>> 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.