October 27, 2018

Time for a 21st century PH-US alliance

By Patrick M. Cronin and Richard Heydarian

Of all the alliances in the Asia-Pacific today, there is none more underappreciated than that of the Philippines and the United States. And there is no line that better captures the essence of this century-old alliance than Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr’s immortal refrain: “The more it changes, the more it’s the same thing.”

Over the past two years, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly threatened to downgrade, if not sever, bilateral strategic relations with the United States. This was partly driven by disagreements over human rights issues, especially in light of his scorched-earth drug war, which has alienated Western partners and put into question the Philippines’ democratic credentials.

Yet, Mr. Duterte’s fast and furious call for an “independent” foreign policy was also driven by a legitimate desire to diversify Manila’s foreign relations and, accordingly, reduce its historical dependence on Washington. Seeking rapprochement with China, the Philippines’ most powerful neighbor, formed the core of Mr. Duterte’s new foreign policy approach.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump’s perceived unilateralism, unleashing trade wars against both foes and friends and occasionally questioning the value of traditional alliances in the region, has raised concerns over Washington’s commitment to upholding the liberal order in Asia.

Read the full article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

  • Commentary
    • EUobserver
    • May 29, 2020
    China's post-Covid 19 'techno-nationalist' industrial policy

    While Covid-19 brings China one step closer to technology-perfected authoritarianism through improvised health apps and real-time surveillance, Europe is busy looking inward. ...

    By Rebecca Arcesati & Martijn Rasser

  • Commentary
    • National Endowment for Democracy
    • May 26, 2020
    Converging Chinese and Russian Disinformation Compounds Threat to Democracy

    In recent weeks the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) propaganda and disinformation blitz around COVID-19 has drawn increasing attention, and with good reason. In addition to pr...

    By Andrea Kendall-Taylor & David Shullman

  • Video
    • May 20, 2020
    U.S.-China relations are in a free fall, says expert

    Former State Department official Anja Manuel joins Morning Joe to discuss why she says U.S.-China relations are in a free fall. Watch the full conversation on MSNBC....

    By Anja Manuel

  • Commentary
    • Foreign Policy
    • May 13, 2020
    The United States Can’t Afford to Turn Away Chinese Talent

    Intellectual property theft is a real concern, and China has been the world’s foremost infringer. But a blanket exclusion of Chinese students from U.S. academic and scien...

    By Elsa B. Kania & Lindsay Gorman

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia