Duterte to forge closer ties with China, Russia
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday he has decided to “cross the Rubicon” in his ties with the United States and will open trade alliances and offer long-term land leases to “the other side of the ideological barrier,” China and Russia.
The U.S. State Department responded that it wouldn’t stand in Manila’s way of seeking deeper ties with Beijing and Moscow. But it maintained that the U.S.-Philippine alliance endures despite the barrage of negative commentary from Duterte since he took power in June.
Duterte said he was “not really” breaking ties with the U.S., his country’s longtime treaty ally, but will open all areas of trade and commerce to China and Russia. He said the two countries’ companies would be able to lease land in the Philippines for up to 120 years.