Marcos, Xi to discuss easing tensions in West Philippine Sea

Gaea Katreena Cabico – Philstar.com

November 17, 2023 | 8:58am

MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss measures to ease tensions in the West Philippine Sea. 

Marcos is scheduled to meet his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of the 30th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders’ Meeting in San Francisco, California. 

“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,” the chief executive said in a video message posted Friday. 

“And we will put all of these together so as we’ll be able to strategize for the near future on what the Philippines’ role will be or what is the proper Philippines’ role in the West Philippine Sea,” he added. 

Marcos’ meeting with Xi comes as tensions between Manila and Bejijing escalate, with the Philippine becoming increasingly vocal in criticizing what it calls “illegal and dangerous” actions in the West Philippine Sea. 

The Department of Foreign Affairs said Thursday that the Philippines does not have to give China prior notice about resupply and rotation missions to the BRP Sierra Madre. It also called on Beijing to remove all “illegal structures” it built within the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone.  

Meeting with Harris

According to Marcos, United States Vice President Kamala Harris expressed interest in the latest situation in the West Philippine Sea. 

“We tried to discuss some of the ways forward and I think that generally speaking, especially after my meeting with President Xi, which I’m going to have some time today. After that, we will put together the ways forward because we are continuously trying to maintain the peace,” Marcos said. 

Washington has repeatedly said that its mutual defense pact with the Philippines “extends to both countries’ armed forces, public vessels, and aircraft—including those of its Coast Guard—anywhere in the Pacific, to include the South China Sea.” 


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