Veteran Thai journo lauds President Duterte's unpredictability, for shifting power politics in the ASEAN, "as no Asean leaders have done before"

Manila, Philippines – On Tuesday, a Thailand’s online English daily news website posted an article about non other than President Rodrigo Duterte following the end of the ASEAN Summit in the Philippines.

In the article ‘Duterte ends his colourful Asean lead role’ the writer lauded the Philippine President for his unpredictability.

As the writer said, Mr. Duterte did not follow rules and remained ‘unpredictable’ throughout the hosting of the 31st ASEAN Summit.

“Indeed, Mr Duterte has shifted power politics in the region, by default or design, as no Asean leaders have done before. He did not follow any rules and remained unpredictable throughout his Asean chairmanship. Despite the verdict on the South China Sea conflict by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in favour of the Philippines, Mr Duterte decided to play the outcome the way he wanted to -- by befriending China to the bewilderment of his country, allies and friends. In the process, he took the bull by the horns and turned it around to his advantage. Mr Duterte has a lightning rod in his hands, which he can use anytime.” Kavi Chongkittavorn wrote.

The author also praised Mr. Duterte’s flexibility despite his tough talk – which is the President’s usual self.

Furthermore, the veteran Thai journalist also pointed out how China seemed to be feeling more comfortable and open to Asean in a positive way after its hardline policy during the Aquino’s term.

“Obviously, after six years of hard-line policy during the former Aquino administration, China is now feeling more comfortable about responding to Asean collectively in positive ways without the much-feared perception that it is doing so due to pressure from Washington. Chaired by the Philippines, Asean centrality has been strengthened simply because Mr Duterte decided to opt for cooperation rather than confrontation.” Kavi Chongkittavorn wrote

Read more on: Bangkok Post

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