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Philippines to split from USA

The president of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte has announced his country will move away from the USA and work more closely with China. President Duterte made the announcement in China's capital Beijing. He was meeting with Chinese leaders to talk about future cooperation between the Philippines and China. Mr Duterte also hinted he might work more closely with Russia. He said: "Maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world - China, the Philippines and Russia." Duterte said he would end military and economic agreements with the USA. He told the USA: "Your stay in my country was for your own benefit. So it is time to say goodbye, my friend."

President Duterte's announcement could change many things in the Asia-Pacific region. It will mean China is stronger in the area and the USA is weaker. It is possible that Duterte may ask the USA to leave its military bases in the Philippines. The loss of the Philippines bases would be a big problem for the USA. A White House spokesman said: "If the Philippines are out…that starts to raise questions about our whole approach to the region." This break from the US comes after 65 years of close partnership between the two countries. The Russian newspaper 'Russia Today' commented on the changing relations in the Asia-Pacific region. It wrote: "China has just turned a former rival into a regional ally."

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