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Beijing’s Xi Jinping and Manila’s Duterte Talk on Last Day of U.S.-Philippine Military Exercise

April 9, 2022 (EIRNS)—On April 8, the final day of the U.S.-Philippine annual military exercise Balikatan, Manila’s President Rodrigo Duterte held a phone call with Beijing’s President Xi Jinping. Global Times reported that the call “sends a positive signal that the bilateral relations were not disturbed by the U.S.” Xi Jinping said about the call that he had “stressed China is willing to work with the Philippines and countries in the region to firmly uphold regional security in our own hands and jointly maintain hard-fought peace and stability.”

President Xi also said that in the past six years, the two countries have persisted in promoting “good-neighborly friendship and cooperation, properly handling differences, working together for common development, and getting rid of interference in bilateral ties,” especially in regard to the South China Sea issue.

Duterte said the Philippines is willing to properly deal with South China Sea issues with China to set an example on solving disputes peacefully and to safeguard regional peace, according to the Global Times. The Philippines is also willing to play an active role in promoting relations between ASEAN and China.

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