Having signaled for weeks his intent to wrest control of his country’s future away from the West, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte officially pivoted toward China this week, saying it’s “only China that can help us”in the effort to make the Philippines a regional player.
President Duterte, at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, began a four-day visit to China on Tuesday. As Anti-Media reported last week, over 200 Filipino business leaders are accompanying him on his trip, all “eager to talk with Chinese business leaders and government officials about deals in a range of sectors.”
In comments made to China’s state-run newspaper, Xinhua, and published Monday, Duterte affirmed this attitude, saying:
“All that I would need to do is just to talk and get a firm handshake from the officials and say that we are Filipinos and we are ready to cooperate with you, to help us in building our economy and building our country.”
Praising China’s “good, sound policies, internal and external,” Duterte said the country has earned its international standing as a world superpower.
“I would say that China deserves the kind of respect that China now enjoys,”
On that front, the president made it clear where he sees the future of the Philippines and, indeed, the entire region is headed.
Duterte also seems to recognize his role in that future and, given the proper incentive, is more than happy to play it.
“If we can have the things you have given to other countries by the way of assistance,”
“we’d also like to be a part of it and to be a part of the greater plans of China about the whole of Asia, particularly Southeast Asia.”
By: James Holbrooks