U.S. government baffled by Duterte’s ‘separation’ remarks

U.S. government baffled by Duterte’s ‘separation’ remarks


The United States says it’s “baffled” by Philippines
President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent announcement that the country will cut economic and military
ties with America. Duterte made his controversial remarks on
Thursday during his state-visit to China. He said China-Philippines relations have entered
a new “springtime,” although the two had long-maintained a difficult dialogue regarding control of
the South China Sea. He also said the U.S. had finally lost its
struggle for diplomatic influence in Asia. Despite the remarks, the U.S. State Department
said the United States will remain “rock-solid” in honoring the mutual defense treaty signed
by the two countries. It added that the U.S. Assistant Secretary
of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Daniel Russel, will travel to Manila this
weekend to talk with Filipino government officials and get a better understanding of the situation.

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