrontation with Beijing, the Philippines needs extensive international support to secure its future and long-term interests. Unnecessary “ego clashes” with powerful nations will only marginalize the Philippines.
No one is above a country’s national interest, not even its highest official. Taking the nation on a dangerous path to satisfy one’s ego and polish up one’s personal charisma can only push the Philippines to global isolation.
If the President continues with his immature behavior in dealing with other nations, the golden advantage the Philippines won at The Hague from an international arbitral tribunal will go down the drain. Without the support of the United States and the western democracies, Philippines will not be able to resist Chinese aggression, and this will only embolden China to rob the Philippines of its claim to the resource-rich West Philippine Sea.
One wonders whether the current President has the long-term interest of the Philippines in mind or he is working to secure China’s interest instead of the Philippines’.
—SAIKAT KUMAR BASU, Lethbridge AB Canada T1J 4B3
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