Está en la página 1de 2

1/19/2017

[FNPFPORIGINAL]DutertesAllianceandStrategicPartnershipDiplomacy|ForgingaNewPhilippineForeignPolicy

[FNPFPORIGINAL]DutertesAlliance
andStrategicPartnershipDiplomacy
Author:MicoGalang
Date:Thursday,December1,2016
Intherealmofforeignpolicy,theDuterteadministrationhaspursuedwhathasbeentermedbythemedia
(http://edition.cnn.com/2016/10/20/asia/chinaphilippinesdutertevisit/)asthepivottoChina(http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/10/25/dutertechina
manilabeijingchainreactionusalliespivottochina/)policy,i.e.pursuingcloserelationswithBeijingdespiteoverlappingclaimsin

theSouthChinaSea(SCS)astarkcontrasttothefrostybilateraltiesunderPresidentAquino.Indeed,shortlyafter
Manilareceivedafavorablerulingfromanarbitraltribunal,DutertemadeanofficialstatevisittoChinawherehewas
warmlyreceivedandwhereheforgedvariouseconomicdeals(http://business.inquirer.net/217269/itemizedlistphprojectscovered
chinas15binvestmentpledgesduterte)withBeijing.

SomeanalystsviewDutertesmovesasbandwagoningwithChina (http://nationalinterest.org/feature/whatarethephilippines
malaysiadoingwhenitcomeschina18298)anobservationreinforcedwhenManilaannounceditsseparation(http://news.abs
cbn.com/news/10/21/16/watchdutertespeechannouncingseparationwithus)fromtheUS,whichDuterteclarified
(http://cnnphilippines.com/news/2016/10/22/rodrigoduterteclarificationseparationofforeignpolicy.html)laterasseparatingfromtheeconomic

andmilitarypoliciesofWashingtonintheregion.DutertesChinainitiativehasraisedconcernsinsomequartersthat
ManilaispursuingcloserelationswithBeijingattheexpenseofitsalliesandpartners.AsformertopdiplomatAlbert
delRosariocandidlyargued (http://globalnation.inquirer.net/147547/perspectivesonaprincipledforeignpolicyforph):aclosealliance,or
valuedpartnersandfriends,aresuddenlycastasidetofavoranotherstate.
IstheDuterteadministrationreallyjoiningChinasbandwagon?IsthenewPhilippinegovernmentcastingasideits
treatyallyandpartnersinfavorofChina?
IfonewouldjudgeDutertebasedonhisrhetoricalone,thenonecanarriveatsuchaconclusion.However,thepolicy
actionsoftheDuterteadministrationtellanotherstory.Earlyinhispresidency,DutertereaffirmedthePhilippines
strategicpartnershipwithtwokeycountriesintheregion:VietnamandJapan.VisitingVietnam,Duterteandhis
counterpart,TranDaiQuang,reiteratedtheircommitmentinpromotingpeace,security,stability,safetyandfreedomof
navigationandoverflight,aswellasunimpededcommerceintheregionparticularlythe[SCS].Moreover,theyalso
agreedtostrengthenmaritimecooperationinordertosolveunexpectedencountersatsea,aswellasemphasizedthe
needtoidentifynewareasofdefensecooperationbetweenthetwocountries.
VisitingTokyo,DuterteandPrimeMinisterShinzoAbeunderscored (http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/10/27/1637860/fulltext
jointstatementphilippinesandjapan)theneedtoensuremaritimesafetyandsecuritywhicharevitalelementsforthepeace,

stabilityandcontinuedprosperityofthePhilippinesandJapan.Previously,theDuterteadministrationwelcomed
TokyoscommitmenttoManilasmaritimesecuritycapacitybuildinginitiatives,asmanifestedinthetransferoftheBRP
Tubbataha (http://www.rappler.com/nation/141218coastguardphilippinesrescueshipjapan)fundedbytheJapanInternational
CooperationAgencytothePhilippineCoastGuard(PCG).DuringDutertesvisit,JapanandthePhilippinesreached
(http://www.rappler.com/nation/150606listdealsdutertejapanvisit)twokeyagreementsthatwouldenhancethelatterscapabilities:

furtherimprovementofthePCG,andthetransferoftheJapanMaritimeSelfDefenseForcestrainingaircraftTC90s.
Moreover,Duterteannounced (http://www.rappler.com/nation/150521philippinespresidentduterteopenjointmaritimeexercisesjapan)thathe
isopentothepossibilityofaPhilippinesJapanjointpatrolintheSCS.
VietnamandJapanaretwokeystatesintheregionthatwouldplaymajorrolesinmaintainingastablebalanceof
powerintheAsiaPacific.AlongwiththeirsharedhistoryofhostilerelationswithBeijing,HanoiandTokyo,whichare
bothcloselyworkingwithWashingtononsecurityissues,havemanifestedtheirconcernoverthestrategicimplications
ofChinasrisethroughthedevelopmentoftheirdefensecapabilitiesandenhancedregionalsecurityengagements.
Clearly,bystrengtheningtieswithJapanandVietnam,DuterteisnotreallyjumpingonBeijingsbandwagonandthis
isalsoverymuchevidentinManilasrelationswithWashingtonunderthenewPhilippinegovernment.Notwithstanding
histoughtalkofseparationfromWashington,Dutertehasnotinitiatedmovestodismantlethefoundationsofthe
PhilippineUSsecurityrelations:the1951MutualDefenseTreaty(MDT),andthe1997VisitingForcesAgreement
(VFA).Infact,despitehistalkthatthe2016PhilippineBalikatanExerciseswouldbethelastunderhisterm,Duterte
approved (http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/11/08/1641689/edcabalikatancontinuedndchief)therecommendationofDefense
SecretaryDelfinLorenzanatoproceedwiththesucceedingBalikatanExercises,albeitwithsomemodifications.More
importantly,despiteDutertesannouncementthatheintendstoexpelforeigntroopsinthePhilippineswithintwoyears,
MalacaangauthorizedtheimplementationoftheEnhancedDefenseCooperationAgreement(EDCA),which,among
others,wouldallowincreasedrotationalpresenceofUSforcesinthecountry.

http://philippinesintheworld.org/?q=node/3299

1/2

1/19/2017

[FNPFPORIGINAL]DutertesAllianceandStrategicPartnershipDiplomacy|ForgingaNewPhilippineForeignPolicy

Fromthisbroaderperspective,Dutertesforeignpolicyinitiativesstronglyindicatethathisadministrationisnottotally
aligningwithChina.Instead,Dutertesallianceandstrategicpartnershipdiplomacyappearstobepartofalarger
hedgingstrategy(http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10670564.2015.1132714?journalCode=cjcc20),throughwhichManilacan
harnessmaximumbenefitsfrombothpowers,whileatthesametimepreparecontingencyoptions.
Itmustbenoted,however,thatDutertesrhetorichasproducedsomedegreeofuncertaintyforthePhilippinesUS
alliance.Intheshortterm,theelectionofDonaldTrumpasUSPresidentmayprovideanopportunitytoenhance
PhilippineUSrelationsasentimentwhichDuterteexpressedwhenhecongratulatedTrumponthelattersvictory.
MicoA.GalangisagraduatestudentattheUniversityofthePhilippinesDiliman(UPD),whereheispursuingaMaster
inInternationalStudies.Theviewsexpressedaretheauthorsaloneanddonotnecessarilyreflecttheofficialposition
ofanyorganizationheisaffiliatedwith.

http://philippinesintheworld.org/?q=node/3299

2/2