Duterte sets meeting with Xi, Putin on APEC sidelines

Lynda Jumilla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 17 2016 11:55 AM

LIMA, Peru - President Rodrigo Duterte will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a Pacific Rim leaders' summit here.

The bilateral meetings will take place on Saturday noon, before the formal opening of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit.

Duterte has sought closer ties with China and Russia as he criticizes the US for its wartime abuses and alleged failure to deliver on its alliance with the Philippines.

The President will leave for Lima at noon on Thursday, after initial misgivings over the long-haul flight to the Peruvian capital.

It will be Duterte's first time to attend the annual meeting of 21 heads of economies, whose aim is to foster free trade in the Asia-Pacific. This year's summit is expected to be overshadowed by worries over the protectionist policies of US president-elect Donald Trump.

Barack Obama, whom Duterte had repeatedly criticized, is attending his last APEC summit as US president.

South Korean President Park Geun Hye, who is facing a corruption scandal back home, and Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha, who is leading mourning for Thailand's late king, will not be attending.

It is also unclear of New Zealand Prime Minister John Key will attend following the strong earthquake in his country.