Rodrigo Duterte marked an important date – one year in the office, with the stunning statement about ‘independent’ foreign policy. President is going to diversify the allies, distancing from the United States.
Duterte’s push for a truly “independent” foreign policy, steering the country closer towards China and Russia, in the new map of Manila’s allies its traditional friend, the United States, soon to disappear soon.
In September 2016, Duterte’s announcement hinted on the “separation” from the United States, and also the rejection of aid from the European Union. The modern Philippines doesn’t especially need them. In terms of the politology, the president is “diversifying” Manila’s allies. Realising this new foreign policy’s vector, in his first year alone, Duterte incurred travel expenses of over P300 million.
President Duterte has gone on 21 trips so far, more than double the 8 trips that his predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, undertook in his maiden year in Malacañang.
“Being good friends with all states, especially powerful states, is always a good thing,”
said the political experts.
Though Duterte’s strong criticism of the United States has been viewed as creating a gap between the two countries, Kraft believes that Duterte’s words are only part of his rhetoric but have not affected relationships on the ground.