BEIJING—China has expressed elation over President Rodrigo Duterte’s decision not to pursue his plan to visit Philippine-controlled islands in the South China Sea to raise flag.
”We are glad that the Philippines choose to work with China to properly manage differences and advance cooperation, so as to deliver more benefit to our two peoples,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Affairs spokesperson Lu Kang said in a press briefing Thursday.
In a meeting with Filipino community in Riyadh Thursday, President Duterte announced that he would not celebrate Independence Day and raise Philippine flag on Pag-asa Islands on June 12 upon the request of China.
President Duterte said he valued the Philippines’ friendship with China, the world’s second largest economy.
Last week, China also asked the Philippines to properly handle South China Sea issue after President Duterte ordered the deployment of troops on unoccupied South China Sea islands.
The Philippine defense and military officials the famous Filipino leader only wanted to upgrade the existing facilities in the Philippine-controlled territories and not to occupy new islands.