China, Philippines Presidents talk on phone


"President Trump enjoyed the conversation and said that he is looking forward to visiting the Philippines in November to participate in the East Asia Summit and the U.S. -ASEAN Summit", the White House said in a statement.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte is responible for the murder of thousands of suspected drug dealers who faced no trial.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Poor relations with the Obama White House led Duterte to threaten a pivot to warmer relations with China. He is reported to have bragged to British media that he personally killed three suspects while he was mayor of the southern city of Davao. Since he became President previous year, he has encouraged the extrajudicial killings of thousands of citizens suspected of dealing or using drugs.

Be Civil - It's OK to have a difference in opinion but there's no need to be a jerk.

Duterte's spokesman, Ernesto Abella, said Trump was very much aware of the criticism of Duterte, but had praised him for "doing a great job considering the weight and the enormity of the conditions in the Philippines".

By essentially endorsing Duterte's murderous war on drugs, Trump is now morally complicit in future killings. Among the accusations made against Duterte, Human Rights Watch says Duterte's methods have killed more than 7,000 people caught up in the country's "war on drugs".

Abella said in a statement that "the discussion that transpired between the presidents was warm, with President Trump expressing his understanding and appreciation of the challenges facing the Philippine president, especially on the matter of risky drugs".

Eliot Engel, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, urged Trump to rescind the invitation in light of Duterte's "flagrant disregard for human life and due process".

America's human rights record has never been ideal and contradictions in US foreign policy are nothing new. In March, a retired Philippine police officer testified that Duterte and his men were linked to almost 200 killings that took place when Duterte was mayor of Davao city.

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The telephone conversation to discuss bilateral ties and situation in the disputed South China Sea.

But the open hand Trump has offered to the outspoken Duterte - who famously branded Trump's predecessor Barack Obama a "son of a whore" - still came as a surprise to many.

Obama did not break ties with Duterte, whom he admitted was a "colorful guy", and his administration maintained ties with Egypt's Sisi despite his seizure of power.

According to Politico, GOP aides on Capitol Hill and at the White House have been unable to explain why Trump unleashed a string of baffling claims over a 24-hour period in interviews with Bloomberg, CBS News and SiriusXM radio.

I ask Trump to remember just one tenant of American foreign policy: We do not negotiate with terrorists and Kim and Dutere perhaps represent the most unsafe form of just that.

"The key is not letting these rough patches affect the core of the relationship".

Trump on Monday emphasized public support for Duterte despite the condemnations over the drug conflict. Only to say that Trump is unnaturally seduced by the seventh President's supposed strength.

Isn't there a risk, given Duterte's personality, that we could jeopardize the Philippines as an ally, who are a very crucial ally to us?