- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 20, 2016

The White House said Thursday that the Philippine president’s announced “separation” from the U.S. in favor of China is actually a good thing for the U.S.

“We believe that it’s in our national security interest when our partners and allies in the region have strong relationships with China,” said White House spokesman Eric Schultz. “We don’t consider this a zero-sum game.”

Sen. Ben Sasse, Nebraska Republican, criticized the administration’s response.

“Good foreign policy should be grounded in reality but the White House just said that the Philippines aligning with China and dismissing the United States is in our national security interests,” Mr. Sasse said. “If that’s the case, I’d like to know how the White House defines ‘interests’ and ‘allies.’”

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced his “separation” from the U.S. on Thursday, declaring he had realigned with China as the two agreed to resolve their South China Sea dispute through talks. He made the announcement in China.

“In this venue, your honors, in this venue, I announce my separation from the United States,” Mr. Duterte said.

The White House said it has not received any official request from Philippine officials.

“I will tell you that we continue to be the Philippines’ strongest economic partner,” Mr. Schultz said. “And we continue to outpace any other country in terms of direct investment into that country.”

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide