China’s foreign minister heads to Manila amid ‘big ups and downs’ in relations

  • Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang will travel to the Philippines on Friday at a time when the relationship – already complicated by the South China Sea dispute – is facing growing uncertainty over Taiwan.
  • It will be Qin’s first visit to the Southeast Asian nation since he took office at the end of last year. He will also be the highest-level Chinese official to visit the Philippines since President Ferdinand Marcos Jnr’s trip to Beijing in Jan 23, when the two sides pledged to strengthen strategic cooperation and manage their South China Sea dispute.
  • Qin will meet his Philippine counterpart Enrique Manalo during the three-day visit and they are expected to discuss “increasing and strengthening cooperation in the fields of agriculture, trade, energy, infrastructure and people-to-people relations, among others”, according to a Philippine foreign ministry statement.

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