Duterte cosying up to the Chinese flag and, even more, loving China's cash. (Photo courtesy Kami)
Duterte is unscrupulous in openly courting cash from countries to fill his coffers. This is Duterte's Aid Auction. From his visit to China Duterte stands to score US$22.5 Billion. Can the US or Japan counter with higher bids?
Duterte is talking of a visit to Putin's Russia, perhaps soon. Will Putin try to buy Duterte as well?
Thee following paragraphs are excerpts from the Los Angeles Times, October 20-21, 2016 http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-philippines-us-20161020-snap-story.html
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced [October 20, 2016] that he was “separating” from the United States and embracing China as the new best friend of the Philippines.
During the visit, China and the Philippines are signing agreements for US$13.5 billion in trade deals. The Philippines also said China had committed itself to US$9 billion in low-interest loans. And the Philippines offered to open negotiations with China over disputed fishing waters in the South China Sea, a surprising change of policy given that an international tribunal in the Hague had ruled in July against China’s claim of historic rights to the waters.
[Duterte said] “I’ve realigned myself in your ideological flow and maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world — China, Philippines and Russia,’’ he said. And as an added slap, Duterte mimicked an American accent and said: “Americans are loud, sometimes rowdy. Their larynx is not adjusted to civility.’’
At least for now, Duterte made no reference to cancelling the mutual defense treaty with the United States, which dates back to 1951. The previous U.S.-friendly administration of Benigno S. Aquino III had agreed to allow the United States stepped-up access to Philippine military bases, and that agreement apparently remains in effect.
Duterte’s announcement is a blow to the Obama administration’s much-heralded “pivot” to Asia. U.S. diplomats had previously pointed to warmer relations with Manila — and tensions between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea — as evidence that the policy was succeeding.
…other countries in the region — presumably Japan and South Korea are similarly "confused" by Duterte's outbursts and "where this is going ... what it portends." See WHOLE LA TIMES ARTICLE.
BACKGROUND: CHINESE AND US MONEY TO THE PHILIPPINES
Reuters, October 11, 2016 reported http://www.reuters.com/article/us-philippines-china-usa-factbox-idUSKCN12C06W
Following are some details of the Philippines' two main bilateral relationships [with China and the US]:
- In 2015, Philippine exports to China were $6.4 billion, to the United States $8.8 billion.
- In the same year, Philippine imports from China were $10.83 billion, from the United States $7.21 billion.
- China had provided the Philippines $115.33 million in official development loans and $5.7 million as grants as of December 2014. The United States has provided $1.15 billion in grants to the Philippines as of June 2015.
- About 250,000 Filipinos lived in China, Hong Kong and Macau as of December 2015. About 6 million Filipinos live in the United States.
- About 454,000 American tourists visited the Philippines in the first half of this year. About 400,000 visited from China, Hong Kong and Macau.
- Filipinos in the United States remitted $8 billion in 2015. The figure from Filipinos in China, Hong Kong and Macao was just over $1 billion.
- Washington has designated the Philippines, a former colony, as a major non-NATO ally. The two countries signed a mutual defense treaty in 1951. While the United States closed its bases in the Philippines in 1992, the two countries have signed a deal allowing increased U.S. military presence on a rotational basis and storage of supplies and equipment for maritime security and humanitarian missions.
- Manila will receive about $120 million in U.S. military aid this year, the largest sum since 2000 when the American military returned to the Philippines for training and exercises after an eight-year hiatus.