Philippine president announces a separation from the US
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced that his country is separating from the U.S. in a speech before a Beijing economic forum on Thursday, after handing China a major diplomatic victory, agreeing to resume dialogue on their South China Sea territorial dispute following months of acrimony.
The rapprochement between the two Asia nations could widen a political rift between the United States and the Philippines, whose recently elected leader has made no secret of its antipathy for America and ordered an end to joint maneuvers between their militaries.
“Your honors, in this venue, I announce my separation from the United States ... both in military and economics also,” Duterte said.
In Washington, U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said Duterte’s remarks were “inexplicably at odds with the very close relationship we have with the Filipino people as well as the government there.”