Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. will embark on a four-day official visit to China next week, the Department of Foreign Affairs announced Thursday (March 16).
The official visit will take place from March 18 to 21, upon the invitation of Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
“Secretary Locsin and his Chinese counterpart will hold a bilateral meeting to discuss the strengthening of the friendly relations between the Philippines and China in the spirit of mutual respect and through enhanced functional cooperation,” the DFA said in a statement.
The two foreign ministers are also expected to tackle ways to advance the larger goal of “bringing peace and prosperity to the region.”
This will be Locsin’s first visit to China since assuming the post in October last year.
The Duterte administration has been vocal on its intent to forge stronger economic ties with China despite a maritime dispute over the South China Sea.
The incumbent government has opted to hold a bilateral consultation mechanism with China to settle the dispute, setting aside discussions on the permanent court of arbitration’s ruling on the contested waterways.
In 2016, the international tribunal ruled in favor of the Philippines’ arbitration case against China’s expansive nine-dash line claim over the South China Sea. – Robie de Guzman
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte maintained that he will raise the arbitral ruling that favors the Philippines in the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea when he visits China next week.
Duterte is scheduled to fly to China for a working visit from August 28 to September 3.
He will meet Chinese president Xi Jinping and talk about the Hague ruling, the code of conduct, as well as the proposed joint oil exploration in the West Philippine Sea.
“So whether you like it or not, would it make you happy or not, angry or otherwise. Sorry, but we have to talk the arbitral ruling, then what we get, if there is a start of the exploration and extraction of whatever there is in the bowels of the earth,” the President said during the inauguration of the 7.5 megawatt peak solar power project in the municipality of Odiongan, Tablas Island in Romblon on Wednesday (August 21).
“The proposal of 60-40 in our favor, would be a good start. I hope it would graduate to something like towards how do we solve the arbitral ruling peacefully,” he added.
The event was the President’s first public engagement after being out of the public eye for more than a week. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)
A Chinese national working at Britain’s Hong Kong consulate has been detained in China’s border city of Shenzhen for violating the law, the Chinese foreign ministry said on Wednesday (August 21), likely worsening already strained ties between Beijing and London.
Simon Cheng did not return to work on Aug. 9 after visiting the neighbouring mainland city of Shenzhen the previous day, Hong Kong news website HK01 reported.
Cheng’s family confirmed his disappearance in a Facebook post on Tuesday (August 20) night, saying he travelled from Hong Kong to Shenzhen on the morning of Aug. 8 for a business trip.
Speaking at a daily news briefing in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Cheng had been detained for 15 days by Shenzhen police for violating public security management regulations, though he gave no details.
“He is not a UK citizen. In other words that means he’s Chinese, so it’s entirely an internal matter for China,” Geng said.
“We’ve made stern representations to Britain for the series of comments and actions they’ve made on Hong Kong,” he added.
Britain has said it is “extremely concerned” by reports that the staff member at the consulate in its former colony had been detained.
Hong Kong has been gripped by anti-government protests in recent weeks, with Beijing accusing Britain and other Western countries of meddling in its affairs. (Reuters)
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