Thursday, October 20, 2016

Duterte and Xi Jinping Agree to Reopen South China Sea Talks

President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines and China’s leader, Xi Jinping, agreed on Thursday to resume direct talks on disputes in the South China Sea after years of escalating tension, a sign of warming relations with Beijing.

The announcement came during Mr. Duterte’s state visit to China, as he repeatedly sought to distance the Philippines from the United States, a treaty ally. Mr. Duterte, speaking to business leaders shortly after meeting with Mr. Xi, openly declared a “separation from the United States.”
Duterte in his remarks to the business forum on Thursday, suggested that the separation would extend to the “military, not maybe social, but economics also. America has lost.”

He continued, “I’ve realigned myself in your ideological flow, and maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to Putin.”