"When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, they will naturally want to side with the strong horse."
Osama bin Laden
(Agence France-Presse) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said it was "time to say goodbye" to the US during a visit to China on Wednesday, as the combative leader reconfigures his country's diplomatic alliances.
Duterte is in China for a four-day trip that is expected to confirm his tilt away from Washington and towards Beijing's sphere of influence.
During a speech addressing the Filipino community in Beijing, the firebrand president said the Philippines had gained little from its long alliance with the US, its former colonial ruler.
"Your stay in my country was for your own benefit. So time to say goodbye, my friend," he said, as if addressing the US.
"I will not go to America anymore. I will just be insulted there," he added, before once again referring to US President Barack Obama as a "son of a whore".
Duterte, who took office in late June, said he was fed up with the Philippines' foreign policy being dictated by a Western agenda.
"What kept us from China was not our own making. I will charter a new course," he said.
Duterte will meet top leaders including President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang during his stay.
Hours before he spoke, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a regular briefing that Beijing was pleased to move towards resolving the territorial dispute "through consultation and dialogue".
"Anyone who truly wishes for peace, stability, development and prosperity in the Asia Pacific" should welcome Duterte's visit, she said.
In an editorial Wednesday, China's nationalist Global Times newspaper said Washington had treated Manila "as a pawn", adding Duterte was now "redesigning Philippine foreign policy based on Philippine interests".
Duterte has said his China trip will focus on promoting economic ties.
|China pushes south and the Philippines embraces China|