For Duterte, a lot riding on Xi's visit today to Philippines

Manila hoping for progress on oil and gas talks and infrastructure deals with Beijing

Workers yesterday painting a pavement in preparation for the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Philippine and Chinese officials are working to close at least two infrastructure deals during Mr Xi's visit.
Workers yesterday painting a pavement in preparation for the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Philippine and Chinese officials are working to close at least two infrastructure deals during Mr Xi's visit.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Chinese President Xi Jinping will arrive in Manila today for a one-day state visit to the Philippines meant to push forward talks to tap into billions of dollars worth of oil and gas reserves beneath contested waters that both nations claim, as well as firm up deals to bolster President Rodrigo Duterte's ambitious infrastructure push.

The two leaders will likely sidestep political disputes involving the South China Sea. But expectations are high that terms for an agreement to explore its resource-rich waters may be finalised by the time Mr Xi heads back to Beijing.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 20, 2018, with the headline 'For Duterte, a lot riding on Xi's visit today to Philippines'. Print Edition | Subscribe