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Philippine President Duterte's China pivot hasn't reduced tensions in the South China Sea
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's Beijing-friendly postures have not tamed China's assertiveness in the South China Sea, said Peaches Lauren Vergara of Amador Research Services.
The next Philippine leader, who will be elected in May 2022, should be bolder in challenging Beijing, Vergara wrote in a report published by the Asia Society Policy Institute.
The Philippines cannot resolve the South China Sea dispute on its own, said think thank International Crisis Group.
The country should push for a "code of conduct" between Southeast Asian countries and China to manage maritime tensions, the think tank said.
More than five years on, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's Beijing-friendly postures have not tamed China's assertiveness in the disputed South China Sea — and the next Philippine leader should be bolder in challenging Beijing, said a political and risk analyst.
The Philippines will hold general elections to vote for a new president in May as Duterte's six-year term comes to an end. Duterte has sought closer ties with Beijing and declared that he was willing to set aside his country's territorial contest with China in the South China Sea.
China and its Southeast Asian neighbors including the Philippines have been embroiled in territorial disputes in the South China Sea for decades.
China claims almost the entire waterway. In the last few years, China built artificial islands in the sea, while Chinese fishing fleets and maritime militia vessels swarmed areas internationally recognized as belonging to other countries.
"The most favorable scenario for the Philippines would be a change in the mindset of the elected leader in May 2022," said Peaches Lauren Vergara, head of the strategic intelligence practice at Amador Research Services, a research and advisory firm.