PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has been named “Person of the Year” by a Chinese magazine, Malacañang announced on Tuesday.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Yazhou Zhoukan, “the Time magazine of the Chinese-speaking world,” gave the honor to Duterte following the Filipino leader’s “announcement of an independent foreign policy that consists of his distancing away from the US and forging closer ties with China.”
“The article also praises Duterte’s program of good governance and anti-corruption campaign as a reason for his popularity among the Filipinos,” Abella told reporters.
Yazhou Zhoukan, he noted, is the world’s only Chinese language international affairs magazine, circulated in major markets including Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia.
The weekly magazine is owned by the Malaysia-based Media Chinese International Ltd., which is listed on the Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur stock exchanges.
Since taking power on June 30, 3016, Duterte has made headlines for declaring a “military and economic separation” from the US and hitting hard on Washington and United Nations officials critical of his bloody war on drugs.
To pursue a more independent foreign policy, Duterte is seeking closer ties with US rivals China and Russia through economic and arms deals.