In a May 11, 2022 tweet, (self-described "public educator, academic, columnist, and policy adviser") Richard Javad Heydarian1,2 first asserts that China took the previous Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte "for a ride";

...China offered him billions of dollars, offered him concessions in the South China Sea where the two have maritime disputes. Guess what Christian (Amanpour), forget about debt-trap, this was "pledge trap".

and goes on to elaborate.

Question: Did China make (potentially disingenuous) pledges to former Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte that could be described as a "trap"? If so, which were most attractive to him?

Heydarian suggests that Duterte was at risk of being trapped in some way not by actual debt to China, but simply by attractive pledges made by that country. Which pledges were most attractive to Duterte and therefore most likely to have influenced him towards a more pro-China stance? (at least in terms of China-Philippines interaction)

  • 1
    It's a bit unclear to me what you are asking. Isn't the answer to your headline question trivially yes, since Heydarian has described the pledges, whatever they were, as a trap? Is your real question perhaps the later one, namely "Which pledges were most attractive...". That seems to me like an easier, if still perhaps difficult, question to answer. Aug 5 at 17:38
  • @CharlieEvans Thanks for your comment and suggestion! Well it's certainly not "trivially yes" because although Heydarian has some familiarity and form in this area, I've only quoted one informed individual's opinion. Stack Exchange answers to the question would have to support a yes or no answer with facts, and then be voted upon. To close the gap between the body of the question and its title, I've appended the "If so, which...?" to the title and re-squeezed it back to 150 characters. Does this look better?
    – uhoh
    Aug 5 at 22:26


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