ASSESSMENTS

Duterte Walks the Tightrope

MIN READOct 27, 2016 | 09:30 GMT

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte delivered a speech at the Philippines Economic Forum in Tokyo on Oct. 26. Duterte's visit to Japan, which began just days after the president returned from China, exemplifies his balanced foreign policy strategy.

(KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP/Getty Images)

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is making the rounds in the Asia-Pacific region. Just days after signing a collection of deals worth $24 billion during a much-anticipated trip to China, Duterte headed off to Japan, China's longtime rival and the Philippines' largest foreign investor and export market. Over the course of his three-day visit, set to conclude Oct. 27, Duterte is expected to strike deals worth billions more, including $400 million in loans for agricultural and infrastructure projects in the president's home province of Mindanao. Tokyo is also on course to enhance its maritime cooperation with Manila, bolstering the Philippine coast guard's capabilities with the lease of five light surveillance planes on top of the two Japanese patrol vessels that Manila received this week. But securing support from China and Japan is only half the battle for the Philippine president, and the next part promises to be trickier. Duterte must find...

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