Asia Times: US, China Vie for Anti-Terror Influence in the Philippines

Philippine troops continue to battle militants affiliated with the Islamic State in Marawi, a city in the southern part of the country. With a goal of establishing an Islamic caliphate in Southeast Asia, the militants rely on urban warfare tactics including taking civilian hostages, land mines, snipers and ambushes with more than 400,000 people displaced. China and the United States compete in providing counterterrorism assistance to the Philippines. The Philippines has long been a US ally – under US administrative rule in the early 20th century and since achieving independence in 1946. Under President Rodrigo Duterte, the nation has improved ties with China. “Analysts say Beijing has seized on the conflict to gain a new entry point in boosting military-to-military linkages in new strategic areas,” reports Noel Tarrazona for Asia Times. ‘”They note that counterterrorism cooperation will also divert attention from the two sides’ ongoing disputes over territories in the South China Sea.” China has also offered to help finance rebuilding Marawi afterward, with reconstruction costs estimated at US$400 million. The United States has contributed technical support, surveillance aircraft and drones to the Philippines. Duterte will try to balance offers from both nations. – YaleGlobal

Asia Times: US, China Vie for Anti-Terror Influence in the Philippines

A siege in Marawi points to the need to overhaul the Filipino military; both China and the US offer support, hoping to help mold the strategic transformation
Noel Tarrazona
Friday, August 11, 2017

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Noel Tarrazona is a freelance journalist based in Mindanao

© 2017 Asia Times Holdings Limited, All Rights Reserved.

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