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Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., U.S. President Joe Biden and Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida are pictured ahead of their trilateral summit at the White House in Washington on April 11, 2024.

Kohei Choji / The Yomiuri Shimbun via Reuters Connect

Manila gets a big boost, but does it matter to Beijing?

Washington and Tokyo promised Manila they would help secure its seas and upgrade its infrastructure at their trilateral summit in Washington on Thursday — all big gestures, but what do they look like from Beijing?

Political winds have shifted against China in the Philippines since President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. came to power in June 2022. His predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, allegedly sealed a secret deal with China that is now at the center of a dangerous conflict in the South China Sea.

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Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivers a joint statement during the visit of Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the Malacanang Palace, in Manila, Philippines, on Jan. 10, 2024.

Ezra Acayan/Pool via REUTERS

Philippine president’s feud with Duterte gets worse

An escalating feud between President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and his predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, boiled over Sunday, when Marcos said the former president’s threat to lead a secession movement would be met with force.

Secession, you say? The Philippines has seen multiple secessionist movements over the years, but the most militant ones today are aligned with the Islamic State group, and it’s unclear how Duterte would carry out his threat.

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