MANILA, Philippines (AP) — America’s top diplomat has shared a working lunch with the new Philippine president, who has criticized U.S. security policies and publicly made friendly overtures to China.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella says President Rodrigo Duterte and Secretary of State John Kerry discussed a range of issues Wednesday, including the South China Sea disputes, climate change and personal interests like motorcycles and hunting.
Abella says Kerry offered $32 million in aid for law enforcement training.
Duterte has said he would chart a foreign policy independent of the U.S., the country’s treaty ally. In contrast, Duterte has praised Chinese leader Xi Jinping as a “great president” and said in the campaign he will “shut up” on the South China Sea issue if Beijing will finance railway and other infrastructure projects.