Duterte not seeking military alliance with China

Pia Ranada
'There will be no military alliances in the talks, there will be no military alliances broken,' says Duterte ahead of bilateral talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping

RODRIGO DUTERTE. Photo by Pia Ranada/Rappler

BEIJING, China – Days after saying he was open to the Philippines joining war games with China and Russia, President Rodrigo Duterte said military alliances are not on the agenda with Chinese officials during his ongoing state visit.

In fact, he said he is not keen on forging military alliances with any other country.

“There will be no military alliances in the talks, there will be no military alliances broken,” he told reporters on Wednesday, October 19, in a Beijing hotel.

Previously, when asked if he is open to military exercises with these two countries, he said, “Yes, I will. I have given enough time for the Americans to play with the Filipino soldiers.”

But on Wednesday, he said he was averse to the idea of more military alliances with foreign powers.

“What I’m saying is, we are not interested in adding fuel to what is already a volatile world,” he said.

His statement comes after his public rants against the United States and praises to China and Russia. In his tirades against the US, he has threatened to put under review a military agreement inked by America and the Philippines and has declared he would stop war games of the two countries.

He has also said he wants US troops out of Mindanao, fearing their presence will increase tensions in the southern region.

In comparison, he has talked of purchasing military equipment from China and Russia. He even said these countries offered loans to the Philippine government for such acquisitions.

Duterte and several Cabinet members are set to engage in bilateral talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Chinese officials on Thursday, October 20. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.