Xi Jinping, president of China and general secretary of China's Communist Party, has repeatedly stated that it is China's policy to reunite Taiwan with mainland China in the not-distant future, by peaceful, diplomatic means if possible and by force if necessary. The position of U.S. administrations, for decades, has been to support democratic Taiwan with trade which includes weaponry for self-defense; on the issue of whether the U.S. would come to the defense of Taiwan militarily, should Taiwan be attacked by mainland China, the U.S., despite President Biden's recent claim that the country would militarily defend Taiwan, has maintained a stance of "strategic ambiguity." Which means, what? Maybe, maybe not? I don't think it's going too far to say that the positions of these two nuclear powers (with the two largest armies on the planet), vis-a-vis this island with a population of 24 million, have created a tinderbox in the region, with many opportunities for miscalculation on either side.
China out-invests the U.S. in Philippine industry, but news reports of Filipino demonstrations against the Philippines' growing reliance on China, as well as every conversation I've had with a Filipino about China, suggest to me there is a deep well of disdain in the average Filipino for their formidable neighbor to the west. Generally, the people here feel the Chinese government's economic designs outside its own borders are predatory, and China's territorial claims in the South China Sea are outageous. President Duterte, trying to win investments from both China and the U.S. during his six years in office, maintained a studied neutrality concerning differences between the two major powers, and, beyond diplomatic protest, would not rock the boat when Chinese warships chased Filipino fishermen away from Philippines-claimed islands in the western sea. Whether President Marcos will maintain this "let's just keep an even keel" position has yet to be seen.
Will China invade Taiwan not in the not-distant but in the near future? No doubt the Chinese government has been observing closely the Western response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Unprecedented sanctions have been imposed on Russia by every NATO state, by other countries as well. Tens of billions of dollars in weaponry and other support is being funneled into Ukraine. This cannot be making the Chinese leaders sanguine. China depends on international trade in ways that Russia doesn't; and foreign assistance to Taiwan, after Chinese aggression, would much more likely lead to flashpoints and a wider conflict than it currently does in Ukraine. On the other hand, President Xi has publicised the issue of Taiwan, and "rattled the saber" in the Taiwan Strait, as no Chinese leader before him has. It is almost as if he is staking his reputation and legacy on reunification during his tenure.
If China does go in militarily, try to reclaim the island that was Chinese territory for more than six hundred years (before the 1949 revolution, and before the decades of Japanese control before that), how would this affect the Philippines? I guess that depends. Would the U.S. come to Taiwan's defense, and, based on a treaty made long ago between the U.S. and the Philippines, would it pressure the Philippines to allow the U.S. to use military bases on Luzon? Would the Philippines give in to such pressure?
For that matter, just what kind of hegemony is China seeking to establish in East Asia? The years ahead should be interesting ones (cough, cough).