Chinese Foreign Minister to visit Vietnam, Philippines

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Beijing, Sep 12 (IANS) Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will travel to Vietnam and the Philippines in a bid to strengthen ties with the two countries, which have had maritime tensions with Beijing related to sovereignty over the South China Sea, it was announced here on Wednesday.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said Wang would participate in the 11th round of bilateral dialogue between China and Vietnam and later travel to the Philippines on a tour which will begin on September 15 and continue until September 18.

Geng said ties with the two neighbours had improved in recent years, after earlier clashes about sovereignty over the Spratly and Paracel islands, claimed by Beijing as well as partially claimed by Manila, Hanoi and other regional governments.

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“Since last year China-Vietnam relations are developing well, under the strategic guidance of our two leaders. Our across-the-border ties have deepened,” Geng said.

“China is willing to work with Vietnam to elevate our strategic partnership to a new level and develop tangible benefits to our two peoples,” he added.

The spokesperson also highlighted the progress in ties with the Philippines since Rodrigo Duterte became the President, with Duterte visiting China in April and participating in the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia.

“The Philippines is a coordinating country for China-Asia relations,” Geng said.

–IANS

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