Chinese investments are strategic rather than benevolent, and thus, the primary objective is not to aid the Philippines in its development, but rather to improve China’s position in achieving its own objectives and protecting its interests. For instance, its infrastructure development projects with developing countries including the Philippines, which is now considered by many as coinciding with the administration’s Build, Build, Build program, is driven by its overcapacity problem back home.
Also, China’s inclination to support the development of the Philippine government media agency through training and donations is guided by Beijing’s storytelling approach to influence the international narrative on China. This means that benefiting from China’s growth is not a decision solely made by those seeking to benefit, but rather, is dependent on China’s interests, objectives, and willingness to share the opportunities with other countries. This view allows us to examine China’s duality : an economic partner and also a risk for national development and security.
What’s driving Chinese infrastructure investment overseas and how can we make the most of it?