Philippine senators ask Duterte to disclose China energy plan

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Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo meets up Wednesday with visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping where the former lauded China and recalled her presidency, which saw Manila forge closer ties with Beijing.

Zhao Jianhua, in an interview with Chinese media on Thursday, said that over the last two years, under the guidance of the leaders of the two countries, China-Philippines relations have achieved an overall turnaround, and are moving forward along a fast track. The annual APEC meeting concluded without an agreed joint communiqué for the first time in its 25-year existence, which reports blamed on tensions between the United States and China. Chinese officials have asked Washington to back off from what they say is a purely Asian dispute, but the US has vowed to maintain a presence in the waters, where it has no claims but has vowed to continue naval patrols to promote freedom of navigation and overflight despite Chinese warnings.

Statistics show that trade volume between the two countries in 2017 topped 50 billion USA dollars, making China the Philippines' largest trading partner and source of imports, as well as the fourth largest export market.

'Good neighborhood, friendship and cooperation are our only option for the future, ' he said. He disclosed that he might ask her to communicate with or sing a song for Xi in Chinese when the latter visits the Philippines. That process culminated in a damning 2016 ruling that found in the Philippines' favor on almost every count.

According to him, he will further negotiate with Xi about how to deepen bilateral cooperation under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, and will put more into practice.

That stance flared onto Philippine Twitter and Facebook, where feeds were flooded Tuesday with Winnie the Pooh memes in a winking expression of anti-China sentiment stirred by Xi's visit.

The Philippines won in 2016 the case it filed against China in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, striking down as invalid China's nine-dash-line claim that it uses to claim almost all of the South China Sea.

This dispute has helped galvanize tough anti-Chinese sentiments among Filipinos, leading to both a mixed reaction to Xi's official visit in Manila and, more broadly, criticisms of Duterte's inaction to China's intrusion in and militarization of the disputed areas.

Locsin made the remarks on Twitter as he rebuffed President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesperson, Salvador Panelo, who said on Tuesday that he did not care if Beijing drafted the agreement because Manila would review it anyway.

It also invalidated China's nine-dash line claim to most of the South China Sea, which the senate resolution said was "unlawful and expansive".

The Philippines and China raised the level of bilateral relations to integral strategic cooperation after the meeting on Tuesday in this capital between President Rodrigo Duterte and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. The ground-breaking agreement quickly imploded into diplomatic and legal battles.

Trillanes and another senator, Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan, filed a resolution ahead of Xi's arrival "demanding transparency" and urging to see the final draft agreement before it is signed, CNN Philippines reported.

The poll of 1,200 people conducted in late September also showed trust in the U.S. remained "very good", but China was considered "poor".

Dr. Chester Cabalza is a security analyst.

At ASEAN, Duterte had called on the stop military drills near disputed areas, saying China is already "in possession" of it. Pence last week said the US supports a "free and open" Indo-Pacific and "will continue to sail and fly wherever global law allows and our national interests demand".