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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:29 pm 
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‘I’ll humiliate you’: Duterte challenges West to probe Philippines drugs war
TheGlobeAndMail/Reuters, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016

Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte called U.S. President Barack Obama, the European Union and United Nations “fools” on Thursday, and warned they would end up humiliated and outsmarted if they accepted an invitation to investigate his war on drugs.

“I’ll play with you. I’m very sure they cannot be brighter than me. I will ask five questions that will humiliate you,” Duterte said. “Watch out for that, it will be a spectacle... These fools think (they can do anything) because the Philippines is a small nation,” he said. “Maybe God gave you the money but we have the brains.”

Opinion polls for Duterte’s first 90 days in office suggest he remains popular, with a Pulse Asia survey on Wednesday showing he had the trust of 86 percent of 1,200 Filipinos surveyed.
(full article) http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/ill-humiliate-you-duterte-challenges-west-to-probe-philippines-drugs-war/article32347606/

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Philippine president to visit China
Xinhua, editor: huaxia, 2016-10-12

BEIJING, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will pay a state visit to China from Oct. 18 to 21, at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, said Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang on Wednesday. During the trip, Xi and Duterte will discuss improving bilateral ties, deepening cooperation and international and regional issues of common concern. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and top legislator Zhang Dejiang will also meet Duterte, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily press briefing.

China hopes the visit will help the two nations strengthen political trust, deepen cooperation, continue friendship, properly handle disputes, and promote bilateral relations back to the track of sound and stable development, Geng said. He added that the two sides were keeping close communication regarding specific arrangement and the results and deals that could be achieved. Geng said a good China-Philippines relationship was a common desire of the two nations.

China attaches high importance to relations with the Philippines and is willing to work with the country to promote the sound and stable development of bilateral ties, he said.
(http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2016-10/12/c_135748793.htm)

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Rodrigo Duterte Could Tear a Giant Hole in America's 'Pivot' To Asia
TheNationalInterest, Michael G. Roskin, October 13, 2016

Beijing and Manila may be moving towards an accommodation that could tear a gigantic hole in the US ‘pivot’ to East Asia. Manila’s newly elected President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to turn away from the United States and towards China if he can regain Filipino (fishing) rights to Scarborough Shoal... Such a shift would be catastrophic for US policy in the Pacific and a low-cost Chinese victory. It would be irrational for Beijing to decline Duterte’s offer...

Another part of the Asia pivot, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) — finalised last February after seven years of negotiations — seems unlikely to get Senate approval. This rare case of Obama–Republican cooperation collapsed because Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders all denounced it as harmful to American workers. An altered and renamed TPP could conceivably pass later, with many businesses and economists saying that it will boost the US economy. Without it, an Asia pivot lacks economic feet.

Without the Philippines and the TPP, Washington will need a backup plan for the Pacific...
(full article) http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/rodrigo-duterte-could-tear-giant-hole-americas-pivot-asia-18030

I've been watching this unholy beast for a long time, and I can tell you that the TPP didn't collapse because it was denounced as a bad deal and an attack on US democracy and sovereignty-- it collapsed because it actually was a bad deal and an attack on US democracy and sovereignty.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:26 am 
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A police mobile runs over protesters during a protest in front of the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines, on Oct. 19 2016. -Mark R. Cristino/EPA

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Police Van Rams Into Protesters Rallying Against US Military Presence in Philippines
ABC News, By AVIANNE TAN, Oct 19, 2016

A dramatic video from a demonstration in Manila, Philippines, today captured the moment a police van appears to ram into a crowd of protesters. The incident happened outside the U.S. embassy in the country's capital, according to ABS-CBN News, the news division of the largest entertainment and media network in the Philippines.

Hundreds of Filipino activists -- most from a left-wing umbrella group called Bayan, which means "nation" -- had been protesting American intervention and military presence with signs like "U.S. TROOPS OUT NOW" and "NO TO U.S. INTERVENTION" when the demonstration took a violent turn, ABS-CBN reported.

Photos and videos from the event appear to show police throwing tear gas at protesters, and, at one point, dousing them with a powerful spray of water from a fire truck hose... One video clip appears to show a police vehicle moving backwards and forwards through a group of protesters, and appearing to run some people over. The crowd screamed in response, and some protesters appeared to throw rocks and red paint at the van, the video shows.

At least three student activists were taken to a hospital after they were run over by the van, said protest leader Renato Reyes, according to The Associated Press... "There was absolutely no justification for it," Reyes said, according to the AP. "Even as the president vowed an independent foreign policy, Philippine police forces still act as running dogs of the U.S."
(full article) http://abcnews.go.com/International/video-shows-police-van-ramming-protesters-rallying-us/story?id=42904069



Running down anti-US demonstrators in streets of Manila like animals will probably not endear the United States or local authorities to them, nor weaken their strength of conviction that their cause is righteous.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 4:56 pm 
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President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte attends a news conference during his visit in Beijing Wednesday. REUTERS

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Duterte: Time to ditch ties with ‘son of a whore’ Obama-led U.S., tilt toward China
TheJapanTimes/AFP-JIJI, Oct 20 2016

BEIJING – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said it was “time to say goodbye” to the U.S. during a visit to China on Wednesday, as the combative leader reconfigures his country’s diplomatic alliances.

