Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said in Beijing on Wednesday that no country, including the US, should restrain him from dealing with China, The Manila Times Online reported on Thursday.
The basic question of the Filipinos now � I know what is in their mind � Why is Duterte breaking away from the United States? No, I am not breaking away, I just want to be friendly with everybody. You do not constrain, restrain me from doing business with China, said Duterte on state-controlled China Central Television News.
We have always been tied even in matters of armaments and weaponry with the US. We should not be too constrained to follow the dictates of any other countryTalking of war and violence and the basic question of our relationships with America and with China for that matter, so why should we be afraid? Why should we stick with a certain country, said Duterte.
He reiterated that he would no longer allow joint military exercises with the US.
Duterte said that, historically, the Philippines did not buy arms from any other country without even looking at the cost, whether they were more expensive or more compatible.
During military exercises, they allow us to use their equipment, their arms, their weaponry. But after the games, they get it back from us. So if there is really an emergency or a sudden..you want to assemble men, their computers, our armaments are simply not compatible. So what is the use? So what is the use of going into these useless exercises? He said.
Duterte is scheduled to meet with top Chinese leaders, including President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang on Thursday.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)