Belt and Road: Will China, Japan fall flat in the Philippines?

Beijing and Tokyo's huge financial commitments to support the Philippines’ infrastructure glut may not immediately yield the business that they expect.

When it comes to playing rivals off against each other, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has not only won the headlines but more importantly a good proportion of foreign direct investment budgets. In the last year alone rivals Japan and China have committed multiple billions towards Duterte’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure policy.

As the EU and the US reduce foreign direct investment into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Asean region, enter stage left Japan and China. Since mid 2017, Chinese President Xi Jinping has signed at least $15 billion worth of deals with his Philippine counterpart, whose relationship with China is far warmer than that of his predecessors. In September...

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