China’s President Xi Jinping met with the ex Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. He urged him to uphold and advance the cooperation between their countries. This meeting took place in Beijing. Xi expressed his desire for the Philippines to continue playing a significant role in maintaining friendly relations with China.
The change in leadership from Rodrigo Duterte to Ferdinand Marcos Jr. marked a shift in the Philippines’ stance towards China. During Duterte’s tenure, the country had adopted a more pro-China approach. However, under Marcos, the Philippines began seeking closer ties with its traditional ally, the United States. This shift in alignment has strained the relations between the two countries.
Marcos leadership shift from China to US
In May of the previous year, Marcos visited the US. He reaffirmed the longstanding security alliance between the Philippines and the US. During his meeting with President Joe Biden, the US leader emphasized the unwavering commitment to defending the Philippines, solidifying the bond between the two nations. The Philippines’ decision to allow the US access to additional military bases further added to the tension with China.
Marcos defended this move, stating that it was a defensive measure in case of any aggression towards Taiwan, a democratic island nation that China claims as part of its territory. This stance didn’t sit well with Beijing, leading to heightened tensions in the region.
President Xi commended Duterte for his previous efforts in improving bilateral ties between China and the Philippines. He recognized Duterte’s responsible approach to diplomacy and expressed hope that Marcos would continue this cooperative path.
In recent times, Duterte had warned about the risks of the Philippines becoming a battleground amid the ongoing tensions between the US and China. This reflects the delicate geopolitical situation in the region, with both major powers vying for influence and control.
Xi emphasized China’s commitment to being friendly with its neighbors and treating them as partners. However, he did not directly address the current state of China-Philippines relations.