China’s military aid to the Philippines will only increase, underlining the importance of the Asian giant as a faithful partner in the security arena.
China has transferred to the Philippines four 12-meter boats and 30 rocket launchers. Although China’s military aid is carried out in small numbers, China’s importance to the Philippines as a security partner only tends to increase. According to experts, this is a facilitated exchange since Beijing does not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.
Even before being elected as President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte carried out conciliatory gestures on several occasions in order to resolve territorial disputes between China and the Philippines. All this was heard in Beijing. With the efforts of both parties, a pragmatic basis for cooperation has been found. Diverting the attention of an old ally, the US, to improve relations between the Philippines and China has become one of the hallmarks of Duterte’s new diplomacy.
An important factor in strengthening ties with Beijing is the Philippine authorities’ serious commitment to overcoming dependence on Washington in the from the defense and security sectors.
What are the prospects for cooperation between the two countries in the field of security? In an interview, China’s International Affairs Institute expert Shen Shishun said that “after the Heads of States reached an important consensus on the South China Sea through dialogue, the countries entered a stage practice”. According to the analyst, this also encompasses military and security cooperation.
Throughout his political career, Duterte may have understood that the Asian giant is a “sincere and trustworthy partner”, Shen Shishun explained. While providing assistance, China does not impose political conditions, so the Philippine leader can naturally rely more on Beijing.
“Sino-Filipino cooperation has never been directed against third countries,” Shen Shishun emphasized.
As for relations between the Philippines and the US, Washington has had considerable influence in the Philippines, and assistance from both states to Manila is different in nature, because US assistance has always been accompanied with certain conditions, the analyst explained.
According to the expert, US aid is always directed against third world countries, and its military exercises only undermine regional stability.
In Shen Shishun’s opinion, the US has used the Philippines as its pawn to exacerbate the situation in the South China Sea region.
Observing the successful development of cooperation mechanisms between China and the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Washington encouraged Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia to weaken stability in the region.
In contrast to this, he pointed out that “China hopes that relations between the Philippines and the US will develop in a positive direction with the strengthening of political trust. China also expects the US to play a more positive and constructive role in the region.”