China says Philippines’ Duterte to visit again as ties warm up


Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during the Philippines' ASEAN Chairmanship launch at SMX Convention Center in Davao city, southern Philippines January 15, 2017. REUTERS/Lean Daval Jr - RTSVKW9

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte speaks during the Philippines’ ASEAN Chairmanship launch at SMX Convention Center in Davao city, southern Philippines January 15, 2017. REUTERS/Lean Daval Jr – RTSVKW9

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will visit China in May to attend a multilateral summit, China’s foreign ministry said on Thursday, making his second visit to Beijing since taking office as he seeks to further distance himself from Washington.

Duterte has carried out a stunning U-turn in Philippines’ foreign policy since assuming office last year, making overtures towards China while berating traditional ally the United States.

In a statement issued after Duterte met China’s Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin in Manila on Tuesday, the Chinese foreign ministry said Duterte said he was pleased with how ties had developed since he came to China last year.

“I will come to Beijing in May to attend the ‘One Belt, One Road’ international cooperation summit forum, and I look forward to meeting President Xi Jinping again,” the ministry paraphrased Duterte as saying, without elaborating.

The Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs said it could not immediately confirm the comments were made as no ministry officials were present at the meeting.

Both sides agreed that territorial disputes in the South China Sea were a “small part” of bilateral relations and to set up a bilateral consultation mechanism to deal with issues that arise in the region, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Thursday at a regular press briefing.

China has given few details about the summit, but diplomatic sources in Beijing say the government is expected to invite a large number of foreign leaders to attend.

China has dubbed a series of infrastructure projects stretching across some 60 countries as the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, based upon resurrecting the old Silk Road that once connected China with Central Asia, Europe and beyond.

Duterte reiterated last month he wanted to avoid confrontation with China and saw no need to press Beijing to abide by a July ruling on China’s claims in the disputed South China Sea that went in favour of the Philippines.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Martin Petty in Manila; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Source: Reuters “China says Philippines’ Duterte to visit again as ties warm up”

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

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2 Comments on “China says Philippines’ Duterte to visit again as ties warm up”

  1. Joseph says:

    So, Donald Trump has failed to smooch Duterte, eh? Obviously throwing support for Duterte to kill more drug dealers, for doesn’t work well. Phillipines still needs money more than it needs smooching. Obviously Donald Trump is more serious in getting money from Philippines through the selling of Trump apartment in Manila than actually giving Philippines government in Manila their badly needed money.

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  2. Steve says:

    Philippines is an integral part of OBOR in SCS and hopefully greater ties in diplomatic trust in areas of investments and especially military. It would be a show of military goodwill if PLAN can show off one of its stealth warships like the 052D in Subic bay.

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