By: Samual Li
Many of us probably are wondering why does the recent Filipino election matter and how could it affect the United States? The reason behind this question is because the U.S. could be drawn into a diplomatic quagmire with the Philippines and China.
The murky question is WITH WHOM would the US side?
Our current economy is closely tied with China; however, the Philippines is one of America’s oldest allies and strategically, the Philippines could play an important role on China’s dominance in the Pacific.
The new president elect is pretty outspoken and brash. Some could say he is the Donald Trump of Asia. Rodrigo Duterte is not a patient man and he has been proven to be a hardliner to criminals and anyone that steps in his way. One of his many quotes on record is,
“All of you who are into drugs, you sons of bitches, I will really kill you…”
Currently the mayor of Davao City, Duterte has sent “death squads” to stamp out crime. Over 130 children have been murdered and overall murders have gone up because of his gestapo antics.
President-elect Duterte would want to break from the norm and try and have bilateral talks with China. This could be damning because the way Asian countries have dealt with China was through multilateral talks. Asian countries know as individuals they would lose ground and by being united they could stand up against China.
China would take advantage of the Philippines in bilateral talks and ultimately their plans can be destroyed.
It is rumored that Duterte has also entertained the notion of bringing back American bases. If this is the case, this would enrage China and prompt them to take even riskier or bolder moves.
“We can’t fight a war with China because we don’t have arms, so, we’ll be forced to ask the help of the United States because that’s the only force that has the capability to fight the Chinese, but we don’t want to do that, that’s why we’re asking the Chinese not to make any trouble,”.
America has been at war for over 10 years and most Americans are simply tired of the endless war and would probably not support a potential war with China. Duterte has said if bilateral talks with China fail, they are prepared to be more aggressive. If war comes between the two nations, the Philippines may face a fully-armed and well- trained China.
The Philippines is not ready for a war with China, nor or its allies.