by Fred Lobo
President Duterte has announced that he will pursue stronger relations with China and Russia, mainly on economic and anti-terrorism fronts, but clarified that the US-PH Defense treaty remains in effect.
DU30 redefines foreign policy.
The President said that when it comes to cooperation on economy and anti-terrorism, he is free to seek help from China, Russia, and other countries.
Freedom to forge cooperation and seek assistance rest with me, he said.
But Duterte clarified that he can’t just overlook the existing Mutual Defense Treaty between the Philippines and the United States, so he opted to seek the help of China and Russia in terms of the economy and countering terrorism.
DU30 opts for Solomonic wisdom.
The President said his moves should not be taken as forming military alliances with China and Russia since that would be a violation of the US-PH defense treaty.
“I never suggested anything about alliances. But I told China [that] we can do joint military maneuvers,” the President added.
‘‘So I could not enter into any other military alliances. That would be a violation of the treaty,” he said.
“(But) I can always go to other nations for help and that is why I went to China and I went to Russia,” he added.
Duterte pointed out that just like China, Russia will be sending help soon to counter the terrorism in Mindanao, particularly in Marawi City, where the Islamic State-linked Maute Group lay siege last May 23.
“Expect Russia to help us in due time. China has sent it. There’ll be another shipment of arms in September,” the President said, referring to the ammunition China donated last June 28.
The President reiterated that he decided to go to Russia and China because he was getting tired of how the Philippines was being treated by its Western allies.
“Why should we form an alliance with you when you treat us like this? Like we should just follow your lead?” Duterteasked
Duterte cited how through his efforts, China recently helped again boost the local agricultural sector of the country after refusing them in the past for reasons still unclear to him.
“I knew that it was not really a matter of quality because we took care that our products are really safe for consumption,” he recalled.
Duterte said he has been vocal about improving ties with China and Russia even before taking his oath as President, adding he espoused setting aside the issue on the South China Sea for now, and likewise visited Russia and met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
DU30 tries bolder steps on the international stage for PH sake.
Citing his meeting with Duterte, Putin said “we have very many promising and interesting areas of cooperation, including on energy, transport, and infrastructure. I think we can cooperate in many different technical spheres.”
So let’s hope DU30’s new diplomatic moves bring fruition – and proves good for the nation.
The World Bank (WB) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have expressed interest in helping the country, particularly in the rehabilitation of Marawi City.
Yes to more help from our friends!