Duterte's fifth China visit set August 28 to September 2

AMID concerns over the unresolved South China Sea disputes and the unauthorized entry of Chinese warships in Philippine waters, President Rodrigo Duterte will embark on a six-day visit to Beijing on August 28 to September 2.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo announced in a Palace press briefing the official dates for Duterte's fifth trip to China since assuming office in 2016.

On August 6, the President vowed to raise with Chinese President Xi Jinping the Philippines's 2016 historic arbitral win, which invalidates China's sweeping maritime claims, when he visits Beijing later this month.

He had said that it's time to raise these issues with Xi.

On July 12, 2016, the Philippines won its petition lodged before the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague, Netherlands when the international court ruled that China's vast claims to the South China Sea were invalid.

Aside from the sea ruling, Duterte also said he will discuss the need to complete a code of conduct in the South China Sea.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and China are still negotiating for the final and binding COC in the South China Sea.

Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam are the four Asean member-states that are claiming parts of the South China Sea, while China and Taiwan are claiming most of the busy waterway.

If completed, the binding sea code will promote peace and stability in the contested waters.

"So I'll talk about the arbitral ruling itself and then the code of conduct, and 'yung other sides yung mga marine resources (and the other sides, the marine resources)," Duterte said in a speech delivered on August 8.

"I have about two more years, plus months left. It's about time that we start talking. Panahon na. Ilang buwan nalang ako diyan (It's about time to talk about it because I only have remaining months to do it)," he added. (SunStar Philippines)


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