Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? A Study on the Filipino Youth’s Perspectives on Philippines-China Relations

Conference: The Asian Undergraduate Research Symposium (AURS2021)
Title: Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf? A Study on the Filipino Youth’s Perspectives on Philippines-China Relations
Stream: Political Science: Administration, Governance and Finance
Presentation Type: Virtual Poster Presentation
Fea Jerulen Gelvezon, University of Alberta, Canada


This study examines the perspectives of Filipino youth ages 18 to 24 towards an increasingly nationalistic and militaristic China regarding Philippines-China relations, using the Chinese blockbuster film Wolf Warrior II as a vehicle for focus group discussions. The Philippines and China currently have a strained relationship. They compete for territorial claims in the South China Sea while also having strong economic ties through China's increasing investments in the Philippines. Meanwhile, the Philippines' current administration of President Rodrigo Duterte pursues a foreign policy of appeasement towards China, hoping this approach will strengthen the Philippine economy (Zha and Gong 2021, 253). An analysis of two focus groups from two different cities in the Philippines, Manila and Iloilo City, showed that the Filipino youth have concerns regarding the current Duterte administration’s friendly approach towards China. The Filipino youth are concerned that Duterte's approach would prove unfavourable to the Philippines' sovereignty, economy, and identity. This study suggests that the Filipino youth's perspectives towards the influence of China on the Philippines stem from the sitting administration's response to Chinese foreign policy. Much of the Filipino youth's perception of fear and concern about Philippines-China relations stem from the Duterte administration's pro-China foreign policy. The attitude of the Philippine President towards China then influences the Filipino youth's own attitude towards China. The outcomes of the 2022 Philippine Elections could potentially turn the Filipino youth's perspectives towards Philippine-China relations. If a pro-Filipino presidential candidate wins the Philippine presidency, their attitude can turn from anxious to optimistic.

Virtual Poster Presentation


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