Chinese vice premier arriving Thursday for four-day visit
Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang will arrive Thursday afternoon for a four-day visit until March 19.
Wang is the highest Chinese official to visit the country since President Rodrigo Duterte’s state visit to China last year.
Relations between China and Philippines have improved under Duterte, who has sought Chinese trade and economic aid as he has chosen not to discuss territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
China’s Foreign Ministry said Wang will meet Duterte and hold talks with Philippine s economic managers in Davao City on Friday.
In Manila, Wang will attend the opening ceremony of Association of South East Asian Nations-China tourism cooperation year Thursday evening and deliver a speech to a China-Philippines economic and trade forum on March 18.
Wang’s visit came amid concern by Philippine defense officials over sighting of Chinese survey ships in the vast Benham rise waters northeast of the Philippines last year.
Chinese officials say they have right of innocent passage in those waters, where the United Nations Commission on the Limits of Continental Shelf recognized in 2012 as an extension of Philippine continental shelf, where Filipinos have exclusive rights to fish and exploit potential resources like undersea gas and oil. DMS