Ashley Townshend

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Duterte deal with China over Scarborough Shoal exposes US failure

Controversial Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte appears to have secured a major concession from Beijing in the South China Sea.

It happened quietly last week when China suddenly lifted its four-year blockade of the Scarborough Shoal, allowing Filipino fishermen to freely access the shoal's plentiful waters.

If it lasts, this will be chalked up as a victory for Duterte's pivot to China and a geopolitical setback for the United States.
By cozying up to China and trash-talking America, Duterte has achieved something that Washington couldn't deliver: a peaceful resolution to the Scarborough Shoal standoff.

The significance of this can't be overstated.

Back in 2012, China seized the Scarborough Shoal by deploying powerful coastguard cutters to evict the Philippine navy.…  Seguir leyendo »