Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe plans private personal meetings with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Tokyo next week, three sources said, seeking to keep him onside with US -led efforts to contain Beijing's South China Sea ambitions.
Then again he is on an official state visit, and he's received the VIP treatment, complete with a 21-gun salute and a walk down the red carpet with Chinese president Xi Jinping, with whom he also had a chummy conversation that went on longer than planned.
The intention was a culmination of a succession of outbursts Duterte has made against America - the country's long time ally - since taking office in June, along with talk of forging links with Beijing and Moscow, bringing uncertainty to the USA relationship. "Maybe I will also go to Russian Federation to talk to [President Vladimir] Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world - China, Philippines and Russian Federation", he said. It's the only way.
"Both in military, not maybe social, but economics also".
When asked if China was taking these remarks seriously, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that Duterte is the president elected by the people of the Philippines and his foreign policy choices must be respected.
Ignoring the thousands of American lives that were lost to liberate the Philippines from Japan during World War II, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid, Duterte has also told Filipinos that the United States had done nothing for them.
Lopez said trade with and investments from the U.S. will not stop.
An improvement of the country's relationship with China does open up economic possibilities for the Philippines.
"I just want to say that obviously we're aware of this rhetoric", US State Department spokesman John Kirby said on Thursday.
According to Reuters, Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said that $13.5 billion in deals would be signed during Rodrigo Duterte's China trip.
(Philexport) in Cebu, said Duterte's rhetoric is confusing.
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On the part of the Philippine government, Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Assistant Secretary Ana Marie Banaag said Duterte's visit will build upon the administration's policy in "enhancing relations with our neighbors in the region".
Kirby added that the United States welcomes the improved relations between China and the Philippines as thought otherwise by President Duterte.
Duterte's tone towards China is in stark contrast to the language he has used against the United States, after being infuriated by USA criticism of his bloody war on drugs.
He has called U.S. President Barack Obama, the European Union and United Nations "fools", and warned they would end up humiliated and outsmarted if they accepted his invitation to investigate his anti-drugs campaign. The U.S. president has questioned whether this violates human rights.
Hundreds of left-wing demonstrators burned a replica of the USA flag at a rally in Manila on Friday as they called for an end to US military agreements.
Davide said the recent pronouncements of Duterte against USA will not have any adverse effect on Filipinos living and working in America.
"We have yet to hear from the Philippine government what Duterte's remarks on "separation" might mean, but it is creating unnecessary uncertainty".
The United States will honor its alliance commitments and treaty obligations, and expects the Philippines to do the same, she added.
The Bank of China has already committed to providing a 3-billion USA dollar line of credit for infrastructure construction in the Philippines. "So time to say goodbye my friend".
"Obviously any relationship is one of mutuality and we will continue to discuss that with our Philippine counterparts", he told reporters on a flight to Turkey.
He would seek to clarify Duterte's comments, the State Department said.