South China Sea Tops Agenda as Philippines’ Duterte Arrives in China

South China Sea Tops Agenda as Philippines’ Duterte Arrives in China

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte met with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing on Thursday. It was the eighth such meeting between the two leaders since Duterte assumed office in 2016, as well as Duterte’s fifth visit to China. As the frequency of those exchanges suggests, Duterte has gone out of his way to embrace China-Philippines relations, part of his strategy for diversifying Manila’s foreign policy partners. The biggest obstacle…