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Philippines’ Marcos open to military exchanges with China

·1-min read
MANILA, PHILIPPINES - JUNE 30: Ferdinand
MANILA, PHILIPPINES - JUNE 30: Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. delivers a speech after taking his oath as the next President, at the National Museum of Fine Arts on June 30, 2022 in Manila, Philippines. Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. took his oath as the next Philippine President on Thursday, completing a once unthinkable political revival of his family 36 years after his dictator father, Ferdinand Marcos Sr., was ousted by millions of Filipinos in a people power revolution. (Photo by Ezra Acayan/Getty Images)

By Andreo Calonzo

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said he’s open to military exchanges with China, as he sought ways to expand ties between the two nations beyond the South China Sea territorial dispute.

Marcos said at a briefing Tuesday he will “find ways to work to resolve the conflicts” with Beijing when he meets with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The Southeast Asian nation’s links with China should be strengthened and are not limited to the disputed sea, Marcos added.

“Let’s add to that: let’s have cultural exchanges, educational exchanges, even military, if that will be useful,” the Philippine leader said.

Wang Yi is visiting the Philippines Tuesday and Wednesday.

The two nations’ tensions in the contested waters have heightened in the past weeks, with Manila protesting Beijing’s alleged illegal fishing and shadowing of Filipinos’ boats. The Philippines has also ended oil exploration talks with China.

Marcos earlier said he plans to negotiate a deal with China to resolve the dispute, while also planning to uphold Philippine sovereignty and its military alliance with the US.

© 2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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