People in the Philippines still trust the US far more than China, an opinion poll showed yesterday, despite Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent outpouring of anti-US rhetoric and his sudden overtures toward old rival Beijing.
Although trust in both countries had declined slightly since the last survey in June, a Social Weather Stations poll from Sept. 24 to Sept. 27 showed 55 percent of Filipinos had “little trust” in China, versus 11 percent who had doubts about the US.
More than three-quarters, or 76 percent, of the 1,200 respondents had “much trust” in the US, compared with 22 percent who felt the same about China.
Duterte yesterday began a visit to China, accompanied by a business delegation of at least 200 people, as he looks to open a new commercial alliance with Beijing that he said aims to boost the Philippine economy and diversify a foreign policy too dependent on Washington.
He has railed ferociously about the long-time ally and former colonial power and questioned its loyalty.
He has complained of being dictated to about his deadly war on drugs by US President Barack Obama, whom he told to “go to hell.”
Last week, Duterte called Obama, the EU and UN “fools” for criticizing his narcotics crackdown, and said he would “humiliate” them if they accepted his invitation to probe alleged summary executions.
Some Americans in the Philippines said his outbursts have left many of their compatriots, and US businesses, jittery.
The group’s last poll showed an 81 percent rating of “much trust” for the US, with just 9 percent having “little trust.” Feelings about China were better at that time, with 27 percent having high trust and 51 percent little trust.
That poll — conducted after Duterte’s election, but prior to his taking office — preceded a July ruling by an arbitration court in the Hague, Netherlands, that dealt a blow to China’s vast territorial claims in the South China Sea, in a case brought by Manila, which China refuses to recognize.
In comments likely to have irked Chinese leaders, Duterte said his new foreign policy shift showed a change in Philippines-China ties, but added that he would not bargain with Beijing over maritime sovereignty and would raise the issue of the ruling.
Duterte’s hostility toward the US and aggressive courting of China, so soon after it lost a landmark court decision, has perplexed much of the international community.
Some experts said his apparent unilateral decision to consider dismantling a decades-old US defense alliance risks jolting a region concerned about Beijing’s rise and the chance of waning US influence under new White House leadership.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
BEYOND CULTURE: The US State Department was expected to announce that the Chinese government-funded institutes would have to register as foreign missions US President Donald Trump’s administration is increasing scrutiny of a long-established Chinese-government funded program that is dedicated to teaching Chinese language and culture in the US and other nations, the latest escalation of tensions with Beijing. The US Department of State was expected to announce as soon as yesterday that Confucius Institutes in the US — many of which are based on college campuses — would have to register as “foreign missions,” according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified. The designation would amount to a conclusion that the institutes are “substantially owned or effectively controlled” by
SHOW OF SOLIDARITY: The publisher’s ‘Apple Daily’ newspaper has had to raise the number of copies printed from 70,000 to 550,000 to meet a huge surge in demand They have occupied Hong Kong’s central business district, marched by the hundreds of thousands through the territory’s streets and endured tear gas and pepper spray in pitched battles with riot police. Hong Kong’s pro-democracy supporters are now wielding a new protest weapon: their stock-market trading accounts. To show support for Jimmy Lai (黎智英), the publisher and outspoken government critic who was on Monday arrested under the territory’s new national security legislation, Hong Kongers have been piling into shares of his media company Next Digital. The result: a more than 1,100 percent surge in two days that propelled the stock to a seven-year