Xi tells Marcos stability on South China Sea issues key to good ties

Mr Xi said the two countries need to stick to amicable negotiations to resolve differences over South China Sea issues. PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING - Chinese President Xi Jinping told his Philippines counterpart Ferdinand Marcos Jr at a meeting on Thursday that the strength of bilateral ties hinged on stable relations at sea, state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) reported.

Mr Xi was referring to disputes over areas of the South China Sea that have plagued relations between Beijing and Manila.

CCTV said Mr Xi also told Mr Marcos on the sidelines of an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Bangkok that the two countries need to stick to amicable negotiations to resolve differences over South China Sea issues.

US Vice-President Kamala Harris will meet Mr Marcos next week, Manila’s ambassador to Washington said on Thursday.

Ms Harris’ trip marks her second to Asia in three months and the first to the Philippines. It will include a stop on the islands of Palawan on the edge of the disputed South China Sea, in a move that may be interpreted by Beijing as a rebuke.

Beijing claims some territories in the waters off Palawan and much of the South China Sea, citing their own historical maps. A 2016 international arbitration ruling, however, said the Chinese claims had no legal basis, in a victory for Manila that has yet to be enforced. REUTERS

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