Chinese Vice Foreign Minister to meet Duterte

Beijing, Jan 17 (IANS) Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhemin will likely meet the Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday.

The meet comes amid the thawing ties between the two countries after Duterte made an overture to China over the South China Sea dispute.

“Yes, he (Liu) is likely to meet the President (Duterte),” a Chinese government official told IANS.

Liu’s visit comes after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Manila.

Manila and Beijing were locked in a bitter dispute over the South China Sea issue until Duterte took power last year and made an overture to China to settle the matter amicably.

He also visited China and met Chinese President Xi Jinping.

He also threatened the US — a long-time ally — of snapping military ties with it.

A year after China invaded Scarborough Shoal in 2012, Manila filed a case against Beijing at an international tribunal, challenging the latter’s claims over the energy-rich South China Sea.

Last year, the court ruled in favour of the Philippines, rejecting Beijing’s claims. China termed the ruling “legal.”