On July 7, 2015 President Barack Obama hosted Nguyen Phu Trong, leader of the Vietnamese Communist Party, at the White House. This historic meeting was part of Obama's "pivot to Asia," a strategy to counter growing Chinese influence by engaging more deeply with other Asian nations. Nowhere is the tension with China felt more keenly than in the Philippines, the Asian nation with which the United States has a long and complicated relationship. This month historian Gregory Kupsky examines a century of Philippine attempts to define its nationality while facing often hostile and more powerful neighbors.
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