gpolit.com
gpolit.com November 21, 2017


Xi tells Duterte China will work to safeguard South China Sea peace

13 November 2017, 01:23 | Rufus Hill

Xi tells Duterte China will work to safeguard South China Sea peace

Xi tells Duterte China will work to safeguard South China Sea peace

At the start of his meeting with Vietnam's president Tran Dai Quang, he said he was prepared to act as mediator between claimants to the South China Sea, which include Vietnam and China.

"We have to be friends, the other hotheads would like us to confront China and the rest of the world on so many issues", Duterte said at a ceremony on the eve of a summit of East and Southeast Asian nations in the Philippine capital.

The two sides are expected to try and expand their economic relations, but it comes at a time of heightened bilateral tensions over territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

The US President, who expressed his great friendship with Chinese president Xi Jinping in the early stage of his Asia tour, acknowledged in Vietnam that China's position on the South China Sea, almost all of which is claimed by Beijing, was a problem.

"Unbridled, undisturbed, unmolested while we use that small way from the Indian Ocean. facing Palawan", Duterte said, referencing the southern Philippines province which juts out into the South China Sea. "Stabbing. That was when I was 16 years old, just because we just looked at each other", he said.

"And although I would suppose it would be safe to assume that the discussion on West Philippine Sea will take place because in the remark of the US President, he also said that the interest of the United States is to maintain freedom of navigation "in crucial waterways", Roque said.

Leaders in the Philippines are eager for Trump's visit, viewing the President's arrival as a welcome change in American leadership given former President Barack Obama's relationship with Duterte was markedly frayed. "We know he is here to push for unfair treaties between the Philippines and the U.S".

Pacific Rim nation leaders agreed in Vietnam on Saturday to address "unfair trade practices" and "market distorting subsidies", a statement that bore the imprint of Trump's efforts to reshape the global trade landscape.

The two leaders met on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the Vietnamese resort city of Danang.

Dotted with small islands, reefs and shoals, the South China Sea is a crucial shipping route and home a messy territorial dispute that pits multiple countries against one another.

The framework seeks to advance a 2002 Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea.

Among those who will be in Manila for the ASEAN meetings are Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Russian Premier Dmitry Medvedev and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.



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