Duterte to raise with Xi Hague ruling rejecting China's vast claims in South China Sea - Palace
President Rodrigo Duterte is set to bring up with Chinese President Xi Jinping The Hague ruling disapproving China's expansive claims in the South China Sea, Malacañang said on Wednesday.
Duterte and other members of his delegation left for Beijing at 7pm at Villamor Air Base for a four-day official visit to China.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the "highlight" of Duterte's visit would be his bilateral meeting with Xi where they would discuss the comprehensive strategic cooperation between the Philippines and China, as well as shared goals of the two countries.
"President Duterte is also expected to raise during his bilateral talk with President Xi the ruling held by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in The Hague which disapproved the expansive claims of China over the disputed waters in relation to the exclusive economic zone of the country in the West Philippine Sea," he said.
Panelo said Duterte would also discuss with his Chinese counterpart ways and means on how to go about the conduct and framework of a possible joint exploration between the Philippines and China in the West Philippine Sea.
As country coordinator of the ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations, he said Duterte also intends to discuss with Xi the crafting of a Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea and how they could expedite its conclusion.
"The President believes that the absence of the COC that is to be observed by affected countries has caused numerous conflicts in the subject waters that could have been prevented by a document that will regulate their actions. A good example of such conflict would be the maritime incident which transpired a few months ago in Recto Bank," he said.
Panelo said the Palace accepts the apology of the Chinese shipowner figured in the June 9 boat sinking incident that endangered the lives of 22 Filipino fishermen.
He said the two leaders would also exchange views on other important issues, such as fast-tracking the existing big-ticket projects of China in the Philippines, as well as improving the trade relations.
Duterte and Xi would also witness the signing of cooperative bilateral documents and memoranda of understanding which are aimed at strengthening ties, deepening friendship and enhancing diplomacy of both countries.
On August 30, Duterte would proceed to Guangzhou and lead in cheering Gilas Pilipinas in one of their scheduled games during the FIBA World Basketball World Cup on the following day.
He would be accompanied by Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, who would also pay a courtesy call on Duterte.
The members of Duterte's official delegation are Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr., Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato Dela Pena, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Commission on Higher Education Chairperson Prospero De Vera III, Customs Commissioner Rey Guerrero, and Panelo.
Duterte would return to the country on September 1. Celerina Monte/DMS