Duterte open to joint military exercises with China

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 01 2017 07:03 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte returns the salute of a Chinese Navy officer as he tours a Chinese Naval ship during a visit to Davao City. Reuters

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said China can have joint military drills with the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Mindanao particularly the Sulu Sea.

Duterte made the comment following his visit to a Chinese warship docked in his hometown, Davao City.

"I said I agree, you (China) can have a joint exercise here in Mindanao...in the Sulu Sea," he said.

Duterte has previously expressed openness to joint military training with China and Russia.

Soldiers ride on tanks in a parade during the 120th founding anniversary of the Philippine Army. Reuters

The AFP is scheduled to hold its annual joint military exercises with the United States this month.

Manila is involved in a maritime dispute with Beijing over the South China Sea.

Under President Duterte, tensions between the two countries have dipped with the President's efforts to renew bilateral ties.

Duterte described his visit to the Chinese warship on Monday as part of confidence-building and goodwill between the Philippines and China.

"Part of really the confidence building and goodwill...To show that we’re friends," he said.