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Philippines Election Reflects China's Inroads into U.S. 'Backyard'

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

MANILA, Philippines -- Whoever wins the Philippines' upcoming presidential election on May 10, it is likely that the special ties that bind the country to the U.S. will remain largely unaffected. In Manila, however, those ties are considered a necessity, not a choice, and some perceptible changes in attitude have emerged. The shift is aided by China's inroads into what has historically been considered "the United States' backyard."

Segments of Filipino civil society have long opposed what they perceive as Washington's interference in the country's internal affairs, as well as the U.S. military's presence during lengthy training exercises. Politicians, including the major presidential candidates, have been more restrained. But there has been a trend toward a more-independent and assertive stance regarding the country's sovereignty and self-interest, and hints of frustration have bubbled to the surface. ...

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