While in China, Duterte announces 'separation' from US

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 20 2016 06:24 PM | Updated as of Oct 20 2016 07:52 PM

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands after a signing ceremony held in Beijing, China October 20, 2016. Ng Han Guan, Reuters

Duterte says he'll also talk to Russia

BEIJING - (UPDATED) President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday announced his "separation" from the United States following a bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

Duterte announced his "separation" from the United States at a business forum in Beijing's Great Hall of the People during a state visit to China.

"I, in this venue, your honors, in this venue, I announce my separation from the United States both in military -- not in social -- both in military but economic," Duterte said, drawing applause from the crowd. 

"So please, you have another problem of economics in my country. I am separated from them, so I will be dependent on you for all time. But do not worry. We will also help," he added. 

Duterte's efforts to engage China, months after a tribunal ruling in the Hague over South China Sea disputes in favor of the Philippines, marks a reversal in foreign policy since the 71-year-old former mayor took office on June 30.

"America has lost now," Duterte told Chinese and Philippine business people at a forum in the Great Hall of the People, attended by Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli.

"I've realigned myself in your ideological flow and maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to (President Vladimir) Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world - China, Philippines and Russia. It's the only way," he added.

The President's statement came after a seemingly fruitful meeting with Xi, where several agreements were forged between the two countries.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said China and the Philippines will sign $13.5 billion in deals during Duterte's state visit.

China also lifted an advisory to its citizens against travel to the Philippines.

(By Maverick Pesigan)

Earlier, Duterte also announced that it was "time to say goodbye" to the US, saying he was fed up with Western agenda.

"Your stay in my country was for your own benefit. So time to say goodbye, my friend," he said.

"What kept us from China was not our own making. I will charter a new course," he added. 

"I will not go to America anymore. I will just be insulted there," he added, before once again referring to US President Barack Obama as a "son of a whore". 

Duterte, who took office in late June, said he was fed up with the Philippines' foreign policy being dictated by a Western agenda. 

"What kept us from China was not our own making. I will charter a new course," he said.

Foreign policy under Duterte has dramatically shifted from that pursued under predecessor Benigno Aquino, who took Beijing to an international tribunal over its extensive territorial claims in the South China Sea and won a resounding victory.

The move infuriated Beijing. But Duterte, who took office in June shortly before the tribunal ruling, has made a point of not flaunting the outcome.

-- With Agence France-Presse, Reuters