Relations are souring quickly between the Philippines and the United States, as President Rodrigo Duterte and 250 Filipino business executives head to China, a historic rival, later in October to discuss partnership prospects.
“China has repeatedly invited me. I have accepted the offer,” Duterte told reporters, announcing the visit, which is scheduled for October 19-21.
According to Reuters, Duterte’s China visit is already oversubscribed, with business and government officials all eager to discuss multi-sector economic cooperation with Beijing. There were initially supposed to be fewer industry professionals, but the number has gone up to 250, Trade Undersecretary Nora Terrado told Reuters, adding that the delegation’s unusual size is due to the fact that the meeting had only been agreed on a month ago.
Previously, Duterte dared the US to assassinate him with the CIA. Well, leaving the country and travelling to China on a widely publicized junket...does seem to provide an opportunity for any would-be ill wishers to do a nasty...either to Duterte personally...or to attempt a "regime change" while he's out of the country. It's almost if, if the US does nothing while Duterte is out of the country...is that evidence that the whole thing is a charade?
Duterte has made threats to end the use by the US of the Philippines as one big Pacific Ocean Naval Base.
Plans for joint US-Philippines patrols and naval exercises in the disputed South China Sea have been put on hold, and 107 US troops operating drones surveilling Muslim militants will also have to leave the country soon, the Philippines Defense chief said.
President Rodrigo Duterte said he wants an ongoing US-Philippine amphibious beach landing drill to be the last in his six-year presidency, with plans to halt all the 28 military exercises carried out with US forces every year.
“This year would be the last,” Duterte pledged on Friday in Davao in the southern Philippines, AP reported.
The US is referring to Duterte's style of democracy as "parochial". This is a significant clue. The use of some CIA Thimpk Tank buzz word [parochial] to diminish a recalcitrant is traditionally a sign that they will soon move on to out-and-out de-humanization--"he gasses his own citizens"-style pre removal propaganda:
Experts say the Philippines president’s plans to limit the presence of US troops will thwart Washington’s intention to beef up US forces in Southeast Asia in order to counter China.
“President Duterte’s shoot-from-the-hip style of parochial democracy is deeply troubling,” Carl Thayer, an expert on the South China Sea, told AP. “If Duterte moves to curtail US rotational military presence from bases in the Philippines, this would undermine the US ability to deter China not only in defense of Philippines sovereignty, but regional security as well.”
So, the jury is still out on what's going on in the Philippines. BUT.....when the US starts calling Duterte a "strongman" and his residence a "compound"...watch out!