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Opinion

Duterte needs Trump to counter Chinese naval threat

Philippines president's Beijing-friendly approach must not compromise maritime security

| Philippines
Despite some improvement in U.S.-Philippine relations after President Donald Trump took office, the countries need closer collaboration to contain China's influence.   © Reuters

President Donald Trump may have alienated allies across Asia but he has, at least, arrested a downward spiral in bilateral relations between the U.S. and the Philippines.

By openly embracing strongmen like Rodrigo Duterte, he has given the Philippines president a prop at a time when other traditional partners, notably in Europe, are holding their noses at his human rights record.

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