The Philippines is moving farther from the United States as President Rodrigo Duterte works on more favorable relations with Russia and China. Recently, the Philippine president said that U.S. President Barack Obama can “go to hell” and that he can choose Russia and China instead to buy arms. Is the Philippines siding with the two new world powers than the West?
The Duterte administration’s “independent” foreign policy is now under the spotlight as some analysts believe it can affect or undermine the influence of the United States substantially.
The research arm of debt watcher Fitch Ratings noted that the policy should not be underestimated or belittled considering its possible implications on Washington, which has been the Philippines’ long-time ally and also a global superpower.
Philippines Chooses Russia and China over America?
“Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s apparent foreign policy shift away from the US towards China could substantially undermine Washington’s geopolitical influence in Asia at a time when tensions between Beijing and its neighbors are rising. As a result, the US and Japan will increasingly attempt to cultivate Vietnam as a regional security partner in the South China Sea,” the Inquirer quoted Fitch Group’s BMI Research.
“Duterte’s foreign policy shift to undermine US’ geopolitical influence.”
There have been signs or other incidents that could lead many to believe that the focus of the Philippine government could change. Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday told U.S. President Barack Obama to “go to hell.” He also noted that the United States is unwilling to sell the Philippines some weapons but he has no regard for it as Russia and China were willing suppliers.
“Although it may sound shit to you, it is my sacred duty to keep the integrity of this republic and the people healthy,” Reuters quoted Duterte.
“If you don’t want to sell arms, I’ll go to Russia. I sent the generals to Russia and Russia said ‘do not worry, we have everything you need, we’ll give it to you’.
“And as for China, they said ‘just come over and sign and everything will be delivered’.”