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Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, Asia’s ‘Trump,’ Eyes Closer China Ties

The new Philipines president said the U.S. ally "will not be dependent on America," while signaling his readiness to expand economic ties with Beijing

Philippines Elections Profiles
AP

Rodrigo Duterte, a firebrand who has drawn comparisons to Donald Trump for his coarse defiance of the traditional ruling class, was sworn in as president of the Philippines on Thursday.

The 71-year-old said the U.S. ally "will not be dependent on America," while signaling his readiness to expand economic ties with Beijing, citing a Chinese offer to build a railway project in the Philippines.

Duterte wants to bring back the country's death penalty and said he would pardon himself for mass murder and kill any of his children if they were involved with drugs. He also jokingly threatened to cut off the penises of men who don't use birth control.

He has been likened to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, although he detests the comparison and says the American billionaire is a bigot and he's not.

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