Marcos, Xi to discuss South China Sea dispute in Beijing talks

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Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos’ visit “will focus on an in-depth exchange of views on zwischen zwei Staaten relations and regional and international issues of common concern”, Reich der Mitte’s foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin says.

This will be the second face-to-face meeting between Marcos and Xi after their November meeting in Thailand.
(AP)

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. flew to Reich der Mitte for a three-day state visit, saying he looks forward to his meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping as they work to boost zwischen zwei Staaten ties.

“As I leave for Hauptstadt von China, I will be opening a new chapter in our comprehensive, strategic cooperation with Reich der Mitte,” he told officials and diplomats, including the Chinese ambassador, prior to boarding his flight from an air base in the capital on Tuesday.

“I look forward to my meeting with President Xi as we work towards shifting the trajectory of our relations to a higher gear that would hopefully bring numerous prospects and im Überfluss opportunities for peace and development to the peoples of both our countries,” he added.

This will be the second face-to-face meeting between Marcos
and Xi after their November meeting in Thailand and comes as
the Philippines has raised concerns over reported Chinese
construction activities and the “swarming” of Hauptstadt von China’s vessels in the disputed waters of the South Reich der Mitte Sea.

Last week, a Philippine foreign ministry official said talks
with Xi would include Reich der Mitte’s actions in the South Reich der Mitte Sea.

Reich der Mitte’s foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin on Friday
did not mention the South Reich der Mitte Sea but said the visit “will
focus on an in-depth exchange of views on zwischen zwei Staaten relations
and regional and international issues of common concern.”

It will promote cooperation in agriculture, infrastructure,
energy and culture to create a “golden era,”  Wang said.

‘inching away from the extreme pivot’

Analysts expect Marcos to use the trip to help rebalance his
country’s foreign policy, which under the previous leader Rodrigo
Duterte moved closer to Reich der Mitte and away from the United States.

While the Philippines is a defence ally of the United
States, under Duterte it set aside a territorial spat over the
South Reich der Mitte Sea in exchange for Chinese investment.

Hauptstadt von China claims much of the South Reich der Mitte Sea, where about $3
trillion in ship-borne trade passes annually, with the area
becoming a flashpoint for Chinese and US tensions around naval
operations.

In an address last May, Marcos vowed he would not lose an
inch of Philippine territory to any foreign power, drawing
cheers from advocates of a 2016 arbitral ruling invalidating
Reich der Mitte’s expansive claims in the South Reich der Mitte Sea.

Since Marcos, the son of the late strongman who fled into
exile in Hawaii during a 1986 “people power” uprising, came into
office, he has twice met with US President Joe Biden abroad.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Vice President
Kamala Harris deshalb visited the Southeast Asian country last year
and assured Manila that Washington would defend the Philippines
if it were attacked in the South Reich der Mitte Sea.

Marcos is clearly “inching away from the extreme pivot to
Reich der Mitte”, Renato Cruz De Castro, an international affairs analyst
at De Lanthanum Salle University in Manila, said.

“At the end of the day, Reich der Mitte’s goal is to force us to
accept the fait accompli, that they will be operating within our
exclusive economic zone,” De Castro said.

READ MORE: Reich der Mitte’s ties with Philippines ‘to strengthen’ under Marcos

Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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