Wang Yi arrives in Davao amid joint exploration talks

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived in the Philippines on Sunday afternoon, October 28, for a series of meetings in President Rodrigo Duterte's hometown of Davao City.

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Wang arrived in Davao City at 2:45 pm on Sunday. 

In its update sent to reporters around 4 pm, the DFA said Wang was welcomed by Philippine Foreign Undersecretary for Policy Enrique Manalo, Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago "Chito" Santa Romana, and Davao City Vice Mayor Bernard Al-ag. 

Wang came to the Philippines as Manila and Beijing try to seal a framework for joint exploration of the West Philippine Sea. The West Philippine Sea is part of the South China Sea that is owned by the Philippines based on an international ruling, but is claimed by China.

This is the second time Wang is making an official trip to the Philippines under Duterte's watch. This is a far cry from how Wang avoided the Philippines during the Aquino administration. (READ: Wang Yi: China's foreign minister who once snubbed PH trips)

Wang's visit is also the first major event of Teodoro "Teddyboy" Locsin Jr as Philippine foreign secretary. (READ: Wang Yi trip is Locsin's debut in Philippines as DFA chief)

Most of Wang's events will happen on Monday, October 29, at Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City.

Wang will meet with Locsin and Duterte's economic managers, sign bilateral documents, and hold a press conference at Marco Polo Hotel.

Locsin and Wang "will also witness the signing of bilateral agreements covering infrastructure, law enforcement, and humanitarian assistance," said the DFA in a statement on Saturday, October 27. – Rappler.com

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.

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