>> "I announce my separation from the United States," those were the words of Rodrigo Duterte in Beijing on Thursday. Capping of a trip to China, where he's won a whopping $13 billion in business deals. But talks went way beyond just trade. Chinese president, Xi Jinping calling the countries brothers.
As Reuters Karen Lima reports. the day cemented a friendship Duterte's been courting, since he stepped into office.>> We heard from the Chinese Vice Minister today in Beijing, that the Philippines and China have agreed to restore diplomatic and defense consultations. That both countries have agreed to return to bilateral talks, to properly settle the South China Sea issue.
And that China, among others has agreed to provide to port for Philippine infrastructure. This plus, the very warm exchanges between President Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping crystallizes the desire of both countries to repair the relationship, that has been dug by mistrust in recent years due to rival territorial claims in the South China Sea.
>> Duterte's plan to pivot towards China is paying off. And it's a turning point after years of bad blood.>> There's been no high level contact between the two countries for five years, under President Duterte's predecessor Benigno Aquino. So this really marks an important milestone for both countries, which could also change strategic alliances in the region.
>> All those fuzzy feelings stand in stark contrast to months of fiery language for Washington from Duterte, rallying against US criticism for his deadly tactics in a drug war that's claimed thousands of lives. Beijing's express support for Duterte's crusade and a $3 billion loan for ambitious building projects in the Philippines, certainly doesn't hurt relations either.