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The ANC Brief: Trade war woes

The Department of Finance said it would review its agreements with China to be signed during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping this week. And where does the Philippines stand in the continuing trade war between China and the U.S.? These are the issues ANC will be tackling on its newscasts:

No joint communiqué

World leaders failed to agree to the traditional joint communiqué after an APEC Summit amid trade war tensions between the U.S. and China. Reports said the U.S. wanted insert a statement on the unfair trade practices by the Chinese. Beijing wanted language on U.S. protectionism. What does the rift mean for the Philippines as it pivots to China and still maintains its close long-time ties with the U.S.? 

Change of mind

In a surprise move, President Duterte stayed in Papua New Guinea for the second day of the APEC Summit after the Palace earlier said he would cut short his trip. What made him change his mind? Does it have anything to do with the tweet of DFA Sec. Teddyboy Locsin that he “loudly and naggingly” insisted the President stay just one more day? 

Chief architect

Acting Supreme Court Chief Justice Antonio Carpio said President Duterte’s recent declaration of commitment to freedom of navigation in the disputed South China Sea is an affirmation of the 2016 arbitral ruling. The president’s statement was made in the joint Philippines-Japan declaration during the ASEAN Summit. While the statement is laudable and works in our favor, it highlights the confusing message government is sending. Let’s remember that in the same summit, the president told local reporters that China was “in possession” of the disputed waters. Does government and the president, as chief architect of the country’s foreign policy, know what they are doing on the South China Sea?

Informal meeting

Members of the government peace panel said they will hold an informal meeting with NDF negotiators Luis Jalandoni and Fidel Agcaoili next week in a bid to jumpstart the peace talks between the two sides. Last week, President Duterte said the two NDF negotiators sought a meeting with him. ANC will monitor developments in this latest effort by the two sides to come back to the negotiating table.

Strings attached

The Department of Finance said they will review all China-funded projects after U.S. Vice President Mike Pence warned that such loans come with strings attached. Finance Sec. Carlos Dominguez said their first review of agreements to be signed under China’s Belt and Road Initiative revealed nothing wrong. The agreements will be signed during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Manila this week. 

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