“Your stay in my country was for your own benefit. So time to say goodbye, my friend,” he said, as if addressing the U.S. “I will not go to America anymore. I will just be insulted there,” he added, before once again referring to U.S. President Barack Obama as a “son of a whore.” “What kept us from China was not our own making. I will charter a new course,” he said.

Hours before he spoke, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular briefing that Beijing was pleased to move toward resolving the territorial dispute “through consultation and dialogue. “Anyone who truly wishes for peace, stability, development and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific” should welcome Duterte’s visit, she said.

Duterte has said his China trip will focus on promoting economic ties. The Philippines is hoping, among other things, that Beijing will repeal a ban on imports of its bananas — an economic sanction intended to punish Manila for its South China Sea stance. Hua said Wednesday announcements on infrastructure cooperation and economic development projects could be expected during the Philippine leader’s visit.
(full article) http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/10/20/asia-pacific/politics-diplomacy-asia-pacific/duterte-time-ditch-ties-son-whore-obama-led-u-s-tilt-toward-china/


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:05 pm 
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Looking at Duterte's extralegal ultimate solution:



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:11 pm 
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Rodrigo Duterte, Pushing Split with U.S., Counters Philippines’ Deep Ties
nytimes, By RICHARD C. PADDOCK, OCT. 26, 2016

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines... has declared he wants “a separation” and on Wednesday added that he wants American troops out of his country in two years. Speaking in Tokyo, Mr. Duterte said that he was willing to revoke the 2014 agreement letting the Pentagon use five Philippine military bases, a critical component of the Obama administration’s plan to bolster American influence in Asia.

“I want them out,” he said of the American troops in his country...

He did not mean cutting diplomatic relations, he explained, which would not be feasible. “Why?” he asked. “Because the Filipinos in the United States will kill me.”
(full article) http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/27/world/asia/philippines-duterte-united-states-alliance.html

Quote:
“I want to be friends to China,” Duterte told an audience of business representatives in Tokyo, the Associated Press reported.

“I do not need the arms. I do not want missiles established in my country. I do not need to have the airports to host the bombers...” “I have declared that I will pursue an independent foreign policy,” he said, according to Reuters...

“I may have ruffled the feelings of some, but that is how it is,” Duterte said, according to AP. “We will survive, without the assistance of America, maybe a lesser quality of life, but as I said, we will survive.”
(full article) https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/philippines-duterte-now-wants-us-troops-out-in-two-years/2016/10/26/32bec8a5-8584-4d95-8e9d-4d7762865055_story.html


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 1:35 pm 
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In this July, 13, 2016 photo released by Xinhua News Agency, pilots place Chinese national flags on the cockpit window of China Southern Airlines' passenger jet after it successfully test landed at an airport on the Meiji reef of the Nansha Islands in the South China Sea. Chen Yichen/Xinhua via AP

Quote:
Chinese Vessels Leave Disputed Fishing Grounds in South China Sea
nytimes, By RICHARD C. PADDOCK, OCT. 28, 2016

MANILA — Chinese vessels have quietly abandoned the contested Scarborough Shoal, the Philippine government said Friday, apparently a concession by Beijing after a visit to China by President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines.

Ernesto Abella, the president’s spokesman, told reporters at the presidential palace in Manila that there had been no sign of Chinese Coast Guard vessels in that part of the South China Sea since Tuesday. Filipino fishermen, who had been chased away from their traditional fishing grounds at the shoal after the Chinese arrived in 2012, can fish there once again... “For the past three days, it has been observed that there are no longer any Chinese Coast Guard vessels and that Filipino fishing boats are no longer being intercepted and that they are now able to fish in the area without being intercepted,” he said.

The apparent departure by the Chinese ships signals a further warming of relations between China and the Philippines since Mr. Duterte... “Happy to confirm that Filipino fishermen are able to fish anew in Scarborough Shoal,” said Harry Roque, a Philippine congressman who traveled with Mr. Duterte to Beijing last week. “This is the most important gain of the president’s visit to China and proof that the president’s pivot to Asia has been successful in promoting the right of our fishermen to pursue their traditional livelihood.”

Reports that Chinese Coast Guard vessels had left Scarborough Shoals were not confirmed by Chinese state-run media or by the State Oceanic Administration, which oversees the coast guard. Calls to the administration on Friday evening went unanswered. But earlier in the day, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs sounded a conciliatory note about Philippine fishing boats’ returning. Lu Kang, a ministry spokesman, said at a regularly scheduled news briefing on Friday that China and the Philippines could “control disagreements and open up cooperation” in the South China Sea.
(full article) http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/29/world/asia/south-china-sea-scarborough-shoal.html

A triumph for diplomacy? A Faustian deal? You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar? In any event, fishermen apparently can return right now and not after continued years of bitter conflict. This seems like a PR win for the Duterte administration and it seems like it will further reinforce a foreign policy success for China- sweeping aside the international tribunal's judgement as no longer relevant while also drawing the Philippines in to closer relations. In any event, they've still got Yongxing Island (aka 'Woody' Islands) in the Paracels and Yongshu Island (Fiery Cross Reef), Meiji Reef (Mischief Reef), and nine other islands in the Nansha Islands (Spratly Islands). It would appear that, as the saying goes, "Possession is nine-tenths of the law."


