World

US Ally And Major Rivals Bond Over Mutual Dislike Of America

REUTERS

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said Sunday that Russian and Chinese officials supported him when he complained about the U.S., Reuters reports.

Duterte revealed that he met with Russian and Chinese leaders at a summit in Laos last month and bonded with them over a common dislike of the U.S.

“I met with Medvedev, I am revealing it to you now. I told him this is the situation, they are giving me a hard time, they are disrespecting me, they are shameless,” Duterte said in a speech Sunday.

“He said ‘that is really how the Americans are’, he said ‘we will help you’,” Duterte added.

“China said ‘side with us,’” the Philippines president said, but didn’t specify which Chinese leader he met.

The official meeting between President Barack Obama and Duterte was canceled because the latter called Obama a “son of a whore.” However, the two later met informally.

Duterte regularly expresses outrage over American criticisms of his drug war and reported human rights violations. Over 3,000 people have died in Duterte’s war on drugs, and the majority of the deaths were the results of extrajudicial killings.

The Philippines alliance is one of the most substantial U.S. military alliances in the Asia-Pacific region, but that alliance may be changing.

“As it has been for decades, our alliance with the Philippines is ironclad,” U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter said Thursday.

Duterte appears to have a different view of bilateral ties. The president and relevant officials have repeatedly stated that the Philippines will be pursuing a foreign policy independent from the U.S.

“I am no American puppet. I am the president of a sovereign state, and we have long ceased to be a colony. I do not have any master except the Filipino people,” Duterte said in August.

The past month has taken a toll on the U.S.-Philippines alliance.

Duterte has canceled joint patrols and war games with American military units to avoid upsetting China. He has indicated that he is interested in turning to China and Russia for weapons and defense equipment. Duterte blamed the U.S. for the Islamic insurgency problem in the Southern Philippines and called for the removal of American troops. He also questioned the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), which gives the U.S. access to military bases in the Philippines.

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