Risk of US-China clash in South China Sea worries Philippine firms more than trade war


It’s an uneasy time for Asian nations as the rivalry between China and the United States intensifies and uncertainty hangs on whether they can resolve their trade war beyond the 90-day truce. In this special series the South China Morning Post explores how the China-US rivalry is affecting four countries in Asia. In the final part, Sarah Zheng looks at the Philippines.

With no clear end to the US-China trade war in sight, businesspeople in the Philippines – already hit by an inflation crisis – increasingly fear they could get caught in the crossfire if the confrontation between the two economic powerhouses spilled over into the South China Sea.

While Philippines President Duterte has pushed for a rapprochement with Beijing, lured by promises of massive Chinese investment in the country, the archipelagic state still maintains its long-standing defence treaty relationship with the US.