Author: Krzysztof Szumski
Institution: retired diplomat, expert on Thailand
Year of publication: 2020
Source: Show
Pages: 170-191
DOI Address:
PDF: ap/23/ap2307.pdf

The Philippines in the competition between the USA and China

The Philippines started to be known in Europe when Ferdinand Magellan set foot on Samar island in March 1521. In the end of the 19th century in the Philippines emerged a powerful movement of local nationalists known as Katipunan. In 1896, an insurrection started against the Spanish colonial rule. Meanwhile, the Philippines were drawn into the conflict between Spain and the USA. Spanish troops were crushed by allied American and Filipino forces. The Treaty of Paris in 1898 ended the war, the Philippines became an American colony. In July 1946 the USA recognized the independence of the Philippines. The new state was completely dependent on former colonial power and the USA had military bases at Clark and Subic Bay. With the fall of dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, the policy of the Philippines became more independent and in 1992 the American bases were closed down. Unfortunately for the Philippines, in another important country in the region started gathering strenght – a New China. The contacts started ages ago and many Filipinos were closely related to Chinese people, but at that time New China became very powerful economically, politically and militarily. The two countries came interests collided on the South China Sea. The Philippines started to search again for support from their former colonial patron and world superpower - the USA. Finally when the political and military cooperation with the USA again increased, in the Philippines arrived the constitutional time – limit for presidential election. Nobody foresaw the result and consequences of that election in May 2016.


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