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The Philippines Caught Between Conflict Between China and the U.S.

Due to it's economic dependence to both China and the U.S., the Philippines does not want to get between a conflict between China and the U.S.

Tensions between the Philippines and China have increased over the years due to territorial disputes in the West Philippine Sea. China has been encroaching on the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone by building illegal infrastructures in the West Philippine Sea and attacking Philippine fishing boats.

Though the Philippines wants to take a stand against China's illegal occupation of its maritime territory, the Philippines has to consider its economic dependence on China. China is the top trading partner with the Philippines, importing Filipino items like bananas and iron ore. China was the Philippines' third-biggest export market in 2022, taking $10.97 billion worth or 13% of its shipments, behind only the United States and Japan.

To offset China's economic influence, the Philippines has been strengthening its economic ties to the United States and negotiated security deals with neighboring countries like Vietnam and Australia.

Though the Philippines continue to resist the intimidation tactics of China, they realize that any escalation of a conflict between the U.S. and China would be disastrous for the Philippines.

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