Trump to meet Australian PM on 1st presidential trip to NYC

Abella, however, clarified that Xi's call was not a response to an earlier call made by US President Donald Trump to Duterte which also touched on the tensions in North Korea, as well as the Filipino leader's controversial war on drugs.

"So, I called President Xi Jinping, "I am calling you at the behest of the president of the United States", he said in a speech in his hometown in Davao City. In a brief phone call last December, Trump endorsed Duterte's war on drugs, saying he was doing it the "right way", according to the Chief Executive's account of his first conversation with Trump.

The successive calls from the two most powerful leaders in the world have been seen as a testament to Duterte's growing importance as a regional leader.

More than 100 days into the Trump presidency, no American Navy ship has gone within 12 miles of any of the disputed islands in the South China Sea, Defense Department officials said.

Maxfield Brown, business intelligence associate at the consultancy Dezan Shira & Associates in Manila, said, "If Duterte can play his cards correctly, this will likely result in a mounting bidding war between China and the US over influence in the Philippines".

Duterte has been accused of committing "crime [s] against humanity" by different local and worldwide groups, such as the United Nations and Amnesty global, over the alleged spate of summary killings linked in his drug war since assuming the presidency last June The Philippine government, for its part, has repeatedly denied that the over 8,000 deaths are state sanctioned.

In a changing world order, it is refreshing to note that powerful leaders, like Trump, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping and Shinzo Abe, among others, want to be friends with Duterte. "Except the president doesn't appear to have used this opportunity to raise any concerns about the manner in which Duterte is running his own country, violating the human rights of his own citizens or treating his best ally, the United States", Kirby wrote in an opinion piece published by CNN.

A subtle US policy would recognize the need for U.S.

"You've got an individual in President Xi Jinping in China that has taken fairly significant action to come work with the U.S., especially with respect to our desire to end the threat in North Korea".

Duterte, a notoriously outspoken former mayor of the second largest Philippine city Davao, asked the United States past year to reduce military aid, a break in cooperation established after USA colonization of the Philippines ended in 1946.

  • Leroy Wright