The Xi-Duterte 'rainbow connection': Less than meets the eye

Much was at stake when Chinese President Xi Jinping embarked on a historic trip to the Philippines this week. It was the first state visit by Mr Xi to the Philippines since he came to power in 2013, and the first by a Chinese president in more than a decade. It came amid rising Sino-American tensions, on full display at the just-concluded Asean and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summits.

Both Mr Xi and his Filipino counterpart, Mr Rodrigo Duterte, had reasons to present the visit as an unequivocal success.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 24, 2018, with the headline 'The Xi-Duterte 'rainbow connection': Less than meets the eye'. Print Edition | Subscribe