Duterte’s China meeting could give rise to concessions over Scarborough Shoal

Duterte’s China meeting could give rise to concessions over Scarborough Shoal

- Duterte and 400 businessmen are scheduled to pay China a visit in order to strengthen ties with the known regional bully

- One analyst from Defense One said that the President is expecting huge cash investments but China may be asking for Scarborough Shoal

- The years it took for previous administrations to defend the country’s sovereignty over the island may come to a naught in a matter of a few minutes of negotiations

Duterte’s China meeting could give rise to concessions over Scarborough Shoal

Duterte talking with Chinese envoy (Photo credit: South China Morning Post)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is scheduled for a visit to China next week. In the said visit, the President hopes he could bring in more money to the Philippines. But there’s a huge caveat to it.

Although the President has been very optimistic about his trip, where he would reportedly bring 400 businessmen, what he is neither expecting nor demanding is the possible return of the coveted Scarborough Shoal to China.

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Said Shoal was forcibly seized by China from the Philippines in 2012. This enraged Filipinos from all over the world, with many demonstrations being held against China, condemning the said act.

Despite the efforts and the number of years that previous Philippine presidents poured into finally coming up with a legal argument that could strike down the claims of China, which it did, President Duterte has no plans of raising up the country’s sovereign claims over China.

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His exact statement when it comes to Scarborough Shoal was, “We can’t beat” China. This statement was so contrary to the slurs that he had been throwing against the POTUS and the UN.

Duterte’s China meeting could give rise to concessions over Scarborough Shoal

Chinese envoy calls on Duterte ahead of Hague ruling (Photo credit: philstar.com)

According to Defense One, China did not only seize the shoal just because of its rich fish resources. It actually seized the shoal because of its strategic location in South China, which would then allow China to control the entire area.

According to Richard Heydarian, De La Salle University political scientist, Duterte was moving away from the US but towards the Red Giant.

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Duterte’s stance against the US and it being pro-China will greatly affect the “regional geopolitical dynamics,” said Heydarian.

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