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 7:28 pm 
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Philippines' Duterte says to stop quarrels with U.S. after Trump win
Reuters, Wed Nov 9, 2016

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte congratulated Donald Trump on his election win and said on Wednesday he now wishes to stop quarrelling with the United States, recalling his anger at the Obama administration for criticising him.

The maverick leader, dubbed "Trump of the East" for his unrestrained rants and occasional lewd remarks, has repeatedly hit out at Washington in recent months, threatening to cut defence pacts and end military joint drills.

"I would like to congratulate Mr. Donald Trump. Long live," Duterte said in a speech to the Filipino community during a visit to Malaysia.

"We are both making curses. Even with trivial matters we curse. I was supposed to stop because Trump is there. I don't want to quarrel anymore, because Trump has won."
(full article)http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-reaction-philippines-idUSKBN13412N

Quote:
Chinese President Xi Jinping asks for ‘win-win cooperation’ from Trump
WashingtonPost, by Amy B Wang, Nov 9 2016

Chinese President Xi Jinping has called Donald Trump to congratulate him, Reuters reported.

“I place great importance on the China-U.S. relationship, and look forward to working with you to uphold the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation,” Xi told Trump by phone, according to Reuters.
(full article) https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2016/live-updates/general-election/real-time-updates-on-the-2016-election-voting-and-race-results/chinese-president-xi-jinping-asks-for-win-win-cooperation-from-trump/

What's in store for the US 'Pivot to Asia,' now? Trump loves winning!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 6:43 am 
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My belief is that he will do things more from a business perspective than a political perspective. I'm trying to sort out what that will mean, but it is likely to be good for the US economy. It may be a disaster for foreign policy.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:21 pm 
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“A weakened and disorganized West like this will surely bring many more additional strategic opportunities for China,” said Shi Yinhong, professor of international relations at Renmin University. Mr. Xi, who has been the strongest foreign policy president for China, will be further emboldened, Mr. Shi said, and will be “even less prudent” in his foreign policy.

But beyond that, the election is being viewed as a comeuppance for a country that lectures others about the superiority of American values... Like Russia, China has long bridled at American complaints about its illiberal ways, rejecting the idea that human rights and free speech are universal values and insisting that China has found its own political model rooted in uniquely Chinese values that put stability above all else.

In the days before the election, the Chinese government, eager to point out to its citizens the advantages of one-party rule by the Communist Party, used the nastiness of the Trump vs. Clinton contest to warn about the evils of American democracy... “America is terribly ill,” wrote Yuan Peng, the vice president of a state-run research center, the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations. Although Mr. Trump’s intentions remained unclear, the very uncertainties of his victory have given the Chinese leader an opportunity to pursue a number of strategic advantages across Asia, analysts said.

The outcome of the American election, however, may not be all positive for China. Feeling abandoned by the United States, and vulnerable to an emboldened and increasingly assertive China, Japan and South Korea could both decide to develop their own nuclear arsenals. In South Korea, where there is a powerful lobby for the country to become a nuclear power, there is about a 50 percent chance of going nuclear, said Andray Abrahamian, associate research director of Choson Exchange. The Japanese government called an emergency meeting Wednesday night, to consider its options.
(full article) http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/10/world/trump-putin-xi-america.html


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 5:47 pm 
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DigitalGlobe/Getty Images / Overview of the Fiery Cross Reef located in the South China Sea. Fiery Cross is located in the western part of the Spratly Islands group.

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Stunning Aerial Photos Show Extent Of China's Developments In The South China Sea
huffingtonpost.com.au, by Eoin Blackwell, Updated 16/11/2016

Stunning new aerial photographs have revealed the advances China has made "reclaiming" unpopulated islands and atolls in the disputed South China Sea... China has been "reclaiming" unpopulated islands and atolls..., adding buildings and other infrastructure, including runways.

Image
A closeup of the Subi Reef in the South China Sea, a part of the Spratly Islands group

James Woolsey, a former CIA director under president Bill Clinton and an advisor to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, has said the U.S. won't abandon its Asian allies to China's "overreach." "The U.S. sees itself as the holder of the balance of power in Asia and is likely to remain quite determined to protect its allies against Chinese overreach," he wrote in the South China Post last week.

Image
Meiji Island (Mischief Reef) on November 15th with airstrip completed. Photo: South Sea Research Forum
(full article) http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2016/11/15/stunning-aerial-photos-show-extent-of-chinas-developments-in-th/

It's like China plopped down small towns in the middle of the sea. FONOPs don't change the reality, and China is still committed. I wonder where exactly they plan to berth the floating nuclear power plants they've begun building...


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