US diplomat says Philippines an ally, but drug killings a

Tuesday, 25 Oct, 2016

It would have been more tactical for Duterte to try to negotiate the best deal for his country with both China and the US.

During his four-day visit to Beijing last week, Duterte confirmed his country's pivot to China, and made headlines when he declared a separation with the us, his nation's treaty ally since 1951.

Apart from verbally insulting Obama, Duterte has ordered the cutting of most joint military exercises with Washington, the country's oldest defense ally.

On Tuesday, an opinion poll showed Filipinos still trust the United States far more than China. "Well, Americans of Filipino ancestry". Despite the criticism from the USA, as well as the UN, Human Rights Watch and other rights groups, Duterte - nicknamed "The Punisher" for his harsh measures against drug dealers and traffickers back in the days when he was mayor of Davao city - vowed to continue his crackdown throughout his entire term, saying that drugs have infected "every nook and corner" of the Philippines.

Duterte said he replied that the Philippines won't budge "because we won in the court.'" In a landmark ruling in July, an worldwide tribunal in The Hague invalidated China's historic claims in the South China Sea and ruled that the Chinese government violated the Filipinos' right to fish in Scarborough, which it declared a traditional fishing ground. Duterte, however, said these joint drills were the last ones and promised to oust U.S. troops from his country, sparking further "head-scratching" in Washington. "What would be my point in insisting on the ownership of that body of water when the world is exploding?"

The visit came against a backdrop of deteriorating China-Philippines ties due to the South China Sea arbitration case unilaterally initiated against China by his predecessor Benigno Aquino III. "Your fish is my fish".

"In the past and until I became president, we always follow what the United States would give the cue. We are still vetting a few", he said.

There was plenty of apparent goodwill spilling forth from Chinese state television and off its official newspaper's editorial pages. Shui responded: "We never forget you".

The leaders did not discuss whether China would allow Filipino fishermen to return to Scarborough Shoal, Liu said, an outcome likely to disappoint the Southeast Asian country.

Considering that he himself acknowledged that he can not afford to break the "diplomatic and social ties" due to the presence of hundreds of thousands of Filipinos in the US, President Duterte can not afford to turn his back and renounce US-PH ties completely. "Japan will probably be dealing with the Philippines directly and not be too wary of recent comments over the weekend", he said in an e-mail interview yesterday. "Now he's popular enough to shape public sentiment and ameliorate opponents, but that's not guaranteed a year from now".

Following a string of attacks against the U.S. and President Barack Obama, Duterte announced during his state visit in Beijing his "separation" from the USA and alignment with China and Russian Federation. While he remains optimistic, Goldberg said "some of the language we've heard is inconsistent with that friendship". Duterte said he responded by saying, "It's OK. we'll discuss the award that we got someday and we won't get out of this document. we won in the ownership".

"I have nothing against Americans", he said. "But this is a measured, Machiavellian, pragmatic leader". This appears to be a major reason for Duterte's tilt toward China.