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Duterte to visit China next week

/ 04:18 PM October 12, 2016
Rodrigo Duterte

In this Oct. 4 photo, President Rodrigo Duterte gestures with a firing stance as he announces issuing side arms to Army troopers during his visit to its headquarters in Taguig City. AP

BEIJING—President Rodrigo Duterte will make a state visit to China next week in the latest sign of reaching out to Beijing while questioning his country’s traditional ties with the United States.

China and the Philippines made the long-expected announcement on Wednesday for the Oct. 18-21 visit.

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Despite their ongoing dispute over territorial claims in the South China Sea, Duterte has said he wants stronger ties with China to gain funding for development projects and reduce US influence over its former colony.

Duterte said Tuesday he will not abrogate a defense treaty with the United States but questioned its importance and that of joint combat exercises, which China opposes. He also wants US counterterrorism forces to leave Mindanao, saying their presence was inflaming restiveness among minority Muslims.

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TAGS: Beijing, China, Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, South China sea, United States
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