The Philippines' internal battle over its China policy

Duterte's pro-Beijing leanings face resistance from various quarters, including the military

Over the past few months, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has portrayed China as his prime strategic partner. Some of his supporters in the legislature have even proposed a formal military alliance with China.

Yet, members of the Philippines' defence establishment and the broader media-intelligentsia complex are pushing back. In striking contrast to Mr Duterte's rhetoric, they have consistently portrayed China as a source of threat.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 24, 2018, with the headline 'The Philippines' internal battle over its China policy'. Print Edition | Subscribe