Philippines President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr says his country’s ties to China will expand and “shift into high gear” when he takes power, signaling his intention to overthrow the pro-Beijing agenda of outgoing leader Rodrigo Duterte.
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Mr. Marcos said China and the Philippines should expand their diplomacy, trade, culture, education, knowledge, and health relationship. He said the current conflicts between the two countries should not become “historically significant”. The phone call focused on bilateral ties and regional development
Marcos, who won last week’s election by a landslide, said he held “very substantial” phone calls on Wednesday with Chinese President Xi Jinping, assuring him of support for his “independent foreign policy” and agreeing to more extensive talks. To feed. †
The 64-year-old son and namesake of the infamous former Philippine dictator said Mr. Xi also acknowledged his late father’s role in opening diplomatic relations between the two countries.
“The way forward is to expand our relationship, not just diplomatically, not just commerce, but also culture, even education, even knowledge, even health to address the minor disagreements we have now,” he said. Mr. Marcos commented. Statement.
“I told him that we should not allow the conflicts or difficulties we now have between our two countries to become historically significant.”
Marcos has been in Melbourne this week, reportedly to help his youngest son settle into the University of Melbourne, where he is enrolled to study.
Several members of the Australian-Philippine community protested outside the accommodation where Mr. Marcos was staying on Tuesday.
A spokesman said the president-elect would fly back to Manila on Thursday.
In recent years, the Philippines and China have strained over Beijing’s massive territorial claims and actions by its coastguard and fishing fleets in the South China Sea, through which at least $4.84 trillion in trade passes annually.
Their phone conversation was about bilateral ties and regional development, the Chinese embassy in Manila said in a separate statement.
President Xi said the two countries should also understand the general trend, write a grand story about the China-Philippines friendship in the new era, and follow the blueprint for bilateral friendly cooperation, to create an even better future to usher in bilateral cooperation ties” the embassy said.
Marcos won the presidency last week with nearly 59 percent of the vote. He will take office at the end of June.
Many analysts expect Marcos to seek stronger ties with Beijing. However, maintaining close relations with defense ally Washington will be essential to keeping the military and the public at bay in a country with historically strong ties to the United States.
China was among the first to congratulate Marcos, who was the first to win the presidential election with an outright majority since a 1986 revolution that overthrew his late father’s two-decade dictatorship.
Kurt Campbell, the White House coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, said last week the US would contact the Marcos administration soon but said “historic considerations” could pose challenges.
Mr. Marcos said Mr. Xi had expressed a desire to talk privately.
“We are both looking forward to further dialogue,” said Marcos.
“He said we should both talk without the others.”
Posted 1 hour ago Wed May 18, 2022, at 10:56 AM, Updated 1 hour ago Wed May 18, 2022, at 11:25 AM