US-China rivalry in the South China Sea has the Philippines at its core, observers say


The United States and China have stepped up their efforts to win the affections of thePhilippinesof late as the two powers remainlocked in a fight for supremacy on multiple fronts, not least theSouth China Sea.

On Friday, the agriculture ministry in Manila announced that a US-funded animal disease laboratory had opened in the Central Luzon region, The Manila Bulletin reported.

That donation came after the US last month provided the Southeast Asian nation with 100 new ventilators.Earlier in the week, Sung Kim, the US ambassador to the Philippines, said he had handed over 5,000 hygiene kits and 16 handwashing stations to the mayor of Manila to aid local efforts to combatCovid-19.

In meetings with his counterpart, Delfin Lorenzana, and President Rodrigo Duterte, the two sides agreed to renew their 2004 memorandum of understanding on defence cooperation, and strive to better manage their disputes in the South China Sea.
worth of non-combat equipment to the Armed Forces of the Philippines on behalf of Beijing.Wei alsopledged US$20 million