Yasay: Time for PH to let go of 'little brown brother' image

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Foreign Affairs Sec. Perfecto "Jun" Yasay

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Foreign Affairs Sec. Perfecto Yasay remains firm: the separation of the Philippines from the U.S. does not mean "severance of relationship" - but "breaking away" from "dependency and subservience" that have "perpetuated our 'little brown brother' image to America".

In a post of Facebook on Saturday, Yasay said this image has "stunted" the growth of the Philippines. Yasay believes gearing towards an independent foreign policy does not mean cutting ties and alliances.

"Dismantling this old paradigm to give way to new stronger structures and methods in promoting better understanding and mutually beneficial relationships does not signify destroying alliances, making enemies or creating new barriers towards working together," Yasay said.

On Thursday, President Rodrigo Duterte announced a military and economic "separation" by the Philippines from the United States during a trade forum in Beijing. The President claimed "America has lost" and that he has realigned himself with China's "ideological flow."

Aside from China, Yasay said Duterte "has fashioned a new course towards integration and dynamic economic and trade relations with Asean and our Asian neighbors", including China, Japan, and South Korea.

"Significantly, President Duterte told President Xi Jinping and other key Chinese leaders that if they are not willing to lend their support, assistance and cooperation fairly, justly and in mutual respect, the Filipinos will chart their destiny alone, despite great odds, in their determination not to commit the same mistakes that have worked against the general welfare," Yasay said.

Upon his arrival from China on Friday, Duterte clarified he is not cutting ties with the United States, but pursuing a "separation of foreign policy" from the country's decades-old ally.

"You know, you have to take my words in the context of what I've been saying all along. It is not a severance of ties," the President said. "In the severance of ties you cut the diplomatic relations. I cannot do that. It is in the best interest of my country that we maintain that relationship (with the U.S.)."

Related: Duterte clarifies statement on U.S.: It's a separation of foreign policy, not severance of ties