Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, center, and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands after a signing ceremony in Beijing, China, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, Pool)
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Duterte's remarks will prompt fresh concern in the United States, where the Obama administration has seen Manila as a key ally in its "rebalance" of resources to Asia in the face of a rising China.However, a White House spokesman stressed the traditional bonds between Washington and Manila when asked about Duterte's comments and stuck to a U.S. approach of seeking to play down the Philippine leader's repeated attacks.Schultz said the White House does not view Manila's relationship with China as a "zero sum game".Chinese President Xi Jinping, meeting Duterte earlier in the day, called the visit a "milestone" in ties."I hope we can follow the wishes of the people and use this visit as an opportunity to push China-Philippines relations back on a friendly footing and fully improve things," Xi said.Following their meeting, during which Duterte said relations with China had entered a new "springtime," Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said the South China Sea issue was not the sum total of relations.
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