To another audience Wednesday - a group of Filipinos living in China - Duterte said it was "time to say goodbye" to the United States, adding, "I will not go to America anymore".
A jubilant China on Friday defended Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's decision to "separate" from the U.S., saying as an elected leader of a sovereign state he has every right to make "independence choices".
"We haven't heard any specifics from the Filipino government about precisely what President Duterte means when he refers to separation but those comments are creating unnecessary uncertainty in our relationship", Earnest said.
But Duterte himself has, on multiple occasions, demanded that the US military leave the Philippines, implying that he is not looking to merely expand trade with China and Russian Federation.
We have to add that there are four million Filipino Americans in USA who send about $15 billion a year to their home country. This is a fact.
Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington on October 11, the State Department's Russel said that while there have been "ups and downs" between the two countries, the various links "keep us very closely tethered together".
The President's recent statements have fueled fears for the plight of the country's economy. "After he assumed power he began portraying himself as a man who would make no concessions in exchange for national interests", Efimova stressed in an interview with Sputnik Japan.
"Duterte must also seek to weaken United States imperialist influence and control of the AFP which has been dependent on U.S. military aid and oppose the policy of suppression against the anti-imperialist, progressive and revolutionary forces", it said. The US has urged that these conflicts be solved through worldwide institutions and multilateral talks, and backed Duterte's predecessor when he took China to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, asked in Beijing about Duterte's comments, said countries should not resort to win-lose mentalities.
Duterte struck a more conciliatory tone as he arrived back in the Philippines after a four-day visit to Beijing.
In remarks that will alarm policy-makers in the U.S. and its allies in Asia and the Pacific, Mr Duterte said: "In this venue, your honours in this venue, I announce separation from the United States".
The Philippines and China have agreed to shun threats or force in dealing with the South China Sea dispute and to hold "friendly consultations and negotiations" in accordance with "universally recognized principles of worldwide law", including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
During the previous administration, the Philippines accused China of repeatedly violating the DOC because of the deployment of ships to and the building of structures in disputed areas.
It would not be in keeping with courtesy and goodwill if I am the one to open it.
"You have to take my words in the context of what I've been saying all along. Of course, it has to take the back seat", Duterte told journalists as quoted by Reuters.
U.S. -Philippine ties run deep.
Furthermore, in mid-September the Philippine President called for withdrawal of United States special forces personnel from the southern regions of the country.
Duterte's stance may be driven by a sense that the United States presence in the Philippines diminishes his country's standing, they said.
The announcement came during Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's visit to China where he sought economic support from the Asian giant and announced his "separation" from longtime ally the US.
And he said he would never visit the United States.
According to the journalist, what Washington is faced with is a "blowback for American sins in the Philippines".
Duterte noted there are many Filipinos in the United States, including Americans of Filipino ancestry.