BORACAY, Philippines - Southeast Asian countries hope that US President Donald Trump will unveil his policies within the next few months to provide a "more concrete and clearer picture", especially regarding China, the Philippine foreign minister said on Tuesday.
"We all recognize the fact that American policy under the Trump administration is still evolving," Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay told a news conference. "We do not know the complete picture of what this foreign policy might be, insofar as its relationship with China is concerned.
"We're however, hopeful, that the policy that would come out will be positive...And we would hope that within the next few months we would see a more concrete and clearer picture."
Duterte earlier accused the United States of risking regional stability by building permanent arms depots in his country, and threatened to respond by scrapping a security treaty between them.
Duterte, who has made no secret of his disdain for the U.S. troop presence in the Philippines, said Washington was bringing weapons into three provinces of his country to store permanently, which he said was a dangerous breach of a defense deal between them.
Duterte has repeatedly threatened to tear up security deals with the United States, while also giving guarantees those would be honored, muddying the picture in a relationship that prior to his election was one of Washington's most crucial Asian alliances.
He also chided the United States for pressuring the Philippines to enforce a ruling last year by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague that invalidated most of Beijing's claims to the South China Sea.
Duterte has done the opposite and has sought to create warm ties and secure investment from China rather than confront it. In a stunning about-face in Manila's foreign policy, he has put the arbitration award on the back burner.
He said Washington was putting regional stability at risk and its actions could put the Philippines in "extreme danger" because of the posturing between the United States and China.