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How Jokowi bested China, while Duterte ended up a lackey

Indonesia and Philippines use very different strategies in dealing with Beijing

| Indonesia
Despite five years of servility, China's President Xi Jinping has rewarded has Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte with nothing, not even the COVID vaccines China promised to deliver by the end of 2020.   © Reuters

Richard Heydarian is an Asia-based academic, columnist and author of "The Rise of Duterte: A Populist Revolt Against Elite Democracy" and the "The Indo-Pacific: Trump, China and the New Struggle for Global Mastery."

When it comes to the leaders of Southeast Asia's two largest nations Indonesia and the Philippines -- both fledgling democracies in the grip of populism -- each unhappy nation is unhappy in his own way, to paraphrase Leo Tolstoy.

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