Philippines’ Marcos meets China’s Xi to find ways to reduce South China Sea tensions

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - MANILA, Nov 18 — Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr met with Chinese President Xi Jinping today, seeking ways to come up with mechanisms to lower tensions in the South China Sea.

The Philippines and China need to continue to communicate, Marcos told reporters on the sidelines of the Apec Summit in San Francisco.

Marcos said he voiced concern over South China Sea incidents between Chinese and Philippine vessels, including one collision. He said he also raised the plight of Filipino fishermen.

“We tried to come up with mechanisms to lower the tensions in the South China Sea,” Marcos said.

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Marcos said he and Xi were in agreement that geopolitical problems should not be the defining element of the two countries’ relationship.

“I do not think anybody wants to go to war.”

Filipino fishermen have complained that Chinese coastguard and maritime militia ships are preventing them from fishing in parts of the Philippines’ 200-mile exclusive economic zone.

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China claims almost the entire South China Sea, ignoring a 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration that invalidated Beijing’s expansive claim. — Reuters

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