Philippine forces call Beijing’s bluff in South China Sea

Philippines-controlled Thitu Island, also known as Pagasa, in the Spratly chain of islands in the disputed South China Sea. | REUTERS

 

The Philippines has begun moving military forces to the disputed Pag-asa Island in the South China Sea

(WASHINGTON, DC) Pag-asa Island is claimed by both Manila and Beijing and according to a Philippine general the pacific U.S. ally has plan to build infrastructure and lengthen the airstrip on the island.

The troops and initial supplies arrived at Pag-asa Island last week, Lt. Gen. Raul del Rosario, head of the Philippine military’s Western Command, said as quoted by AP. Continue reading

Duterte to visit China in coming weeks, in sign alliances may be shifting in East Asia

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will visit China from October 19-21. Photo: AP

 

If Beijing and Manila can work together over such issues as fishing rights in the disputed Scarborough Shoal, the Philippines’ reliance on the US could erode further, analysts say

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte travels to China this month on a visit that could redraw alliances in East Asia after his incendiary comments about the United States and active courting of Washington’s chief rivals.

The friendly relationship between the Philippines and the United States has been one of the pillars of Washington’s strategic military rebalance to Asia under US President Barack Obama. But the alliance has been under strain since Duterte came to power three months ago and chafed at US criticism of his bloody war on drugs, which has led to the killing of more than 3,100 alleged drug users and dealers by police and vigilantes.

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