Why China was the big winner of the Philippines’ midterm elections


The early 20th century Italian thinker Antonio Gramsci observed that a “common error” among historians was their “inability to find the correct relation between what is organic and what is conjunctural”.

Seeing his home country transformed overnight after the second world war, Gramsci cautioned against mistaking fundamental shifts for historical accidents or ephemeral change.

Under Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, the Southeast Asian country is undergoing an “organic” transformation, which will have far-reaching geopolitical ramifications, particularly for China.

In fact, Beijing was arguably the greatest winner of the Philippines’ May 13 midterm elections, which saw Duterte’s allies dominating 18,000 elected officers up for grabs.