Philippines, new partnership with the USA. The “American factor” to put pressure on China

The United States intend to strengthen relations with Philippines and remove them from the sights of Beijing. This is the most significant message that emerged from the meeting a Manila between the US vice president Kamala Harris and the Philippine head of state Ferdinand Marcos Junior. The two discussed the 21 new projects, some of which will consist of the construction of military sites, which Washington intends to finance in Philippines and that they are part of theEnhanced Cooperation Agreement. The Agreement, which allows a Washington to exploit these installations for the training of the Philippine army and for security reasons, is not the only link between the parties. The Philippines they United States they signed, in 1951, a treaty of mutual defense which requires each party to defend the other if it is attacked by another state.

The relationships between Manila And Washington have gone through a difficult phase during the six years of the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte. The former Head of State, elected in 2016, had threatened to break off relations with the United Statesto expel them Armed forces from the national territory and to repeal the defense pact with the United States to cultivate closer ties with China And Russia. Duterte, during his tenure, had visited five times in China and twice in Russia but he had promised never to set foot in them United States, who had expressed criticism of his violent anti-drug campaign. Non-governmental organizations how Human Rights Watch reported that the multi-year operation resulted in the deaths of at least 12,000 people, 2,555 of whom were killed extrajudicially by the security forces.

Ferdinand Marcos Jrelected with 58 per cent of the votes in the consultations held on 9 May 2022, decided to lay the foundations of a solid relationship with Washington. In the meeting with the American President Joe Bidenon the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly, stated that “the United States are considered partners, friends and allies” and that “le Philippines look forward to the continuation of the partnership and the maintenance of peace in the region”. According to Rommel Banlaoi, head of the Philippjne Society for Intelligence and Security Studies, Marcos Junior could try to exploit the United States as an instrument of pressure against Beijing. The economic relations between China And Philippinesthanks to the action of Duterteare excellent but there are points of friction on the freedom of navigation of the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea.

The Philippines they said they will send a protest note to China after the incident in the South China Sea. Here a ship of the Beijing Coast Guard would have used strong manners to steal from a vessel of Manila the wreckage of a rocket. This was reported by the Philippine President while the Chinawith a note of Foreign Ministry, rejected all responsibility and claimed to have taken possession of the wreck following a “friendly negotiation”. According to the Vice Admiral Albert Carlosof the Manila Navy Western Command, the Chinese Coast Guard allegedly “forcibly seized” the cargo by cutting a tow cable from the Philippine ship. The South China Sea is a warm front, of which Beijing claims near-exclusive control.

The Professor Francis SisciAssociate at the Institute of European Studies at the People’s University of China, scientific advisor of Limes and former director of the Italian cultural institute in Beijing, al explains that on the relationship between China And Philippines “it seems we can move towards continuity in bilateral relations with respect to the era Duterte” even if “we are in a moment of transition which, by its nature, is delicate and it will be necessary to see how the episode of the patrol boat will be managed”. Sisci underlined how “Marcos gave a very important first sign of continuity by choosing the former journalist of the Cnn Jaime Flor Cruz as the new Ambassador to China”. “FlorCruz” underlines Sisci “has a deep knowledge of China and is well aware of the strategic importance of the relations between BeijingManila and Washington”.

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