Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands after a signing ceremony in Beijing, China. AP/Ng Han Guan, Pool, File

China agrees to work on Code of Conduct
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - November 11, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — China has agreed to work on the Code of Conduct on the South China Sea for the peaceful resolution of disputes in the contested waters.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque last night said this was the outcome of the bilateral talks between President Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Crowne Hotel in Da Nang, Vietnam.

Duterte discussed with Xi the concerns of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on the Code of Conduct and on the issue of freedom of navigation in the SCS.

Xi responded that they respect freedom of navigation in the SCS.

China also assured the Philippines that Beijing would respect any sanctions by the UN Security Council on North Korea amid its threat to launch missiles in the Korean Peninsula.

Xi told Duterte that he is encouraging both the US and North Korea to hold talks and that Beijing is not interested in the escalation of tensions.

Duterte also invited Xi to visit Manila. In return, Xi asked the Philippine leader to visit Beijing.

It was the third time  the two leaders held talks on the South China Sea issue.

Duterte described the SCS militarization issue as a “misunderstanding” between the two countries.

North Korea to hold talks and that Beijing is not interested in the escalation of tensions.

Duterte also invited Xi to visit Manila. In return, Xi asked the Philippine leader to visit Beijing.

It was the third time  the two leaders held talks on the South China Sea issue.

Duterte described the SCS militarization issue as a “misunderstanding” between the two countries.

“First of all, let me thank you for all your crucial help in our fight in Marawi… We value your friendship more than anything else…. We can be your true friends. The arms that your provided were very crucial (in killing) Hapilon,” Duterte said, referring to the death of Abu Sayyaf leader Isnilon Hapilon. The President  has said the terror leader was killed by a military sniper who used a gun donated by China.

For his part, Xi said it was nice to meet him again, adding that they had just come from attending the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting. 

Xi also congratulated Duterte as he would be busy hosting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Meetings in Manila.

Xi will not attend the ASEAN meeting. Premier Li Keqiang will represent China.

Last Thursday night, Duterte said he would ask Xi about China’s moves to militarize some areas in the South China Sea.

The meeting between the two leaders was held behind closed doors, as media were asked to leave after initial statements by Duterte and Xi.      

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