The Barbie controversy is as much about the purchasing power of Chinese consumers as it is about the Communist Party.
A battle for power is already taking shape in the South China Sea, with regular confrontations between U.S. and Chinese vessels.
Under President Marcos, U.S.-Philippines relations have been revitalized. Manila has given Washington access to four more military bases.
A new agreement gives the U.S. access to more military bases in the Philippines, increasing its ability to thwart possible Chinese efforts to seize Taiwan.
Washington could take a leaf out of the Chinese playbook by playing the long game and waiting out Duterte in favor of a new administration willing to stand up to Beijing.