President Rodrigo Duterte said that if China will give soft loans to the Philippines for some key projects, particularly infrastructure, then the Philippines will stop hosting joint exercises with the United States.
“China said, ‘Okay, I will do it for you.’ If they are going to give it to us or help us, lend us the money, and we can do it in our country... No more American interference. No more American exercises," Duterte said on Wednesday, October 19, during a gathering of Filipinos in Beijing, China.
The statement of the president was unclear as to whether he was pertaining to military exercises or other activities with the US. But these past few weeks, President Duterte expressed his desire to change the Philippine-US military alliance. He even started peace talks with China regarding territorial disputes.
"I will not ask but if they offer and they would ask me, ‘You need this aid?’ Of course, we are, we are very poor. You need this railway? Yes, sir. And if you can give us a soft loan, give us something like 20 years to pay, 15 years to pay," Duterte said.
The president even compared assistance from US to China saying, "Even with the price, just give us a little bit of an elbow room. I will not go to America anymore. We will just be insulted there."
He clarified in his statement that he wouldn't make any alliances with any country, for it would become useless if World War 3 were to happen and the use of nuclear weapons might destroy everything. His statement was lauded by the audience.
"I will now realign – I will not ask for armies. America did not worry that I will place their missiles sa (in)…Why? Useless. Why? Because if Russia, China, America, British, Pakistan, India, Iran would start a nuclear war and it will be a world war, there is nothing to talk about except to see you in heaven," he said.
President Duterte will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping today, to discuss the relationship between the two countries.
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