Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, in his last days in power, is reversing his country’s course back towards its longtime ally the United States. The shift comes after years of trying to romance the Chinese.
When he took office in 2016, Duterte wasted little time in insulting U.S. President Barack Obama and signaling his desire to turn away from the United States and towards China and Russia.
“I realign myself in your ideological flow and maybe I would also go to Russia to talk to [President Vladimir] Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world — China, Philippines, Russia,” Duterte said at the time.
After stating that “it was time to say goodbye to Washington,” Duterte set about a number of actions to slowly cut ties with the U.S. and warm relations with China. But his efforts to schmooze Red China have borne little fruit, in fact, they have had the opposite effect. Now Duterte is coming back full circle to repair ties with the Philippines’ long-time ally.