Duterte back in Manila after high-stakes visit to China


Posted at Sep 01 2019 11:59 AM | Updated as of Sep 01 2019 01:43 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) -- President Rodrigo Duterte has returned to Manila following his fifth visit to China, where he raised the Philippines' arbitral win that invalidated Beijing's sweeping claims in the disputed South China Sea.

Xi, however, rejected the Philippines' legal victory but said he wants a binding South China Sea code of conduct crafted before Duterte steps down, according to Malacañang.

Duterte arrived at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay early Sunday.

Duterte's visit was "successful and highly productive," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.

Panelo said Duterte and Xi's "close relationship" enabled them to have "frank exchanges" regarding the two nations' maritime dispute, "with both of them agreeing to exercise self-restraint and observe the UNCLOS, particularly with respect to maritime navigation and overflight in the South China Sea."

Duterte brought up the code of conduct during his bilateral meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who called for the two nations' cooperation for "win-win results."

During his visit, Duterte also urged businessmen to invest in the Philippines, telling them to approach him should they encounter corrupt government officials.

A total of 6 deals were signed during the President's visit, which includes agreements on education, science and technology, finance, and customs, among others, Malacañang said.

The President also watched the opening game of Gilas Pilipinas against Italy at the 2019 FIBA World Cup in Guangzhou province.

Duterte also met with his former economic adviser Michael Yang and global superstar Jackie Chan in Beijing.