Philippine Prez open to war games with China, Russia
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he was open to joint military exercises with China and Russia, and reiterated he will no longer allow war games with the United States.
Duterte made the remarks in an interview broadcast with Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television on Monday, ahead of a four-day visit to Beijing, which begins on Tuesday and is aimed at improving ties that soured over competing claims in the resource-rich South China Sea. Asked if he would consider joint military exercises with China or Russia, Duterte said: "Yes, I will. I have given enough time for the Americans to play with the Filipino soldiers."
Duterte also repeated he would no longer allow joint exercises with the United States, the Philippines' main defence ally and supplier of military hardware.
"This will be the last. It has been programmed. I do not want my soldiers to be humiliated," Duterte said, in reference to one set of war games in the Philippines that ended last week. Duterte has sought to dramatically reshape his nation's foreign relations since taking office on June 30, by pivoting towards China and Russia while moving away from the US.
He has been angered by US criticism of his war on crime, which has claimed more than 3,700 lives, and praised China and Russia for showing him "respect".