(CNN)Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday that he wants foreign troops to leave his country, possibly within the next two years.
“I want them out,” he said. “And if I have to revise or abrogate agreements, executive agreements, I will.”
Speaking to business leaders in Tokyo during an official visit to Japan, Duterte warned that he would not be a “doormat” for the international community. But he also sought to reassure neighbors and allies that his state visit to Beijing a week ago was focused on trade, not security.
“You know, I went to China for a visit, and I would like to assure you that all there was (discussed) was economics. We did not talk about arms, we did not talk about stationing of troops… We avoided talking about alliances, military or otherwise,” he said. “What happened there was just a few platforms where investments could come in.”
He said that the country was “mandated” by its constitution “to adopt an independent foreign policy.”