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National

Duterte's pivot to China threatens U.S. strategy

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Opening sequence

National

Duterte's pivot to China threatens U.S. strategy

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COMING UP:Duterte's pivot to China threatens U.S. strategy

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Transcript

00:00:00
>> Hold that it is inexplicably at odds with the very close relationship.>> The US clearly flabbergasted after Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte announced a sudden, quote separation, from close ally Washington and a realignment with China.>> It's the only way.>> We are going to be seeking an explanation.
00:00:20
It's not clear to us exactly what that means.>> Duterte's turnabout coming after he met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, and as the two nations signed some $13 billion in new deals. David Brunnstrom is following the story.>> This latest step with China will have been greeted with some alarm.
00:00:37
He's talking about forming a new partnership with China and possibly with Russia, the two main strategic rivals of the United States.>> The move by the unpredictable Duterte coming after he called President Obama a son of a bitch last month. For criticizing his bloody crackdown on drug trafficking, prompting Obama to cancel a planned meeting.
00:00:58
And after he limited contact with visiting US troops, putting in jeopardy a plan to expand the US defense footprint in Southeast Asia. Also thrown in doubt, US plans to counter China's muscle flexing in the South China Sea.>> The US strategy for dealing with the South China Sea situation has been to try and strengthen its existing alliances in the face of growing Chinese power.
00:01:23
And it's put particular focus on the Philippines. Now what Duterte seems to be doing is potentially turning that strategy on its head.>> The US sending its top Asia diplomat Daniel Russel to Manila this weekend to try to limit the damage.