What exactly do you mean by 'separation'? USA to ask Duterte
Oct 21 2016 by Desiree Burns
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, left, listens to Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China, during a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016.
"We have yet to hear from the Philippine government what Duterte's remarks on "separation" might mean, but it is creating unnecessary uncertainty".
"With that, in this venue, your honours, in this venue, I announce my separation from the United States", Duterte said to applause.
It's unlikely, however, that Abe will try to intervene in Duterte's spat with Washington or discuss the Hague ruling, he added.
"We are going to be seeking an explanation of exactly what the president meant when he talked about separation from the US", State Department spokesman John Kirby said.
Wrangling over territory in the South China Sea, where neighbors Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims, has consumed China-Philippines relations in recent years.
On Wednesday, addressing a group of Philippine expatriates in China, Duterte repeated his previous public denunciation of Obama as a "son of a whore".
And he has admonished the US for criticising him over his bloody war against drugs that has been linked with thousands of extrajudicial killings, and said US President Barack Obama could "go to hell".
Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said for his part the two countries would return to the track of dialogue and consultation in seeking a proper settlement of the South China Sea issue.
Duterte, a 71-year-old former mayor, took office June 30 after a landslide victory in which he promised to kill criminals.
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China, he said, "does not go around insulting people, insisting on policies to follow them and trying to control the money of the world through the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank". USA diplomats had previously pointed to warmer relations with Manila - and tensions between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea - as evidence that the policy was succeeding.
He added that he would no longer even travel to America, as he would just be insulted there. And the Philippines offered to open negotiations with China over disputed fishing waters in the South China Sea, a surprising change of policy given that an global tribunal in the Hague had ruled in July against China's claim of historic rights to the waters.
"They agreed that the two countries will strengthen fishery cooperation in the South China Sea and also cooperation in terms of fishery products, industries", Liu said.
The announcement came during Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's visit to China where he sought economic support from the Asian giant and announced his "separation" from longtime ally the US. "The Philippines president, however, is playing with fire if he is seen in any way by Filipinos as ceding sovereignty to China in the South China Sea, known locally as the West Philippines Sea".
He did say both countries agreed on coast guard and fisheries cooperation.
On Tuesday an opinion poll showed Filipinos still trust the United States far more than China.
Most Filipinos have positive views of America.
Last month Duterte sparked a diplomatic storm when he used the term to refer to Obama after being told the U.S. president would raise rights concerns at an Asia meeting.
Reports in the Philippines press recalled that Duterte's erratic and profanity-laden pronouncements are often subsequently "corrected" by presidential officials.
"The Chinese people are passionate about peace", Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said of the meeting.