China sidesteps Duterte claim of war threat over sea row

Todd Singleton
May 24, 2017

Duterte cancelled a meeting set for Wednesday with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and planned to cut short his trip, during which he was also due to meet Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano said their meeting was frank and friendly, and the discussion was largely about preventing conflict, not threatening it.

He told a Philippine coast guard convention in the southern city of Davao on Friday that Xi responded: "Well, we are friends".

"Since they are advocating ISIS ideology they have to show ISIS that they are a force to be reckoned with", he said, using an acronym for Islamic State. Progress in the metallurgical sphere would be a crucial condition for our country's plans to export automated equipment, he said. "Many countries have the problem, we have a problem but what a great job you are doing".

"My visit underscores the independence of the Philippines" foreign policy and the firm resolve to broaden the horizons of friendship and cooperation with other nations, ' he said.

"We can't let a madman with nuclear weapons let loose like that", the president stressed, "We have a lot of firepower, more than he has, times 20, but we don't want to use it". "We know our problems better than you".

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"The whole of Marawi city is blacked out, there is no light, and there are Maute snipers all around", Lorenzana said in the news conference in Moscow, which was broadcast live in the Philippines.

"I hope China solves the problem".

"I've realigned myself in your ideological flow and maybe I will also go to Russian Federation to talk to Putin and tell him there are three of us against the world: China, Philippines and Russian Federation". He said he replied, "But I have the arbitral (award)".

Since taking office in June, Duterte has moved to hedge on the Philippines' long-standing defense alliance with the United States by establishing closer relations with China. The rhetoric is somewhat shocking considering Duterte's take-no-prisoners war on drugs that has ended the lives of thousands of Filipinos. "Overdependence on traditional partners has limited our room to maneuver in a very dynamic global arena. We will fight you", Duterte quoted Xi as saying. That development reportedly surprised White House staffers and drew widespread condemnation from human rights groups, which have accused Duterte of condoning a lawless drug war that has terrorized the nation with a campaign of extrajudicial killings carried out by vigilantes and police officers. And I said that since Russian Federation is brighter than America, I'll go to Russian Federation.

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte clarified Tuesday that the Philippines harbors no ill-feelings towards its long-time ally, the United States (US), while pursuing close cooperation with China and Russian Federation.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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