Following one of his numerous visits to Beijing, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said the best way for his country to handle ties with China was to "remain meek and humble", in the hopes of obtaining Chinese "mercy".
True to those words in 2018, he has consistently downplayed maritime disputes with Beijing, offered "co-ownership" of precious resources in the South China Sea, and repeatedly threatened to cut his country's century-old military alliance with the United States.
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