Philippines' Marcos pledges to 'strengthen' China ties on Beijing trip
Philippines President Ferdinand Junior Marcos is expected to sign up to 14 bilateral agreements during his first state visit to China.
On his first state visit to China since entering office, Philippines President Ferdinand Junior Marcos said Wednesday that he aimed to enhance ties with Beijing.
Marcos is expected to sign an agreement this week in Beijing to establish direct communication on marine concerns.
Manila considers it "of primary importance to... strengthen the relationship between China and the Philippines," Marcos said in a meeting on Wednesday with top Chinese legislator Li Zhanshu as quoted by AFP.
Marcos, who is also set to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, said he hoped for "partnerships that would stabilize and strengthen all of our economies."
During Marcos's visit, which concludes on Thursday, up to 14 bilateral agreements are likely to be inked.
The Philippines government said last week both sides would sign a communication agreement to "avoid miscalculation and miscommunication in the West Philippine Sea," in reference to the part of the South China Sea that it claims.
Marcos said on Tuesday before leaving for China he hoped to address "political security issues of a bilateral and regional nature."
"The issues between our two countries are problems that do not belong between two friends," he said.
This is happening at a time when the US is exerting strained efforts to incite conflict in the resource-rich South China Sea region, most notably between China and the Philippines, and is eager to undermine the region's rules-based order, which includes erecting artificial barriers to maritime peacebuilding between Beijing and Manila. Meanwhile, China is responding to US’ escalating strategy by moving closer to its geopolitical neighbors.