Can American statecraft sway Manila’s support for China?
Richard Javad Heydarian
“We cannot stop China from doing its thing. Even the Americans were not able to stop them,” remarked Philippine resident Rodrigo Duterte in response to reports that China could soon move ahead with building facilities on the hotly contested Scarborough Shoal. His comments provoked a firestorm, with leading political figures and intellectuals calling for the president to refrain from such blatantly defeatist pronouncements, while others threatened impeachment against Duterte.