Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping had provided him with a personal assurance that Beijing would not allow him to be removed from office.

“The assurances of Xi are very encouraging: we will not allow you to be taken out from your office and we will not allow the Philippines to go to the dogs,” Duterte said in a speech Tuesday.

Duterte is approaching the end of the second year of his six-year term as president. While the Philippine constitution bars presidents from serving more than one term, Duterte has repeatedly rejected calls from his allies to try to seek another term.

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