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President Rodrigo Duterte is a student of geopolitics and he understands the value and the importance of the Philippines' geographic location.
While the US downplays our importance, it is actually through us that they can maintain their power and project US dominance in the region.
Because Duterte understood our country's value to the United States he also saw the how important we are to China.
Although we have been a loyal ally of the United States, they have not given us the "value" and "importance" we deserve and this is where some of Duterte's misgivings at the US is rooted.
China, on the other hand, is eager to show we are special.
Should there be a state of war or trade embargo with the US, China knows that they will be trapped because its access to the Pacific is blocked by US and its allies. They have to find a way out and the Philippines can offer that opening.
In the north, China's access to the Pacific is blocked by Japan and Taiwan. In the south, the Philippines blocks them.
In the event of a conflict between the United States and China, the US allies in the region can easily choke them.
If the Philippines becomes neutral, the Chinese will have safe passage for its ships or aircraft so it can continue to trade with the rest of the world.
As of now, the United States dominates power in the region and they can easily strangle the Chinese whenever they want to.
Duterte's move to make the Philippines a neutral country will punch a hole in the US's Asian defense alliance and alter the balance of power.