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United Nations Cannot Stop Rodrigo Duterte And Kim Jong-Un

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The United Nations cannot stop Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte from killing democracy and Kim Jong-Un from launching missiles over Japan and other Asian destinations. China won’t let it happen, something investors in Asian markets should keep a close eye on.

Last December, the United Nations caught up with Duterte’s  human rights record, asking the country’s judicial authorities to launch an investigation.

That was bad news for President Duterte and for financial markets, which had been crushed following his flip-flops on South China Sea disputes.

Obviously, investors were concerned about the rising economic and political risks of the country, and the prospects for the sustainability of the region’s economic growth—most notably China, which needs a market frontier for its manufacturing products.

In fact, the international agencies have been very fair with the Philippines. For example, in July of 2016, the country won an international arbitration ruling, which determined that China has no historic title over the waters of the South China Sea.

That was a big victory for both the US and the Philippines, its close ally, which had filed the arbitration case.

Nonetheless, the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte didn’t seize the opportunity arising from the ruling and have China compensate his country for the damage already done. Instead, he sided with China on the dispute, and announced a “divorce” from the United States!

Apparently, President Duterte determined that his country was better off appeasing rather than confronting China, and have Beijing on his side, when needed.

Like a few months later in May 2017 when Duterte’s drug-related killings came for discussion at UN. China, an influential UN member came to his rescue, hailing his efforts to promote human rights. “While dozens of countries hit the Philippines over drug-related killings, China hailed its newfound ally for its “relentless efforts” to promote human rights, and backed the war on drugs waged by President Rodrigo Duterte,” writes Paterno Emasquel II in the Rappler.

Simply put, Beijing made it difficult for the UN to stop Duterte’s human rights violations. And it hasn’t been that anxious to stop Kim Jong-Un from launching missiles, either. For an obvious reason:  Kim Jong-un has been practically serving as China’s decoy in South China Sea disputes—diverting the attention of the world community from the building of artificial islands in the South China Sea.

To be fair, China has officially sided with the UN’s sanction program against Kim Jong-un, but so far it has sanctioned South Korea more than it has sanctioned North Korea.

That can change, of course. China can stop Kim Jong-un’s missile tests.  Once and for all, and save a lot of trouble for America and its allies—and for Asian market investors.

But to do that, China needs a big prize, the South China Sea. All of it, as discussed in a previous piece here.

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That’s certainly a prize America and its allies cannot afford to deliver.

Meanwhile, don’t expect Beijing to stop Duterte from killing democracy in the Philippines and Kim Jong-Un from sending missiles over Japan and other Asian destinations, raising geopolitical risks.

 

This article was written by Panos Mourdoukoutas from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCredpublisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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