Filipino President Announces Split With US
By Dipo Olowookere
President of the Philippines, Mr Rodrigo Duterte, has announced his country’s separation from the United States of America (USA).
Mr Duterte made this declaration during his visit to China as he shifts his country’s diplomacy towards China.
Mr Duterte is in China for a four-day visit.
“I announce my separation from the United States, both in military but economics also,” Mr Duterte said at a meeting of Filipino and Chinese businessmen in Beijing, China.
His declaration was after meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Mr Xi Jinping, at the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square on Thursday.
The two leaders walked side-by-side down a red carpet inspecting an honour guard with children cheering.
They pledged to enhance trust and friendship and play down a maritime dispute in the South China Sea.
According to Mr Xi, China and Philippines are neighbours across the sea, which have no “reason for hostility or confrontation.”
Since 1951, the Philippines has maintained a defence treaty with the US.
In September 2016, Mr Duterte’s planned meeting with the US President, Mr Barack Obama, was reportedly cancelled after the Filipino President called Mr Obama “son of a whore.”