Duterte teases Chinese reporter about 'flowering' PH-China ties
When it comes to awkward moments with the press, President Rodrigo Duterte has shown quite an adeptness.
On Monday, April 9, before departing Davao City for China, Duterte's attention was on a Chinese female correspondent who he called his "friend."
China Central Television correspondent Huang Zhengzheng stepped up to the microphone to ask Duterte a series of questions about his attendance to the Boao Forum for Asia the next day.
Duterte, who appeared to recognize her, could not resist making some personal remarks in between his official responses.
He teasingly employed metaphor in response to her question about the relationship between the Philippines and China.
"I think that it would bloom, like a flower that will bloom into something big and beautiful. It's one stem and China and the Philippines will bloom and you and I are in the middle of the flower," he said with a slight grin.
Chuckles from his audience of Cabinet secretaries and diplomats could be clearly heard.
After that, he even posed his own questions to the Chinese reporter and exclaimed in surprise when she said she has been based in Manila for quite some time.
Duterte offered her a seat beside him in his flight to China.
"You can join me, I have a vacant seat beside me.... Where's your passport?" he said, to the amusement of his audience.
The Philippine President is known to put reporters on the spot, either when he is curious about them, angry with them, or friendly with them.
In the weeks leading to Duterte's oath taking, he got irked by a reporter who asked him about his health. The then-president-elect challenged the mediaman to resign if Duterte could keep running on his treadmill for an hour and a half.
Duterte had also wolf-whistled at GMA-7 reporter Mariz Umali during a press conference and, as president, ranted about Rappler's report on the alleged intervention of Special Assistant to the President Bong Go in the Philippine Navy frigates deal. – Rappler.com
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