Philippine President Benigno Aquino wakes up each morning with a question for which he has no answer: “There are very few days that I don’t start the day asking what does China gain from all this?”
What drives China to press its claims to the South China Sea, taking on countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam, is the question, Aquino, 54, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Haslinda Amin in Manila yesterday. China’s actions puzzle Aquino given its stated desire to deepen economic ties with Southeast Asia and be seen as a regional partner.
“These disputes with your neighbors, how does that help you in your quest to continue to improve your own economy?” he asked. “There are necessary repercussions from all of these tensions to trade, tourism and so many other facets.”