Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte has withdrawn the bold statements he made on breaking ties with the United States of America and consolidating a new political/economic alliance with the People’s Republic of China. The president was on a four-day visit to Beijing.
Image: President Rodrigo Duterte
Duterte arrived Davao, Philippines, around midnight on Friday and was quick to pass a nationwide televised briefing where he defended the controversial statements made in China.
“It’s not severance of ties,” Duterte said.
“It’s in the best interest of my country that I don’t do that,” he confirmed.
Earlier of Thursday, the firebrand ruler told a host of Filipino and Chinese citizens – including government officials – that Philippines would no longer have dealings with the U.S. on any capacity.
In his words: “Your honours, in this venue, I announce my separation from the United States…both in military but also economics. America does not control our lives. Enough bullshit.
“How can you be the most powerful industrial country when you owe China and you are not paying it?” The president asked.
“I have separated from them. So I will be dependent on you for all time. But do not worry. We will also help as you help us,” he told Chinese president Xi Jinping in a remark.
“China has been a friend of the Philippines and the roots of our bonds are very deep and not easily severed.
“Even as we arrive in Beijing, close to winter, this is a springtime of our relationship,” he added.
“China is good,” he said in an earlier statement. “It [China] has never invaded a piece of my country all these generations.” The comment was made in reference to U.S. being an ally for over 70 years, as a colonial ruler.
President Duterte crowned his controversial speech with: “Maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world — China, Philippines and Russia.”
Having said it all in China and gaining a desired applause from both his countrymen and their Chinese counterpart, Duterte is now saying that “the remarks refer to a foreign policy that doesn’t ‘dovetail’ with America”, according a report from the The Associated Press.
Critics who understand Duterte even more than he knows himself, are saying his recent downtoning of the public rants in China was due to instructions from Philippines’ cabinet members who often find ways to clean up his mess.
Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez and Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia spoke with the press a few hours after Duterte’s remarks in Beijing.
They said: “The Philippines will maintain relations with the West,” and added that “Duterte’s comment is aimed at ‘rebalancing’ foreign policy and broadening the country’s alliance”.