Duterte favors war games with China

RED CARPET WELCOME Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah (right) and President Rodrigo Duterte (second from left) chat during Duterte’s official welcoming ceremony at the Istana Nurul Iman in Brunei. AFP PHOTO

RED CARPET WELCOME Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah (right) and President Rodrigo Duterte (second from left) chat during Duterte’s official welcoming ceremony at the Istana Nurul Iman in Brunei. AFP PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte is willing to hold military exercises with China but not with longtime ally, the United States, Chinese media quoted him Monday as saying on the eve of a state visit.

Duterte heads to Beijing on Tuesday for a four-day trip in line with his dramatic foreign policy tilt closer to its Asian neighbor, the world’s second largest economy, while he railed against the US for criticizing his deadly war on crime.

“It’s only China (that) can help us,” China’s state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Duterte as saying in an interview ahead of his visit.

Duterte also told Hong Kong-based Phoenix Television he was willing to hold joint military exercises with China and Russia.

“Yes, I will. I have given enough time for the Americans to play with the Filipino soldiers,” Duterte said when asked if he was open to war games with those two nations, as he reiterated he would no longer hold any more military exercises with the Us.

“This will be the last. It has been programmed. I do not want my soldiers to be humiliated,” he said, in reference to one set of war games in the Philippines that ended last week.

Duterte has sought to reshape his nation’s foreign relations since taking office on June 30 by pivoting towards China and Russia while moving away from the US, the Philippines’ former colonial ruler and mutual defense ally.

Duterte has repeatedly expressed anger over American criticism of his war on crime, which has claimed more than 3,700 lives and raised fears of mass extrajudicial killings.

He has branded US President Barack Obama a “son of a whore” and told him to “go to hell.”

But, signaling his shift to China is also for pragmatic reasons, Duterte has repeatedly ridiculed the US for what he sees as its weakening economic and military influence around the world.

In the Xinhua interview, Duterte again thanked China for not criticizing the crime crackdown as he held out the Philippines’ hand for soft loans and other forms of financial help.

Quiet help

“China never criticises. They help us quietly,” Duterte said, according to Xinhua.

Duterte is bringing an entourage of hundreds of businessmen with him to Beijing, and Philippine media have said deals worth billions of dollars are expected to be announced during the trip.

Asked if he would seek to buy military equipment from China during his visit, Duterte told Phoenix Television: “Yes, but not really in (large) numbers.”

Duterte said he would also need small, fast attack boats from China to fight “terrorism”.

FIST BE WITH YOU President Rodrigo Duterte greets Filipinos at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Brunei. MALACAÑANG PHOTO

FIST BE WITH YOU President Rodrigo Duterte greets Filipinos at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Brunei. MALACAÑANG PHOTO

“If China does not help us in this endeavor, we will have a hard time fighting terrorism,” he said without elaborating, according to Phoenix Television.

Bilateral relations worsened under Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno Aquino, who tried to challenge China’s expansionism in the South China Sea.

China claims nearly all of the strategically vital sea, even waters approaching the Philippines and other Southeast Asian nations, and has in recent years built artificial islands in the disputed areas that are capable of hosting military bases.

To counter China, Aquino allowed a much greater American military presence in the Philippines and started joint patrols in the sea with US forces.

He also filed a legal case at a UN-backed tribunal, which ruled in July that China’s claims to most of the sea had no legal basis. Beijing refused to accept the ruling.

Duterte has said he does not want to use the verdict to pressure China.


Saying that war is not an option, the President said he is open to bilateral talks with China.

“We are not interested in allowing other countries to talk. I just want to talk to China,” Duterte said. Xinhua also quoted him as saying that “he is willing to pursue joint development of the waters together with China.”

“There is no sense in going to war. There is no sense fighting over a body of water… It is better to talk than (go to) war. We want to talk about friendship, we want to talk about cooperation, and most of all, we want to talk about business. War would lead us to nowhere,” he added.

The President said the Philippines needs to maintain its friendly relations with China.

He said his visit will help him better understand China, which according to him, has hard-working people and “good, sound policies, internal and external.”

“I would say that China deserves the kind of respect that China now enjoys,” Duterte said.

While in China, the President is expected to meet with the Filipino community and deliver the keynote address at the Trade and Investment Forum which will be attended by Filipino and Chinese investors.


Please follow our commenting guidelines.


  1. Richard Caroll on

    It is time for the US to leave the Philippines, and for the 4 million Filipinos in the US to return to the Philippines.

  2. Comrad Duterte seems like a reincarnation of the late Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. A long standing partner and ally of the US, decided to turn on American in favor of China, Russia and Cuba. China made great promises and turned the country “red”. Where is Venezuela today …. in despair and holding a back of broken promises from China. How will other trading parties react? Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Australia, EU etc… There are thousands of Filipinos serving in the US Military or retired, millions living in the US and all sending home well over a billion dollars a year. Tens of thousands of jobs tied to US corporations. This out of control climate and direction of Duterte will have very long term ramifications. Pray for the Philippines, pray for the Filipinos.

  3. Stupid Duterte will soon say its just hyperbole statements once he realized his stupid decisions and remarks. The Philippines right now is an embarrassment to the whole why we do have this EVIL, LUNATIC, “sobrang YABANG” president. God save the Philippines from this EVIL president and his robot allies.

