September 29, 2016

CHOOSING THE STRONG HORSE: Philippine leader to end drills with U.S. that “China does not want”

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he was giving notice to the United States, his country’s long-standing ally, that joint exercises of Filipino and American troops next week will be the last such drills.

He told the Filipino community in Hanoi late Wednesday night that he will maintain the military alliance with the U.S. because of the countries’ 1951 defense treaty. But he added next week’s exercises will proceed only because he did not want to embarrass his defense secretary.

Duterte said during a two-day visit to meet Vietnam’s leaders that he wants to establish new trade and commercial alliances with China and Russia, and that the war games were something Beijing does not want.

“I would serve notice to you now that this will be the last military exercise,” he said. “Jointly, Philippines-US, the last one.”

I could have sworn we pivoted to Asia.

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