China hails “golden period” in relations with Philippines — Is the South China Sea Now a Chinese Lake”? — “In the future, in keeping with the Philippines’ needs, we will continue to provide necessary assistance and help.”

Peace and Freedom


Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) meets Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) secretary Alan Peter Cayetano during a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing, China June 29, 2017. REUTERS/Fred Dufour/Pool
By Christian Shepherd | BEIJING

Relations between China and the Philippines have entered a “golden period of fast development”, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Thursday, touting growth in trade and their efforts to settle disputes in the South China Sea.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has opted to court China for its business and investment and avoid the rows over maritime sovereignty that dogged his predecessors.

Duterte has faced criticism at home for being what some people see as too soft on China over the long-running territorial dispute, but he considers his approach to be pragmatic and says challenging China risks triggering war.

Wang, speaking to…

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