Philippines Plays with VFA to Win a Balancing Game

August 14, 2021

According to a South China Morning Post report published on August 14th 2021, the Philippines announced it would retain a long standing military pact with the US. During a meeting on July 30th in Manila, Philippine Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that President Rodrigo Duterte had decided to renew, not scrap, the 23 year old Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), a legal framework for US troops to operate and train in the Philippines.

The Philippine leader has seemingly made a u-turn after years of anti-American vitriol and repeated threats. Washington may think he’s ‘full of hot air, but analysts see a deeper game as Manila balances its security needs in the South China Sea with its post pandemic economic interests. However, Communist China’s encroachment on the Philippine maritime territory will never stop and continuously fuel public anger.

To read the whole report, please click US military, China’s economy: Philippines plays it both ways with Duterte’s VFA U-turn


Edited by:【Himalaya London Club UK】

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