Trump blames “weak” U.S. for PH pivot to China, Russia

NORTH CAROLINA – Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump blames failed U.S. foreign policy for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent move to break ties with the United States and instead side with China and Russia.

Trump spoke Friday at a campaign event in Fletcher, N.C. when he took yet another jab at what he sees as America’s declining status as a world power.

“America has grown weak. So weak, that the Philippines has broken with decades of pro-American foreign policy to instead leave for the orbit of China and Russia,” Trump said.

Duterte earlier announced in Beijing his “separation” from the United States following a bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

Meanwhile in Washington, White House Spokesman Josh Earnest says the U.S. still remains unclear about what Duterte’s actions mean for the relationship between the two countries.

“We haven’t heard any specifics from the Filipino government about what precisely President Duterte means when he refers to a separation,” Earnest said. “But those comments are creating an unnecessary uncertainty in our relationship.”

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