During a visit to China in October the Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte said that it was time to bid goodbye to US. He said farewell to years of a diplomatic friendship between Philippine and United States. His also mentioned about his intentions to establish a good bond with China and this was his historic visit to China.
Duterte was reported to be meeting the Filipino community in Beijing in October 2016 and confirmed in one of his tough speeches that he would be shifting away from Washington and would like to approach the developing Asian powerhouse. He had visited China along with 25 business executives. An AFP report on ABSCBN reported him to be saying,
“Your stay in my country was for your own benefit. So time to say goodbye, my friend,” it was assumed that he was particularly referring to United States. He also added, “I will not go to America anymore. I will just be insulted there.”
Duterte is known to be someone with a tough speech and has used labels for Obama and then has accepted that he regretted doing so. In the Asian Summit that took place in September 2016, due to the labels used by Duterte against Obama, Duterte was rebuked by the international leaders. He admitted that he was tired of the Western agenda to dictate Philippine’s foreign policy while adding, “What kept us from China was not our making. I will charter a new course.”
The spokeswoman from China’s foreign ministry, Hua Chunying said to the press that it is good news to see an approach in improving the bilateral relationship with Philippines. She also accepted that she has mixed feelings when it comes to Duterte visiting China. She acknowledged that China will support Philippines in Duterte’s controversial crackdown on drug control and the fight against drug crimes.
Chunying said, “We are ready to talk with Philippines side about cooperation on drug control and fight against drug crimes,” she also added, “Competent authorities of the two countries are in communication on this.” This part of speech was obtained from a transcript of the media conference posted online by The Philippine Star.
There is also a plan that Philippines will enhance military cooperation with China by purchasing weapons and with that Chunying said, “As I mentioned before, China is willing to cooperate with the Philippines on drugs control and fight against drug crimes and terrorism.”
Since the Philippines president took the office in June 2016, he was known to be having a difficult relationship with the United States and its president Obama. Along with that, he also had issues with other world groupings which included; United Nations and recently with the European Union.
Duterte also admitted of possible deals with China and Russia to increase Philippines military arsenal and added that this would be the last event to be held with the global superpower. United States and the Philippines were bounded in 1951 by a treaty, Mutual Defense Treaty. According to this treaty both countries are bound to protect each other. Regardless of all the harsh words used by Duterte for US, he stated that Philippines will continue their military alliances with US.