FOD Fireball’s Observations of the Day April 29th Through May 2nd, 2017

Friends of FOD

So I got busy over the last few days and didn’t get an edition out in a timely fashion.  Being retired is hard work sometimes.

 

Philippines and Philippine Leader Rodrigo Duterte in the News

It’s in the news over the weekend last where President Trump has called Philippine leader Rodrigo Duterte and expressed Washington’s commitment to their treaty alliance and his interest in developing “a warm, working relationship,” according to a Filipino officials comments to Military Times.  Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said the friendlier ties are needed even with concerns about Duterte’s human rights record, which includes extrajudicial killings of suspected drug dealers and users as part of the government’s drug war. Priebus cited the military threat of North Korea. But in a more interesting development, Chinese Navy ships will visit the Philippines for the first time since 2010.  Three vessels – the guided missile destroyer Changchun, the guided missile frigate Jingzhou, and the supply ship Chaohu – will dock at Davao City in Mindanao from Sunday until Tuesday.  The port stop comes after Russian navy vessels arrived in Manila last week for joint exercises as part of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s attempts to lower Manila’s dependence on its traditional ally the United States and expand ties with other regional powers.  No word of any intended port visits to Subic Bay or Olongapo! Ties between China and the Philippines have warmed quickly since Duterte promised to put aside their territorial disputes over the South China Sea and pursue stronger business links.  Follow the $.  The Chinese port visit will coincide with Sunday’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Manila.  As holder of the bloc’s rotating chairmanship, the Philippines was expected to adopt a softer-than-usual line on South China Sea disputes and exclude references to militarization or island building in the area, Reuters reported, citing a draft of the chairman’s statement.  An interesting development, particularly as Dutente said he didn’t know whether he’d have time to visit the US as per Trump’s invite.

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