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Philippines' Duterte to Forge Closer Ties With China, Russia

  • Associated Press

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures while addressing the Philippine Army Scout Rangers during his visit to their headquarters at Camp Tecson in San Miguel township, north of Manila, Philippines, Sept. 15, 2016.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures while addressing the Philippine Army Scout Rangers during his visit to their headquarters at Camp Tecson in San Miguel township, north of Manila, Philippines, Sept. 15, 2016.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says he has decided to "cross the Rubicon" in his ties with the United States and will open trade alliances and offer long-term land leases to "the other side of the ideological barrier," China and Russia.

He said Monday he is "not really" breaking ties with the U.S., his country's long-time treaty ally, but will open all areas of trade and commerce to China and Russia. He said they will be able to lease land for up to 120 years.

Dutere said he will travel to China soon to talk to President Xi Jinping, and then to Japan and Russia.

Dutere has had an uneasy relationship with the U.S., which has criticized his bloody crackdown on illegal drugs in which more than 3,000 people have died.

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