AP

Philippines’ Marcos Jr. heads to China amid sea disputes

Jan 2, 2023, 8:59 AM | Updated: 11:03 pm

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., right, waves beside wife Maria Louise as they board a pl...

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., right, waves beside wife Maria Louise as they board a plane for China on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023, at the Villamor Air Base in Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. flew to China on Tuesday for a three-day state visit, saying he looks forward to his meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping as they work to boost bilateral ties.

“As I leave for Beijing, I will be opening a new chapter in our comprehensive, strategic cooperation with China,” he told officials and diplomats, including the Chinese ambassador, prior to boarding his flight from an air base in the capital.

“I look forward to my meeting with President Xi as we work towards shifting the trajectory of our relations to a higher gear that would hopefully bring numerous prospects and abundant opportunities for peace and development to the peoples of both our countries,” he added.

Alluding to the two countries’ territorial dispute in the South China Sea, he said he looks forward to discussing bilateral and regional political and security issues.

“The issues between our two countries are problems that do not belong between two friends such as Philippines and China,” he added. “We will seek to resolve those issues to mutual benefit of our two countries.”

China claims virtually the entire South China Sea and has ignored a 2016 ruling by a tribunal in The Hague that invalidated Beijing’s claims to the waterway. The case was brought by the Philippines, which says China has since developed disputed reefs into artificial islands with airplane runways and other structures so they now resemble forward military bases.

Most recently, a Filipino military commander reported that the Chinese coast guard forcibly seized Chinese rocket debris that Filipino navy personnel had retrieved in the South China Sea last month.

China denied the forcible seizure. Marcos said he would seek further clarification on his visit to Beijing.

Accompanied by a big business delegation, Marcos said they will seek cooperation in various areas including agriculture, energy, infrastructure, trade and investments, and people-to-people exchanges. He said they expect to sign more than 10 key bilateral agreements during the visit.

China accounts for 20% of the Philippines’ foreign trade and is also a major source of foreign direct investment.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

moore redmond washington...

Associated Press

U.S. Supreme Court rules against Redmond couple challenging foreign income tax

The court ruled in the case of Charles and Kathleen Moore, of Redmond, Washington after they previously challenged a $15,000 tax bill.

4 days ago

Image:The New York Giants' Willie Mays poses for a photo during baseball spring training in 1972. M...

Associated Press

Willie Mays, Giants’ electrifying ‘Say Hey Kid,’ dies at 93

Willie Mays, whose singular combination of talent, drive and exuberance made him one of baseball’s greatest players, has died. He was 93.

6 days ago

Image: This photo provided by the Washington Department of Ecology shows a derailed BNSF train on t...

Associated Press

Judge orders BNSF to pay Washington tribe nearly $400M for trespassing with oil trains

BNSF Railway must pay the sum to a Native American tribe in Washington after it ran 100-car trains with crude oil on the tribe's reservation.

7 days ago

Photo: In this photo provided by Tieanna Joseph Cade, an amusement park ride is shown stuck with 30...

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people after they were stuck dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park.

7 days ago

juneteenth shooting texas...

Associated Press

2 killed and 6 wounded in shooting during a Juneteenth celebration in a Texas park

A shooting in a Texas park left two people dead and six wounded, including two children, on Saturday, authorities said.

8 days ago

Photo: Israeli soldiers drive a tank near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, Wednesday, J...

Jack Jeffery, The Associated Press

8 Israeli soldiers killed in southern Gaza in deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months

An explosion in Gaza killed eight Israeli soldiers, the military said Saturday, making it the deadliest attack on Israeli forces in months.

9 days ago

Philippines’ Marcos Jr. heads to China amid sea disputes