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Duterte says will not sever ties with Washington


10-22-2016 10:17 BJT

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says he is not severing ties with the US, but wants to "separate" Manila's foreign policy from Washington's. 

He made the comment in a late-night speech in his southern hometown of Davao city. Duterte said it's in his country's best interest to stay with America, the Philippines' longtime treaty ally.

The president had announced at a meeting with business leaders in Beijing that he would "separate" from the United States. He expressed his desire to become more dependent on China instead, both militarily and economically.

Meanwhile, hundreds of demonstrators burned a replica of the US flag at a rally and marched almost two miles to the presidential palace in Manila.

The protesters demanded an end to the presence of US troops in the Philippines and supported Duterte’s vow to chart a foreign policy not dependent on the US.

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