This episode looks at recent developments in Sino-Philippine relations in light of President Rodrigo Duterte’s first visit to China and his critical remarks regarding the U.S. It analyzes the current state of relations between the Philippines and China as well as with the U.S. and attempts to explain the strategic thinking and motivators behind Duterte’s. Professor Castro lends his knowledge of Filipino domestic politics and his historical perspective to help analyze the potential successes and limits of Duterte’s policy of pursuing closer relations with China. It also considers Duterte’s potential impact on ASEAN and the status of disputes in the South China Sea and offers further discussion of policy options for the U.S.
Professor Renato Cruz De Castro is a full professor in the International Studies Department, De La Salle University, Manila, and holds the Charles Lui Chi Keung Professorial Chair in China Studies. He is currently the U.S.-ASEAN Fulbright Initiative Researcher from the Philippines based in the East-West Center in Washington, D.C. Professor De Castro’s research interests include Philippine-U.S. security relations, Philippine defense and foreign policies, U.S. defense and foreign policies in East Asia, and the international politics of East Asia.