Philip­pine pres­i­dent an­nounces a sep­a­ra­tion from the US

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD -

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.”

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