China confirms Duterte visit on Oct 18-21

Reuters

Posted at Oct 12 2016 06:17 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte will visit China from October 18 to 21 at the invitation of President Xi Jinping, China's foreign ministry said on its website on Wednesday.

It did not provide any further details.

Duterte had earlier said that he would visit China and Russia but did not give any specific dates.

The meeting is expected to thaw relations between the Philippines and China following an international tribunal ruling backing Manila in a maritime dispute over parts of the South China Sea.

[BACKING THE PHILIPPINES: http://news.abs-cbn.com/news/07/12/16/intl-court-backs-ph-on-dispute-vs-china]

Since Duterte assumed office, he has been keeping a less hostile stance toward China in an attempt to boost trade ties with the world’s second largest economy.

In fact, Duterte said that he does not plan on discussing the issue of Scarborough Shoal with China.

China has been blocking Scarborough since 2012, and Duterte is positive that the renewal of ties between the two countries will make Beijing allow Filipino fishermen back in to the resource-rich shoal. The blockage fueled the country's decision to elevate the maritime dispute with an international court.

Duterte has also called off joint patrols in the area as a sign of good will before his trip to China.

"Let us go for alliances that would contribute to health, to education kung aabot pa tayo ng... if there is still a world waiting for our children," he said. - with Reuters