Marcos, Xi meet anew to ease South China Sea tensions
SAN FRANCISCO – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Saturday met with Chinese President Xi Jinping for the second time this year at the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit here.
The two leaders’ meeting came two days after Marcos also met with US Vice President Kamala Harris here.
Marcos on Friday said he would discuss with Xi ways to reduce tensions in the heavily disputed South China Sea.
“We will get the view of the Chinese President on what we can do to bring down the temperature, to not escalate the situation in the West Philippine Sea,”Marcos said in a video message released by Malacañang on Friday.
The President said that after his meeting with Xi and Harris, “we will put together the ways forward because we are continuously trying to maintain the peace.”
Marcos and Xi had their first bilateral meeting in Bangkok, Thailand during the Apec summit in November last year.
They again met in January this year during the visit of Marcos in Beijing.
Tensions in the South China Sea have escalated after a Chinese ship again fired a water cannon on a Philippine resupply boat on its way to the rusting World War II-era ship BRP Sierra Madre at the Ayungin Shoal.
In February this year, a China Coast Guard vessel pointed a military grade laser at a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) patrol ship that was also on its way to Ayungin.
Beijing has repeatedly refused to recognize the July 2016 Hague ruling that invalidated its sweeping claims in the South China Sea.