Marcos to visit China in January next year

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 11) — President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. will meet his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in January next year, the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS) confirmed on Friday.

The OPS said Marcos will be in China for a state visit from January 3 to 5 or 6.

Malacañang already said as early as July that Marcos will meet the Chinese leader soon, but no date was given then.

Marcos earlier met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi where they discussed ways to strengthen ties between the two nations amid tensions in the South China Sea.

Marcos has previously stated he will talk to China with a "firm voice" but also echoed his predecessor's that Manila cannot afford to go to war against Beijing.

In 2016, an international tribunal in The Hague ruled in favor of the Philippines in a historic case against China over the maritime dispute. It junked China's sweeping claims in the South China Sea, but Beijing has consistently refused to recognize the ruling.