How they see it

Barack Obama's visit to the Philippines

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 May, 2014, 4:15am
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 May, 2014, 4:15am

1. Philippine Daily Inquirer

The signing of the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement… is an unmistakable sign of increased American support. The context [is not] in doubt: China's less than peaceful rise to power. But this same agreement is also a symbol for something else altogether: The continuing, and fundamental, inequality in Philippine-American relations … One primary reason Manila refuses to negotiate directly with Beijing on our conflicting claims, preferring the multilateral diplomacy of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or the international forums provided by the United Nations, is the reasonable assumption that Beijing will use bilateral negotiations to have its way. Manila


2. Global Times

Against the background of a drastically changing geopolitical landscape in the Asia-Pacific region with growing Chinese influence, the US is keen to rally its Asian allies to maintain and promote its status as an Asia-Pacific country … Manila is in no way comparable to Tokyo or Seoul, the most vital economic pillars among the US' Asian allies … Obama's pledges of economic packages, if there are any, will be more a show than substantial assistance. Consequently, the Philippines will get little practical interests except some psychological comfort from its US ally, since Obama also refrains from drawing another red line on possible military action against Beijing. Beijing


3. Jakarta Post

The military treaty US President Barack Obama signed in Manila this week has raised the tension in Asia a notch. The fact that Obama talked at length about protecting America's allies in the region … certainly did not help cool the situation. He irked Beijing as it is obvious to all that his speeches, and the treaty with the Philippines, targeted China … The US is back in Southeast Asia, though not to the same extent as during the … Vietnam War … but its …presence may be abetting the tension, and not … reducing it … [That our] neighbours are laying out the red carpet undermines Indonesia's efforts in building greater unity through Asean. An Asean Community in 2015 has become that much more elusive. Jakarta