Philippine official praises China's ruling Communist Party

The Philippine foreign secretary has heaped praise on China's ruling Communist Party during a visit to Beijing, underscoring the growing distance between the Philippines and the United States.

Teodoro Locsin said Wednesday that China's authoritarian one-party system has provided opportunities for developing economies to grow and given momentum for improvement that Western democracies lack.

Locsin said the Chinese Communist Party is supplying direction that "no other institution anywhere in the world could."

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has frequently criticized his county's alliance with the U.S.

Earlier this month, the Philippine defense secretary said his country's defense treaty with the U.S. needs to be re-examined, bringing expressions of concern from Washington.

China and the Philippines have competing claims to territory in the economically and strategically crucial South China Sea.