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Former Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, who resisted China, dies at age 61

Belonging to one of the most prominent politicians in the Philippines, former Filipino President Benigno Aquino III during his term Oppose China’s vast claims in the South China Sea, Died in Manila on Thursday. He was 61 years old.

The cause of his death was unknown. A spokesman for current President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his condolences on behalf of the government on Thursday in tribute to a former leader commonly known as “Noinoi” on social media.

“Thanks to the former President for his contributions and services to the country. Sleep peacefully, President,” said a spokesman.

Mr. Aquino was President of the Philippines from 2010 to 2016.His regime Brought about an unprecedented arbitration case Disagree with Beijing’s claim to historical and economic rights in the South China Sea. A referee in The Hague’s Permanent Court of Arbitration issued a groundbreaking 2016 ruling that China’s allegations have no legal basis.

China rejected the result, but the decision constitutes an important document of international law on strategically important waterways. Frequently cited by other governments, including the United States, in opposition to China’s actions in the South China Sea, where Beijing built and militarized artificial islands. Mr. Aquino’s government filed a proceeding in 2012 after the Philippine Navy and Chinese fishing boats clashed and Manila virtually lost control of an outcrop called a scaborow shawl.

Aquino has also strengthened relations with his longtime ally, the United States. In 2014, they signed a defense pact that would give the US military access to many Filipino bases.

After Mr. Aquino resigned, the foreign policy of the Philippines changed significantly. His successor, Duterte, brought the country closer to Beijing and strained relations with Washington. The 2014 Defense Pact is virtually deadlocked, and the old military agreement called the Visiting Forces Agreement is deadlocked.

Both Aquino’s parents were symbols of democracy and opponents of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Aquino’s father was assassinated after returning from exile in 1983. It was a turning point in the country’s political history and gave momentum to the democratization-promoting people power movement that ultimately ended Marcos’ 20-year reign. Mr. Aquino’s election bid in 2010 was supported by general support for his mother, former President Corazon Aquino, after her death a year ago.

Mr. Aquino’s six-year term was defined by a strict anti-corruption agenda and entered a period of rapid economic growth. He was largely away from the political spotlight after his resignation.

Write to Feliz Solomon feliz.solomon@wsj.com

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Former Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, who resisted China, dies at age 61

Source link Former Philippine President Benigno Aquino III, who resisted China, dies at age 61

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