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Is Duterte’s Love Affair With China Coming to an End?

2018-08-24 09:44:34       source:Bloomberg

August 24, 2018

Is Rodrigo Duterte’s love affair with China coming to end?

The Philippine president has twice lashed out at his nation’s largest trading partner in the past week, urging China to “rethink” and “temper its behavior” in the disputed South China Sea. They mark some of the strongest statements since his dramatic 2016 pivot toward Beijing away from the U.S., a longtime military ally.

Duterte’s shift in tone came as polls showed his personal popularity slipping due in part to concerns that China’s assertiveness over disputed territory is undermining Philippine sovereignty. While the president has repeatedly touted China’s financial help as a key reason for pivoting away from the U.S. and Europe, much of the $24 billion in investments President Xi Jinping’s government had promised has yet to materialize.

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