Duterte’s Ingratiating Approach to China Has Been a Bust

Duterte’s Ingratiating Approach to China Has Been a Bust
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, Oct. 20, 2016 (AP photo by Ng Han Guan).

Philippine Foreign Minister Teodoro Locsin Jr. was peeved at Beijing. It was early May, and hundreds of Chinese vessels had been regularly intruding into the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea, where the Chinese government has made expansive maritime territorial claims. After lodging numerous complaints through formal diplomatic channels to no avail, Locsin took to Twitter and unleashed an expletive-filled tirade. “China, my friend, how politely can I put it?” he wrote. “Let me see… O…GET THE [F**K] OUT.” (Locsin didn’t bother with the asterisks.) It was not only Philippine officials and diplomats who were angry at […]

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