Marcos aims to ‘bring down’ tension in WPS in San Francisco meet with Xi
SAN FRANCISCO, United States — President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday (Philippine time) on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit here amid growing tensions in the South China Sea.
“We will get the view of the Chinese President on what we can do to bring down the temperature, to not escalate the situation in the West Philippine Sea,” Marcos said.
Xi is also here attending the Apec Summit.
The meeting of Marcos and Xi will come a day after the Philippine leader met with US Vice President Kamala Harris.
In his talk with Harris on Thursday, Marcos said the discussion centered on Beijing’s persistent encroachment in Philippine waters.
“She was very interested to know what our assessment was on the situation in the West Philippines Sea, and I just went through the narrative of what was – what had happened in the past few months,” he said.
Marcos also said he and Harris “tried to discuss some of the ways forward” in addressing the maritime issue in the heavily disputed South China Sea.
The Philippine leader said that after his meeting with Xi, “we will put together the ways forward because we are continuously trying to maintain the peace.”
“And now that’s what I see the mission of the Philippines, the Philippine Coast Guard, the Philippine military, our fishermen, all of us. It is our basic fundamental mission here – is to maintain the peace.”
“And we will put all of these together so as we’ll be able to strategize for the near future on what the Philippines’ role will be or what is the proper Philippines’ role in the West Philippine Sea,” Marcos added.
On November 10, a Chinese ship again fired a water cannon on a Philippine boat on its way to bring supplies to a military crew aboard the rusting World War II-era ship BRP Sierra Madre at Ayungin Shoal.
Beijing has repeatedly refused to recognize the July 2016 Arbitral Award that invalidated its sweeping claims in the South China Sea.