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Trump and Duterte

De Jong, Alex

Publisher:  Against the Current
Date Written:  01/11/2017
Year Published:  2017  
Resource Type:  Article

Philippines President Duterte presents himself as a nationalist who is especially opposed to the continuing strong influence of the former colonial power, the United States.



And after Donald Trump praised Duterte for his "unbelievable job on the drug problem" in a phone call in May, signaling that the U.S. government would not object to the killings, Duterte's anti-U.S. tirades lessened, although he still refused an invitation from the White House.

Duterte's "nationalist" posing serves two ends. One is that he is trying to rebalance the Philippines' relationship with the United States, and develop more friendly ties with China. Duterte signed multi-billion-dollar deals with the Chinese government that are bound to be immensely profitable for his allies.

Secondly, Duterte uses nationalist pretenses to deflect international critcism, accusing critics of hypocrisy and ignorance. The continuing weight of the pro-U.S. Philippine army, however, ensures that any real "separation" remains unlikely.

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