Duterte thanks China for ‘loving’ the Philippines

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaking in Pasay City, Metro Manila, on March 8, 2017.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaking in Pasay City, Metro Manila, on March 8, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

MANILA (Philippine Daily Inquirer/Asia News Network) - President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday (March 8) thanked China for the "love" it has shown to the Philippines through the development assistance it has extended to the country.

“Thank you for loving us and helping us survive the rigours of this life,” Mr Duterte said in a speech at the Philippine International Convention Centre, referring to Chinese President Xi Jinping and his people.  

The President said China promised to take care of the building of a railway project “from north to south” in the country.  

Mr Duterte promoted his own brand of "independent" foreign policy free from "meddling" by foreign governments. The policy, which has seen the Philippines moving away from traditional allies such as the United States, has drawn criticism from the public.

“I made the correct decision. I went alone in my foreign policy then I went to China and talked to President Xi Jinping,” Mr Duterte said.