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China’s Xi Jinping to visit PHL in November

Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit the Philippines in November after his participation in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meet in Papua New Guinea, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Tuesday night.

Roque said Xi will fly to the Philippines for the latter’s first visit since November 2015 when the annual regional meeting was held in Manila under then-President Benigno Aquino III, who took China to arbitration court over its expansive claims in the South China Sea.

In July 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague invalidated China’s claim over most of the resource rich and strategic waterway.

The arbitration tribunal's ruling spelled out the Philippines’ sovereign rights to access offshore oil and gas fields within its 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone.

Beijing has since refused to recognize the ruling, which Aquino’s successor, President Rodrigo Duterte, set aside in order to forge closer ties with China, the world's second largest economy.

Duterte is currently on a four-day visit to China for the Boao Forum for Asia and to touch base with overseas Filipino workers in Hong Kong. —KG, GMA News