Duterte: Filipinos May Be Able to Return to Disputed Shoal

Duterte: Filipinos May Be Able to Return to Disputed Shoal

They have not received any such requests from Duterte, Deputy White House Press Secretary Eric Schultz told reporters on Thursday.

Mr Duterte has announced a "separation from the US", its longstanding ally.

Duterte has said that his county can get all the armaments it needs from China and Russian Federation. "In five minutes, their planes will reach Manila while ours, on takeoff, will just get stuck there and won't be able to fly because they'll be bombed".

If anything, a rift would be even more personal for Clinton than for Obama. The Philippines, on the other hand, has been granted its claims by the UN-backed arbitral tribunal against China's over the South China Sea.

"Your honors, in this venue, I announce my separation from the United States".

Since taking office in June, Duterte has initiated a gruesome drug war that has resulted in thousands of extrajudicial killings of alleged dealers and users.

That was followed with an announcement by Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez at a bilateral economic forum that his country and China will sign $13.5 billion of deals this week.

"What is unfolding before us must be considered a national tragedy, which does not need to happen", he said. But it was an illustration of Clinton's point, and a reminder of how the South China Sea could erupt into conflict.

Daniel Russel, the assistant USA secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, also expressed concern over the alarming increase especially in extra judicial killings arising from Duterte's war on illegal drugs. Forty percent of that comes from the United States, Filipino-Americans, Filipino migrants there, sending back home.

Bambang Purwanto, director of worldwide department at Indonesia's Antara News Agency, said Duterte has made a good start on relations with China and the two countries should strike for positive results from the current visit to create a good atmosphere.

The Philippine president has expressed his intention to suspend joint patrols and exercises with the USA military in the South China Sea as well as to review military agreements forged by the previous administration. In the end, the Philippine president must strike a skillful balance between China and the United States if he wants to govern effectively for the remainder of his tenure.

The tensions with the Philippines could escalate further. Compared with him, Duterte is more of a proud nationalist.

He has also said he eventually he may no longer allow American troops on Filipino soil at all, and cancelled joint patrols in the South China Sea so as not to anger Beijing.

"That is a terribly destructive signal to Malaysia, to Vietnam, to Thailand, to Singapore, to Indonesia", he added.

"We support direct dialogue and negotiations between the Philippines and China as long as they take place on terms that are acceptable to the Philippines, as long as they are consistent with worldwide laws", Russel said, referring to the agreement between Beijing and Manila to settle their territorial dispute in the South China Sea through direct talks despite an global arbitration panel's ruling in July in favor of the Philippines. He said Manila would enter into direct negotiations with Beijing over the South China Sea.

"The declared shift in foreign policy, casting aside a long-time reliable ally to hastily embrace an aggressive neighbor that vehemently rejects worldwide law, is both unwise and incomprehensible", del Rosario said in a statement.

Wrangling over territory in the South China Sea, where Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims, has consumed China-Philippines relations in recent years.

Clinton is likely to keep a low profile on this issue in the final weeks of the campaign. He will also meet the Thai officials to discuss bilateral relations and regional issues.

"We liberated it", she said.

China effectively took control of Scarborough in 2012 after its ships had a tense standoff with Philippine vessels. "Why are they slamming into Filipino fishing vessels?"

"You can not dismiss this sort of rhetoric as just a figure of speech or hyperbole because that's not how the people on the ground have been interpreting the pronouncements of the president", she said. "So it bears watching, and obviously it matters to all of us".