Xi Jinping arrived in the Philippines on Tuesday for a two-day visit. It was the first visit by a Chinese head of state since 2005.
Relations have been on the upswing in recent years (Time):
“Beijing’s relations with Manila stagnated over long-seething territorial rifts in the South China Sea until Duterte won the presidency in mid-2016 and rebuilt ties with China.”“Duterte’s rapprochement has fostered a new era of warming relations with the Asian economic powerhouse, with which he has sought trade and investment, infrastructure financing and weapons to fight insurgents.” Xi and Duterte got down to business, overseeing the signing of 29 bilateral agreements.
This will make Xi happy:The two signed an MOU to cooperate on the Belt and Road.
But the most important agreement was one to jointly explore for oil and gas in disputed areas of the South China Sea.
Why it matters: It could potentially serve as a template for cooperation with other countries with which China has territorial disputes.
Get smart: Just because it couldserve as a template, doesn’t mean that it will serve as a template.
Time: China's President Xi Jinping Visits the Philippines to Deepen Ties With the U.S. Ally
SCMP: China and Philippines sign oil and gas exploration deal as Xi Jinping meets Rodrigo Duterte