China’s state news agency says this week’s visit by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte points toward a restoration of trust between the sides following recent tensions over their South China Sea territorial dispute. Xinhua said that Duterte’s arrival on Tuesday would be a step toward ending years of estrangement between the countries.
Duterte has said he wants to reduce contacts with treaty ally the US in favor of closer ties with the rising Asian superpower. Xinhua said Duterte’s visit shows the “bad blood between Beijing and Manila has finally begun to give place to good faith.”
It said a verdict issued by an international arbitration panel in the Netherlands that denied China’s claims in the South China Sea had no bearing in discussions between the sides.