Is Xi Jinping hoping Rodrigo Duterte still has pull in Manila?

“I hope you will continue to play an important role in our friendly cooperation,” President Xi reportedly told Mr. Duterte.

“During your tenure as President of the Philippines, you had resolutely made the strategic choice to improve relations with China in an attitude of being responsible to the people and to history,” President Xi told former Philippines President Duterte on Monday.

Duterte / Xi meeting 17 July 2023Chinese President Xi Jinping met with former Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing. Photo credit: Xinhua/Yin Bogu.

Ferdinand Marcis who became president of the Philippines succeeding Duterte in mide 2022 has increased tensions with China to a boiling point and brought thousands of US military personnel into the Philippines to occupy a dozen bases in the country, preparing for war with China.

Duterte has sought to build a peace between the two countries and expand mutual trade. Xi told him that he hopes Mr. Duterte will play a role in furthering China/Philippines relations.

Mr. Duterte’s daughter, Sara Duterte, is the Vice President of the Philippines.