US military, China’s economy: Philippines plays it both ways with Duterte’s VFA U-turn

It was an anticlimactic and – to many minds – entirely predictable outcome: on July 30 the Philippines announced it would, after all, retain a long-standing military pact with the United States.During a meeting in Manila with his American counterpart Lloyd Austin, Philippine defence secretary Delfin Lorenzana said President Rodrigo Duterte had decided to renew, not scrap, the 23-year-old Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA).It was a 180-degree turn for Duterte, who in an outburst in February last…

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