Cold War 2.0
While until now the verbal outbursts of the outspoken, "vulgar" Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte, who last week called president Obama a "son of a whore" (before he were mostly bark, and no bite, something changed yesterday.
In an abrupt departure from his nation’s longstanding military reliance on the U.S., Duterte said the Philippines would pursue "independent" foreign and military policies separate from US interests in the region, and ordered his defense secretary to seek weapons from suppliers in China and Russia to fight drug traffickers and insurgents.
In another dramatic shift, the WSJ notes that the president also said Tuesday that the Philippines would stop patrolling the South China Sea alongside the U.S. Navy, to avoid upsetting Beijing. Instead, he said the nation’s military would focus on combating drugs and terrorism, handing a major diplomatic victory of Beijing and a symbolic loss to the US and its support of non-Chinese terrotorial claims to the South China Sea.