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China praises Duterte ahead of his visit

FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016 file photo, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks during a ceremony where he was decorated with The Great Cross of the Andes Condor by Bolivia's president in La Paz, Bolivia as part of his tour of Latin America. Wang Yi says no "foreign force" can stand in the way of progress in the long-neglected relationship between China and the Philippines. Speaking in Beijing on Tuesday, Oct. 18, Wang praised Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who visit to China Tuesday, for working to improve ties and for returning to "the track of dialogue and cooperation." Wang said: "This reflects the wish of the Philippine people, and is in line with the Philippines' national interest. No foreign force can stand in the way of such process." AP/Juan Karita, File

BEIJING — Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi says no "foreign force" can stand in the way of progress in the long-neglected relationship between China and the Philippines.

Speaking in Beijing on Tuesday, Wang praised Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte for working to improve ties and for returning to "the track of dialogue and cooperation."

Wang said: "This reflects the wish of the Philippine people, and is in line with the Philippines' national interest. No foreign force can stand in the way of such process."

While Wang gave no details, he was likely referencing the United States as a foreign force that could upset the rapprochement between Manila and Beijing, given the 65-year-old mutual defense treaty between the U.S. and the Philippines.

LIVE updates: Duterte's state visit to China

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