Manila: ‘maximum national interests’
“Through offering olive branches to both China and Japan, Duterte is pursuing the Philippines’ maximum national interests, since both China and Japan could offer financial support to his country,” he said.
Jin Yong, deputy head of the School of Foreign Studies at Communication University of China, said Duterte should stick to independent diplomacy instead of being influenced by Japan.
According to the ChinaPhilippines joint declaration issued on Friday, the two countries agreed to maintain restraint and enhance bilateral negotiations over the South China Sea dispute.
“I think that Duterte’s remarks in Japan should mostly be in accordance with what he said in China, that is, to enhance cooperation and set aside disputes,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Wednesday.
Duterte also said in Japan that he did not pick quarrels with his neighbors, but he had tough words for Washington, Reuters reported.
“I have declared that I will pursue an independent foreign policy. I want, maybe in the next two years, my country free of the presence of foreign military troops. I want them out,” Duterte said.
“And if I have to revise or abrogate agreements, executive agreements, this shall be the last maneuver, war games between the United States and the Philippines military,” he added.
A meeting between US and Philippine military officials, originally scheduled for Oct 24, has been postponed to Nov 24 after the US presidential election to decide the fate of the decades-old bilateral joint exercises.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said he was not aware of the meeting.
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