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Duterte's quiet pivot

Concerned by China's rising naval assertiveness, the Philippines seeks cover with a resurgent U.S.

| Philippines
Friends in need? U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at the ASEAN Summit in Manila in November 2017.   © Reuters

After a year or two of doubts, hesitations and flirtations with China, the U.S. and the Philippines are quietly patching up their frayed relations on urgent strategic grounds.

While both U.S. President Donald Trump and Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte are known for their penchant to trumpet big policy pronouncements, neither has yet made any dramatic declarations. But, make no mistake, they are setting past differences aside in the face of the big common threat -- China.

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