China confirms Duterte visit amid strained U.S.-Philippine ties

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte pose for photo during the ASEAN Plus Three Summit in Vientiane, Laos September 7, 2016. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte pose for photo during the ASEAN Plus Three Summit in Vientiane, Laos September 7, 2016. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

China confirmed on Wednesday that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will visit China next week, as the Southeast Asian leader’s relationship with its traditional ally the United States frays.

Under Duterte, Manila’s relations with Washington have come under strain and the recently elected president has opted to put aside years of hostility with China, especially over the disputed South China Sea, to form a new partnership.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, confirming a visit previously flagged in Manila, said Duterte would meet President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang on his Oct. 18-21 trip and have a “deep exchange of views” on how to improve ties, cooperation and regional issues.

About 250 Philippine business executives will visit Beijing with Duterte. Filipino executives are eager to talk with Chinese business leaders and government officials about deals in a range of sectors, from rail, and construction to tourism, agribusiness, power and manufacturing, sources told Reuters.

“China looks forward to increasing mutual trust between the two countries, deepening practical cooperation and continuing the tradition of friendship via the visit of President Duterte,” Geng told a daily news briefing.

The two should appropriately handle disputes through talks and promote a strategic, cooperative relationship that is dedicated to peace and development, he added.

“The Philippines is a traditionally friendly neighbor of China. The two peoples have a long history of friendship.”

Elected in June, Duterte’s deadly war of drugs and support for extrajudicial killings have drawn the ire of the U.S., a former colonial power and traditionally one of the Philippines’ staunchest supporters.

Duterte has responded to that criticism by telling U.S. President Barack Obama to “go to hell” and saying he wants to distance the Philippines’ dependence on the country.

Coinciding with that has been a rapprochement with China, despite the cool relations the two countries have had, dogged in recent years by mistrust over rival territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Duterte said on Tuesday he will also probably visit Russia after a trip to Japan this month.

An arbitration court ruling in the Hague on July 12 that said China had breached the Philippines’ sovereign rights in the South China Sea had threatened to lead to a further deterioration in ties between Manila and Beijing.

But Duterte’s forthcoming trip could prove a turning point, with promises to hold talks with China on the South China Sea dispute and signs of a new and potentially much deeper economic relationship.

Chinese spokesman Geng repeated Beijing’s standard line that China wanted to resolve the dispute via talks with the parties directly involved, including the Philippines.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Paul Carsten; Editing by Nick Macfie)

Source: Reuters “China confirms Duterte visit amid strained U.S.-Philippine ties”

Note: This is Reuters report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


One Comment on “China confirms Duterte visit amid strained U.S.-Philippine ties”

  1. Steve says:

    This Visitation by President Duterte to China, upgraded to a State formality, inspecting China’s famous guard of honour, State dinner with 250 Filipino business executives and a first time meeting with the world’s most powerful Socialist CCP President Xi JingPing is unprecedented in the history of diplomacy.

    Just consider the hostility, animosity and antagonistic behaviour of the Aquino Govt. supported by its US allies (Australia/Japan), US FONOPS and PCA arbitral tribunal ruling, the turnaround by this new Duterte Govt. within six months of his Presidency is unforeseeably unpredictable. President Duterte is indeed a Political Saviour and for the sake of All Filipinos, this new diplomacy will bear fruit for a stronger friendlier China Philippine relationship.

    Aquino would be Sulking over the breakup of his arbitrary diplomacy. In his wet dreams, Aquino manifested a SCS war supported by his hegemonic grandmaster, USA and Allies.

    A lot of ‘give and take’ meetings would have taken place prior to this wonderful achievement for a State Visit by President Duterte. I believe ASEAN (especially Vietnam) and those hegemonic war savages would be itching to know the results of the bilateral meetings between 18 to 21.