Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has completed a dramatic revolution in his nation’s role in the world during his current visit to China. In very clear language, he has renounced the Philippines’ previous subservience to Washington, established a new relationship with China and Xi Jinping’s Silk Road process, and put in place extensive cooperation with China, and potentially also Russia, in both economic and strategic matters.
Speaking at the Philippine-China Trade and Investment Forum in the Great Hall of the people in Beijing, Duterte said:
“America has lost now. I’ve realigned myself in your ideological flow, and maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world —China, Philippines, and Russia. It’s the only way.
“With that, in this venue, your honors, in this venue, I announce my separation from the United States. Not only military, not in social, but in economics also…. I have separated from them. So I will be dependent on you for a long time. But do not worry. We will also help as you help us.”
Speaking to a Filipino audience in Beijing (there are over 300,000 Filipinos working in China), Duterte said about the U.S.:
“Goodbye, my friend. Your stay in my country was for your benefit. We were fed with lies about China. We grew up with the Red Scare. We kept a distance from China. They characterized communism as an oppression of their people. Now I said, this has to stop because you have been abusing the courtesy of my country.”
“I will not go to America anymore,” he said. “I will just be insulted there.” He noted that Americans “enter the Philippines visa-free,” while Filipinos have great difficulty getting a visa to the U.S. “Why don’t we make it even? Well, there will always be a time for reckoning,” he added.
On the war on drugs, Duterte said of Obama’s attacks on the people being killed in the process: “What is that compared to the shattered nations of the Middle East? Those which they bombed? At least here, it’s the criminals, drug addicts, drug lords who are being killed. Over there, they would bomb a hospital, a nursery. We pale in comparison with their atrocities.”