Duterte, China's Xi discuss Korea in phone call

Reuters

Posted at May 03 2017 06:17 PM | Updated as of May 04 2017 12:19 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte talks to Chinese President Xi Jinping over the phone Wednesday. Palace says Duterte thanked Xi for inviting him to visit a Chinese warship which docked in Davao City on May 1. Palace handout

BEIJING - Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Philippine counterpart, Rodrigo Duterte, discussed the situation on the Korean peninsula by telephone on Wednesday, China's state news agency Xinhua said.

It did not give further details. 

This comes as US President Donald Trump called leaders of the Philippines, Thailand, and Singapore over the weekend. White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said conversations were aimed at lining up Asian partners in case tensions over North Korea lead to "nuclear and massive destruction in Asia," and mentioned no broader strategic goal.

Duterte, piqued by the Obama administration's criticism of his human rights record, last year announced his "separation" from longtime ally US while on a visit to Beijing.

Underlining his new-found friendship with Beijing, Duterte on Monday inspected a Chinese naval ships docked at his hometown, the first visit of its kind to the Philippines in years.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Robert Birsel)