China has assured the Philippines that it will come to its aid in the event of external threats, according to President Rodrigo Duterte. “China said, ‘We will protect you. We will not allow the Philippines to be destroyed. We are just here and you can call for our help anytime,'” the President said in a speech in Davao City on Friday. He criticised the United States, saying it would not protect the Philippines because it was afraid of war. The Philippines and the United States are defence treaty allies, but the President is distancing the Philippines from the United States because of US expressions of concern over the thousands of killings in his brutal war on drugs.
The President recalled how he decided to seek help from China and Russia after some American senators filed a bill that would block the sale of assault rifles to the Philippine National Police, as these could be used against Filipinos. He thanked China and Russia for giving firearms to the Philippines without asking for anything in return. “So to this day, China and Russia has not asked me for a single piece of paper or pencil in return. And I told them that I’m not ready to enter into military alliances because we have this pact with the US. If I have a treaty with them, I cannot enter into other treaties,” he said.