Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, shakes hands with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang ahead of their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. China and the Philippineshave agreed to resume a dialogue on their dispute over the South China Sea, a senior Chinese diplomat said Thursday following talks between the countries' leaders.
Wu Hong/Pool Photo via AP
Duterte announces military, economic break with US
MGA LAMAS SA KINABUHI - Alexis Romero ( - October 20, 2016 - 9:34pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 9:29 p.m.) – President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday announced that he is cutting ties with the United States, the Philippines' long-time ally and trading partner. 

In a 40-minute long speech peppered with expletives, Duterte said the US has been arrogant and has been imposing its policies on other countries, including the Philippines, its traditional partner and treaty ally.
"In this venue, I announce my separation from the United States both in the military…not social, but economics also,” Duterte said, earning a standing ovation from businessmen during the Philippines-China Trade and Investment Forum.
"I have separated from them so I will be dependent on you (China) for a long time but don't worry we will also help," he added.

READ: Duterte tells Obama 'you can go to hell,' warns of breakup

The relations between the Philippines and the US has had a rough sailing since Duterte assumed the presidency last July. The tough-talking president accused the US of insulting him after American officials had raised concerns over the alleged extrajudicial killing of drug suspects in the Philippines.

Early this month, Duterte said he would no longer allow the military to conduct joint military drills with American troops, activities that are part of a decades-old defense treaty signed by the two countries.
He clarified then that he was not severing ties with the US but was merely implementing an independent foreign policy.

The president is known for makings statements that he later retracts or that his spokespersons later clarify.

Previously, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay and Chief Legal Presidential Counsel Salvador Panelo clarified that Duterte’s pronouncement of “crossing the Rubicon with the US” did not mean cutting ties with the country’s former colonizer.

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella has also said that Duterte's statements are not policy until official action is taken.

RELATED: Duterte's 'cross the Rubicon' remark does not equate to cutting US ties, says Yasay | WATCH: Panelo explains ‘crossing the Rubicon’ statement of Duterte

Economic managers: We will maintain relations with the West

Duterte’s economic managers said Duterte’s policy would open the Philippines to trade and investment opportunities in the region.
“The president just gave a very important speech. The Cabinet will move strongly and swiftly towards regional economic integration. This is why the president prioritized foreign trips to ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and Asia,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said in a joint statement.
“As a result, the Philippines has now opened its opportunities for trade and investment to a market of 1.8 billion people across the region. ASEAN economies have expressed interest in integration. China has committed to open its capital markets,” they added.
 “We will maintain relations with the West but we desire stronger integration with our neighbors. We share the culture and a better understanding with our region."
Pernia and Dominguez said the Philippines is integrating with ASEAN and East Asian countries China, Japan and South Korea.
“In a way, Asian economic integration is long overdue compared with the regional economic integrations,” they said.
Aside from Asian countries, the Philippines is also seeking closer ties with Russia.
"I realign myself in your ideological flow and maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to (Russia President Vladimir) Putin. There are three of us against the world. China, Philippines, Russia," Duterte said.
In the same event, Duterte praised China for being sincere and for not being arrogant, traits that he said are typical of Orientals, an outdated and sometimes offensive term for East Asians. -- with a report by Rosette Adel

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