Forging a New Philippine Foreign Policy (FNPFP) features research papers, commentaries, analyses, and updates on different Philippine foreign-policy related news, covering the country's relations with various and regions of the world.  A project by the Asian Center, it also publishes a monitor on upcoming, ongoing, or recently concluded researches, publications, and events such as lectures and conferences sponsored by various institutions. FNPFP is also part of a research program, Thematic Assessment of Philippine Foreign Relations, funded by the University of the Philippines Diliman. Scroll below to see the latest commentaries. 

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Duterte’s Alliance and Strategic Partnership Diplomacy

Written by Mico Galang on .

In the realm of foreign policy, the Duterte administration has pursued what has been termed by the media as the “pivot to China” policy, i.e. pursuing close relations with Beijing despite overlapping claims in the South China Sea (SCS)—a stark contrast to the frosty bilateral ties under President Aquino. Indeed, shortly after Manila received a favorable ruling from an arbitral tribunal, Duterte made an official state visit to China where he was warmly received and where he forged various economic deals with Beijing.

Some analysts view Duterte’s moves as bandwagoning with China—an observation reinforced when Manila announced its “separation” from the US, which Duterte clarified later as separating from the economic and military policies of Washington in the region. Duterte’s China initiative has raised concerns in some quarters that Manila is pursuing close relations with Beijing at the expense of its allies and partners. As former top diplomat Albert del Rosario candidly argued: “a close alliance, or valued partners and friends, are suddenly cast aside to favor another state.”

Is the Duterte administration really joining China’s bandwagon? Is the new Philippine government casting aside its treaty ally and partners in favor of China?