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China backs Duterte amid ‘ouster plot'
BUT PH DEFENSE CHIEF BELIEVES US WON'T REMOVE PRESIDENT
Published in Alriyadh on 31 - 12 - 2016

THE Chinese government expressed strong support for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, following a Manila Times report of an alleged plot by former US ambassador to Manila Philip Goldberg to kick him out of Malacañang.
In a news conference in Beijing on Thursday, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China was confident on Duterte's leadership and would continue to support his policies.
"As a friendly neighbor to the Philippines, China supports President Duterte's policies and stands ready to help the Philippines speed up development by deepening bilateral cooperation of mutual benefit," the official was quoted as saying in an official transcript released by the ministry.
"We believe that President Duterte will lead the Philippines to achieve greater development and prosperity."
Citing a document it had received from highly placed source, The Manila Times on Tuesday reported that before ending his stint in Manila, Goldberg had prepared a "blueprint" for the ultimate removal for Duterte.
The plan calls on the US government to employ a combination of "socio-economic-political-diplomatic moves" against Duterte "to bring him to his knees and eventually remove him from office."
Duterte on Thursday warned those behind the supposed plot to brace for a bloody fight.
"Those talks of ousting me...probably I'll give you a good fight, you'll get a bloody nose," Duterte said in the first of four media interviews Thursday, aired over CNN Philippines.
In a statement to The Manila Times, however, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel described the report as "false," stressing that the US respects the sovereignty of the Philippines. "No such blueprint exists," he said.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Friday cast doubt on the report, saying he did not even ask military intelligence to look into it.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Tuesday called for a congressional investigation into the alleged "blueprint," describing the supposed ouster plot "anathema" to democracy and a "subversion" of the people's will.


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