President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. greets Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi as the latter arrives in Malacañang for a courtesy call on the Philippine President, Tuesday, July 6, 2022. (MNS photo)

MANILA, July 7 (Mabuhay) — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Wednesday received Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Malacañang Palace to discuss a wide range of issues including infrastructure.

Marcos shared photos of his meeting with Wang on his official Twitter account.

“I am grateful to Minister Wang Yi for extending the message of congratulations and support from President Xi Jinping,” he said in a tweet.

Marcos said he and Wang also discussed “agriculture, energy, and our commitment to maintaining the strong relationship between our peoples in the coming years.”

State-run Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM) also broadcasted a video of the meeting between Marcos and Wang.

Wang arrived in the country on Tuesday upon the invitation of Foreign Affairs Secretary Luis Enrique Manalo.

Malacañang has yet to release details about the meeting between two officials.

In a press briefing on Tuesday, Marcos told reporters that the South China Sea (SCS) territorial disputes, as well as the renewal of Philippines and China’s closer cooperation in various fields, will be discussed during his upcoming meeting with Wang.

“Let’s have cultural exchanges, educational exchanges, even the military, if that will be useful. Of course, the GTG (government-to-government [partnership]) has always been there, the private sector, and joint ventures have also been there. But I think that the more that we do, the more it will help resolve the issue,” he said.

However, Marcos said he would not limit the discussions to the SCS issue, stressing that there are other matters that need to be touched on to “normalize” the relationship between the Philippines and China.

“One of the ways that I have consistently suggested is that we have our relationship not only in one dimension, yun lang (not only) West Philippine Sea. Let’s add to that,” he said. “Let’s do other things too. And that way, it will normalize our relationship.”

In January 2013, the Philippines filed an arbitration case against China’s expansive maritime claims before the arbitration court in The Hague. The tribunal on July 12, 2016, invalidated China’s nine-dash line claim to the waterway, but China has repeatedly refused to acknowledge the ruling.

Aside from meeting with the President, Wang will also attend a separate bilateral meeting with Manalo to discuss a wide range of issues, focusing on maintaining and building on the positive trend of relations between the Philippines and China.

Wang is the first foreign counterpart to be received by Manalo after assuming office on July 1.

He was last in Manila in January 2021 for an official visit upon the invitation of former Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin.  (MNS)

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