Philippines, China Foreign Ministers Reaffirm Ties

The Philippines and China foreign ministers reaffirmed the “continuing vitality” of their countries’ relations amid recent tensions in the South China Sea.

China Foreign Minister Wang Yi hosted Philippines counterpart Teodoro Locsin at a meeting in Tengchong City, in the southern province of Yunnan, on Saturday to discuss political and economic cooperation, according to a statement issued by Manila.

Wang affirmed China’s commitment to support the Philippines’ infrastructure program, it said.

“The two foreign ministers also engaged in a candid and in-depth exchange on regional security concerns, as well as issues of mutual interest in the context of Asean-China relations in which the Philippines acts as China coordinator,” the statement said.

The meeting came weeks after Locsin said the Philippineswon’t follow China’s policy of keeping the U.S. out of the South China Sea, and President Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks before the United Nations that the Philippines will “firmly reject attempts to undermine” a 2016 arbitral ruling in its favor in the maritime dispute.

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— With assistance by Andreo Calonzo

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