Duterte claims China visit about economics, not arms

As president, Duterte has reached out to Beijing while criticizing US foreign policy.

Philippine officials sought more Japanese investments on Wednesday in such areas as manufacturing, infrastructure, agriculture and energy, a day after President Rodrigo Duterte arrived in Japan for a three-day visit.

"I have declared that I will pursue an independent foreign policy".

Addressing growing tensions with the United States, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte declared today that he's very much like to expel all the U.S. troops from his country, saying he hates the idea of foreign military forces operating inside the Philippines.

Duterte said he had explained to Abe why he was angry with the United States.

Duterte vented at Washington on several fronts, from its bombing of Manila at the end of World War Two to embassy officials once questioning his intentions when he applied for a visa to visit a girlfriend.

Later on Wednesday, Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said they'd be cooperating on maritime security, and that Japan would support economic development projects in the Philippines.

Mr Duterte's latest anti-US remarks came after he announced during a visit to China last week his "separation" from the United States in the military and economic spheres, while suggesting his country would be much better off aligning itself with China and Russian Federation.

Earlier in the day, Duterte reiterated his harsh words for long-time ally Washington, saying he might end defence treaties.

And that is why Duterte and Chinese leaders were able to sit down together last week to discuss how to achieve overall improvement and greater progress in bilateral ties.

"I don't want to embarrass my defense secretary but the exercises with the Americans will be the last", he said. "We avoided talking about alliances", he told Japanese businessmen.

Mr Duterte said "progressive" countries in the West have no right to "chastise" and "reprimand" him for simply doing what is necessary to protect future generations of Filipinos.

"I want, maybe in the next two years, my country free of the presence of foreign military troops", Duterte told an economic forum in Tokyo, in a clear reference to United States forces.

"I may have ruffled the feelings of some but that is how it is".

The Philippines hosts American troops on a non-permanent basis in line with existing agreements anchored on the two countries' 1951 Mutual Defense Treaty.

Following the leaders' meeting, Japan pledged 4.93 billion yen ($47.3 million) in yen loans for agricultural business promotion and peace-building on the island of Mindanao, where Duterte served as the longtime mayor of the city of Davao.

"Without the assistance of America, it will be a lesser quality of life", Duterte told hundreds of Philippine and Japanese business people.

Duterte is scheduled to meet Emperor Akihito on Thursday before wrapping up his visit. But during his visit in Japan, he was not seen doing that during his talks with Abe and other officials.

"Japan is an old and reliable friend of the Philippines".



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