The most senior U.S. diplomat for Asia assured the Philippines on Monday that Washington remained its "trusted" ally and that it supported Manila's blossoming ties with China. However, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel warned that growing concern about drug-related killings in the Southeast Asian country was "bad for business". On Saturday, Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay tried to explaining President Rodrigo Duterte's "Goodbye America" remarks. He said the United States remained the "closest friend" of the Philippines, but Manila wanted to break away from a "mindset of dependency and subservience" and forge closer ties with other nations. Duterte has been scathing about U.S. criticism of his anti-drugs campaign in which about 2,300 people have been killed since he took office on June 30.