fredag 8. april 2022

Xi Jinping: China and the Philippines have "properly" handled the South China Sea issue

Seeking to put a positive spin on a relationship that never quite produced the hoped-for benefits, Chinese leader Xi Jinping told outgoing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday that the two nations have “properly” handled the sensitive issue of the disputed South China Sea. Xi made his remarks in a phone conversation with Duterte, who nurtured closer ties with Beijing after taking office in 2016.

Despite cozier relations, however, sporadic territorial spats have persisted and Beijing has had limited success separating the Philippines from its treaty ally, the United States. Xi made no mention of disputes, saying the sides “have adhered to the important consensus reached, adhered to good-neighborly and friendly cooperation, insisted on properly handling differences, and insisted on working together for common development.”

“The proper handling of the South China Sea issue by both sides has provided an important foundation for China-Philippines friendly cooperation, benefited the two peoples, and effectively safeguarded regional peace and stability,” Xi was quoted as saying by the official Xinhua News Agency.