Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte wants to open alliances with Russia, China

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday he would visit Russia and China this year to chart an independent foreign policy and "open alliances" with two powers with historic rivalries with the United States, reports Reuters.

Duterte said the Philippines was at the "point of no return" in its relations with former colonial ruler the United States, so he wanted to strengthen ties with others, and picked two global powers with which Washington has been sparring with on the international political stage.

He last week declared he would soon - and often - visit China, with which ties remain frosty over a South China Sea arbitration ruling won by the Philippines in July. He said Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was expecting him in Moscow.

China claims most of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion of trade moves annually. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam have rival claims.

An arbitration court in The Hague in July invalidated China's claims to the waterway in a case brought by the Philippines, a ruling that Beijing refuses to recognize.

"I am ready to not really break (U.S.) ties but we will open alliances with China and... Medvedev, he is awaiting there for my visit," Duterte told reporters, adding he would open up the "other side of the ideological barrier".

He welcomed investment and shrugged off rating agency Standard and Poor's concerns last week about the Philippine economy on his watch and his unpredictability.

The peso fell to its lowest since 2009 on Monday and foreign investors have dumped local shares for six straight weeks, worried about Duterte's anti-U.S. rhetoric and brutal war on drugs, which has alarmed rights groups at home and abroad.

Duterte also said he would open up telecoms and airlines, which are two domestic sectors long controlled by local players and criticized for being uncompetitive. He did not elaborate.

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