  4. DU30 proudly confess that those who wanted him to leave malacanang will be dissapointed. He will not leave that place alive. Therefore, RAM boys knows what to do with him, it will be an easy decision for the coup plotters. Just kill the guy and its over. PDU30 requested that , he should get asap.

    AFP, its time to break the chain of command, GOD Save the Philippines.

  5. Communist murdering dictator and traitor. Mt grand father who died fighting for the Philippines would be very angry this imbecile is in charge and ruining The Philippines.

    He needs to be removed as once dictators are in power they never stop unless stopped.

    How can the former mayor have over $1 million in personal property from his time as dictator mayor?

  6. Watching Duterte from abroad here in the United States, his statements and actions are heartbreaking. We had such a long-standing friendship with the Philippines. We always helped the Philippines. We don’t understand Duterte now. His words have hurt us deeply. Nothing more to say. If the intent is to abandon the United States friendship, it is not so easy from our side. We stand by until a sensible leadership is restored to the Philippines — one less insulting; one more loving and caring, as we have always been to you all. God Bless.

  7. PRRD had enough with the US government, they are pushing us to go to war with China and this sinister plan have been detected by PRRD. Just can’t imagine the outcome if other candidate had won the election.

  8. Dueterte should also invite North Korea to the war games to complete the Gang of Four; Xi, Putin, Kim and Duterte….

  9. Truly the best President we now have apart from Marcos who was downed and demonized by the greedy Oligarchs and Yellowtard benefactors (2% of our population). I can smell progressive and a strong and independent Philippines.

  10. China, from the start, knew about economic zone and territorial integrity. And yet they declared that they are sovereign to the whole China Sea. I wonder if the President, when all of the sudden, his neighbor declares part of his property is actually belongs to them. Should he then talk sweetly to his neighbor hoping that same will undeclared his claim? I agree very much with DU30’s domestic policies but when it comes to foreign policies especially against the west -he should re-assess his approach,

  11. Ignacio Balbutin on

    hahaha, do you think the military will agree with a military exercise with communist China? The military will depose you before you can do anything if you persist on clinging on to a communist country

  12. Ignacio Balbutin on

    hahaha makipag war exercise daw siya sa China, ano ang gagamitin niya? siempre iyong mga bigay ng US na coast guard cutters, at saan sila mag exercise sa scarborough shoal hahahaha, nalilito na talaga presidente na ito

  13. If this happens, Nato, Japan, S. Korea, Australia, very likely will not give the Philippines anymore help as well. Hope those rubles & renminbi work out for you.

  14. Neither China nor the US can be trusted; they will, of course, only do what’s in their interest. They really don’t care about the Philippines. And the Philippines under Duterte is moving out from “under the wings of the US” and be independent and do what’s in the interest of the Philippines, rather than what’s in the interest of the US. About time.

    • They will be doing what is in the interest of China. China will own the Philippines before long. Philippines will have no choice but do what they (Chna) want.

  15. In order to protect the Philippines and Filipinos, it may be necessary to terminate the Duterte presidency well in advance its mandatory 6-year use by date.

    • Watergate…you American ? Creating perpetual tensions in Asia is what America enjoys pursuing in order to maintain US hegemony in Asia.

      US desires peace in Asia only on US’s terms. That is if all of Asia (including China) must acquiese to
      US ‘s world hegemony as in the likes of Japan.

  16. It is good to see the efforts being made by China and the PH to establish good relations. Nothing but good can come from it.

  17. Time for the us to pull all its miltary an assets out let china have the islands give us back all the millions we have givein to the people no more schools for the military please retrun all us weapons an ships close down all call centers hope the people will be happy living under the chinisee and least dont call us when the disasters strike the islands

    • agree. time, too, for the US to pay for all the exploitation they did to both the people and the resources of the Philippines. time, too, for the US to pay for their war crimes when they massacred millions of Filipinos.

    • Ignacio Balbutin on

      kano ka? bakit englsh mo pang grade one. next time u use tagalog, your english is a shame

  18. jose b taganahan on

    This insane and idiotic. You dont conduct war games with countries whom you dont have military agreements.

    • Wrong assumption!!

      It is the sovereign right of any country to conduct war games with any country that it so chooses even without a written treaty.

  19. Does this mean the Philippines is preparing to fight with China against our former allies, US, SOKOR, Japan, Nato, Austrailia ?

    • This is what you term as the ex US President George Bush Jnr mentality.

      If you are not with us, then you are against us.

  20. The article quotes Duterte, according to the Xinhua new agency, as saying: “China never criticises. They help us quietly.” The President obviously has a short memory. With regard to Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) and China’s reaction to the international tribunal’s ruling on its claims in the South China Sea, it would have been truer to say, “China never helps. They criticize us vociferously.”

    • Raymund Liongson on

      True! I remember this CBS news report: (
      “China has pledged less than $2 million in cash and materials, compared to $20 million provided by the United States, which also launched a massive military-driven rescue operation that includes an aircraft carrier.

      Another Chinese rival, Japan, has pledged $10 million and offered to send troops, ships and planes. Australia is giving $28 million, and Ikea has offered $2.7 million through its charitable foundation.”


    • chinese only provided a meager help during yolanda coz phils and china is not BFF at that time due to the action of your yellowish lord panot…