PHILIPPINES president Rodrigo Duterte revealed he is keen to forge closer relationships with Russia and China – as he hit out at the United States for blackmailing his country.

The controversial leader called Chinese President Xi Jinping “a great guy” who made him realise his country had “missed out on chances in our history” despite their ongoing battle over islands in the South China Sea.

He also said he “made friends” with Vladimir Putin who “went out of his way to shake hands with me”.

Talking to RTD, Russian state media’s English-language documentary channel, Mr Duterte said: “President Putin smiled again and shook my hand and said ‘I will wait for you in Russia’.

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