fb-pixel Skip to main content

Philippines to forge closer ties with China, Russia

MANILA — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Monday 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 told reporters he was ‘‘not really’’ breaking ties with the United States, his country’s long-time treaty ally, but will open all areas of trade and commerce to China and Russia. It would not include military alliances, he said.

He said the two countries’ companies would be able to lease land in the Philippines for up to 120 years.


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

Duterte has had an uneasy relationship with the United States, which has criticized his crackdown on illegal drugs in which more than 3,000 people have died. During a summit of East Asian leaders in Laos earlier this month, Duterte said he told Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Mevedev that he was ‘‘about to cross the Rubicon’’ with the United States, at least during the six years of his presidential term.