BEIJING, China (3rd UPDATE) – In front of Chinese businessmen and government officials, President Rodrigo Duterte announced his “separation” from the United States both in military and economic aspects.
“I announce my separation from the United States, both in military but economics also,” said Duterte on Thursday, October 20, during the Philippines-China Trade and Investment Forum.
WATCH: #PresidentDuterte announces his separation from US in military and economic aspects. @rapplerdotcom pic.twitter.com/EhNTVXIQlH — Pia Ranada (@piaranada) October 20, 2016
“So, please, you have another problem of economics in my country. I am separated from them so I will be dependent on you for a long time,” Duterte said, before chuckling.
The rest of his speech was heavily anti-American, to the amusement of his Chinese and Filipino audience.
He began his speech by saying that Americans are a “discourteous people” who are too loud for Asian sensibilities.
“Americans are loud, sometimes rowdy. Their larynx is not adjusted to civility,” he said.
He then said he prefers the Chinese way.
“Duterte of the Philippines is veering towards China because China has the character of an Oriental. It does not go around insulting people,” he said to loud applause.
Later on in the speech, he said, "There are 3 of us against the world – China, Philippines, Russia."
In an ambush interview after Duterte's speech, reporters tried to get statements from Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana. He declined to comment.
National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr, asked about the implications of Duterte's statement, said, "I don't need to advice anything because that's already a decision made."
After Duterte's speech, his economic planners issued a joint statement to media emphasizing relations with Western countries.
"We will maintain relations with the West but we desire stronger integration with our neighbors," said Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.
The two officials said Duterte had merely wanted to highlight an economic policy that would pursue economic integration with countries geographically closer to the Philippines.
"The Philippines is integrating with ASEAN (Assocation of Southeast Asian Nations), China, Japan and South Korea. In a way, Asian economic integration is long overdue compared with the regional econonomic integrations," they said. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.