Duterte to forge closer ties with China, Rus­sia

Baltimore Sun - - NATION & WORLD -

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.

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