‘Only China can help Philippines’: Duterte turns to Beijing as rift with US widens

Historically one of the staunchest US allies, the Philippines is pivoting to China, as President Rodrigo Duterte prepares for his first state visit to Beijing, and has proposed not just an economic, but a military partnership with the country’s giant neighbor.

READ MORE: Duterte snubs Washington, looks forward to historic China visit

“My grandfather is Chinese. It’s only China that can help us,” Duterte, who was elected in June, told Chinese state news agency Xinhua before embarking on a four-day trip that begins Tuesday.

“All that I would need to do is just to talk and get a firm handshake from the officials and say that we are Filipinos and we are ready to cooperate with you, to help us in building our economy and building our country.”

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