BEIJING could get a huge boost in its search for dominance in the South China Sea as the Philippines asks for its treaty with America to be updated or even scrapped.
The Philippines is looking to alter its 1951 Mutual Defence Treaty (MDT) with the US to include its South China Sea claims. However, it is very unlikely America will agree to those terms. China has been involved in multiple disputes with the Philippines, Brunai, Vietnam and Malaysia over the South China Sea but could gain a key strategic ally in Manila if their treaty with America is aborted.
In 2016, Filipino President Rodrigo Détente reflected on the US-Filipino allegiance and claimed that he may indeed break from America, claiming that he would “rather go to Russia or China”.
The Secretary of National Defence for the Philippines, Delfin Lorenzana said: “Is the treaty still relevant to our security? Maybe not.
“When that treaty was negotiated, there was this raging Cold War. But do we still have a Cold War today?
“We are going to approach this MDT, look at it in the backdrop of what’s happening in the area, in the interest of the nation, not the interest of other nations.”