But excuse me for laughing (ironically) at this:
Vietnam has requested China to withdraw its weapons from disputed territory in the South China Sea, while security experts have urged the Philippine government to upgrade the country’s defenses in the Spratly archipelago in response to China’s militarization of the strategic waterway.
Right. The Philippine and whose army?
That was what the Philippines with the backing of the US should have done, but PNoy was pressured by Obama to ignore what was going on and take it to court. We won. Big deal. No one will enforce the ruling.
and so Duterte is "Making nice" with China to get lots of stuff to help the Philippines while being leery about the US moving back here (but the public dislikes China, while except for the leftists they like the US).
The Philippines ignores that there have been items in the Chinese news hinting that they once owned Luzon so might want to take it back, mainly because the last time they tried that, we threw the Chinese pirates out with the help of Spain.
But VietNam, which was once a Chinese colony, has gone to war with China over their northern border and over these islands in the last 40 years because they remember their past.
And that is of course the backstory on why the communists threw out the Chinese ethnics after they won the Vietnam war.
Myself: I am wondering: The missiles would allow China to block the shipping routes from the Middle East to Japan and Korea, but except for minor gifts they seem to be ignoring the potential problem here.
You would think that after WWII the Filipinos would hate the Japanese more than the Chinese, but the Chinese intermarried with the great families and run the oligarchy, wherease the Japanese just move to Baguio to retire or study English.