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Rodrigo Duterte Is Key to China's 'Post-American' Vision for Asia

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“The future of the Philippines is in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and in Asia,” declared Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte during his early May keynote speech at the World Economic Forum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. For the controversial Philippine president, the world is ineludibly entering a post-American world, paving the way for his own vision of an “Asia for Asians.” Despite facing stiff opposition at home, the firebrand leader has forged ahead with his pivot to the east, especially China and, to a lesser degree, Russia. There are two factors that lie at the heart of Duterte’s “Looking East” foreign-policy strategy. First is his growing personal vexation with the West’s criticism of his brutal campaign against illegal drugs, which will likely be followed by sanctions and other punitive measures. Second is the need to........

© The National Interest