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Duterte Gets Tough on China, Leaning Back to Old Ally America

  • Philippine leader defends ruling against China in UN speech
  • Shift due to South China Sea tensions, need for vaccine
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Duterte Gets Tough on China and Warms to U.S.
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After years of shifting the Philippines closer to China, President Rodrigo Duterte appears to be leaning back toward the U.S.

The 75-year-old leader on Tuesday gave his most forceful defense yet of the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s 2016 ruling in favor of the Philippines that said Beijing’s expansive territorial claims in the South China Sea breached international law. Addressing the United Nations General Assembly, Duterte said the decision “is now part of international law, beyond compromise and beyond the reach of passing governments to dilute, diminish or abandon.”