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>> I announce my separation from the United States.>> In 2016, Rodrigo Duterte announced he was ditching the US for a new ally, China.>> America has lost me.>> But now two years later the Philippine president doesn't have much to show for it. And with Chinese president Xi Jinping visiting the Philippines this week, Duterte will need some hard proof that this alliance is going to work.
Reuters' Martin Petty explains.>> Duterte has made some controversial geopolitical concessions towards China in the hope that China will take the lead in his massive infrastructure overhaul, something that his predecessors have never managed to deliver. The problem Duterte has is China hasn't really been forthcoming in the many billions of dollars worth of pledges and loans that it said it will be providing.
>> When Duterte visited Beijing in 2016, he left with $24 billion of Chinese loans and investment pledges, but only a fraction of that has materialized. Out of 75 infrastructure projects Duterte is pursuing, about half of them are earmarked for Chinese investments or loans, and according to government documents, only three have broken ground.
Critics say Duterte's naivete with China has been a slam dunk strategic coup for Beijing. Trade between China and the Philippines has since picked up significantly, but data suggests mostly in China's favor. Philippine officials say it would be unreasonable to expect all of China's pledges to come through after only two years, but they're hopeful intervention by Xi after his visit might help.
>> Duterte is gunning for that as well.>> He'll be hoping privately at least, that his Chinese counterpart will be giving some greater commitments and assurances that this economic relationship really is going to move forward, otherwise it's gonna start to look like Duterte's been taken for a ride by China.
>> According to experts, if Duterte isn't able to show results with Xi, it might be a blow to his chances in the 2019 midterm elections, which will determine the success or failure of his presidency.