Philippines is an essential part in Obama’s pivot to Asia

Global Business

Philippines is an essential part in Obama's pivot to Asia

Barack Obama likes to call himself America’s first ‘Pacific’ President, and by all accounts wants to be remembered that way.

“The United States is more deeply engaged across the Asia-Pacific than we have been in decades,” Obama said.

But Washington got more than it bargained for with newly-elected Philippines President, Rodrigo Duterte, and his bloody anti-drug campaign.

CCTV America’s Jessica Stone reports.

Philippines is an essential part in Obama\'s pivot to Asia

Philippines is an essential part in Obama\'s pivot to Asia

Manila is a lynch-pin in Obama's 'Asia Pivot' strategy with a coastline on the South China Sea. After a long absence, U.S troops will be reopening five military bases there. The U.S. is also sending tens of millions in maritime security aid to Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. CCTV America's Jessica Stone reports.

The 2,500 thousand deaths linked to Duterte crackdown have raised questions about human rights violations. Duterte was in no mood to talk about it with Obama.

The U.S. cancelled a planned meeting between the leaders leaving aids to explain.

However, it needs to be that Manila is a lynch-pin in Obama’s ‘Asia Pivot’ strategy with a coastline on the South China Sea. After a long absence, U.S troops will be reopening five military bases there.

The U.S. is also sending tens of millions in maritime security aid to Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines. Three of these countries have ongoing territorial disputes with China in these waters

While Washington backed Manila in a recent court arbitration that went against Beijing, it has also used the pivot to engage more deeply with China, reaching deals to reduce global carbon emissions and to denuclearize Iran.

At the same time, both countries are negotiating trade agreements which exclude each-other.

And now, the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, which knits together 12 Pacific economies, appears all but dead.