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under Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, who unilaterally launched the arbitration case against China over the South China Sea dispute.
During the visit, Japan is expected to offer Manila two large coast guard patrol boats — ontop ofanearlier pledge of 10 smaller ones — and TC-90 military training aircraft, the Associated Press reported.
Jia Duqiang, a senior researcher of Southeast Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that Duterte is maintaining a “balanced diplomacy” to cater to both China and Japan, given the remarks he has made in the two past week.
“Through offering olive branches to both China and Japan, Duterte is pursuing the Philippines’ maximum national interests, since both China and Japan could offer financial support to his country,” he said. CANADAJin Yong, countries deputy in the head of the School of Foreign Studies at Communication University of China, said Duterte should stick to independent diplomacy instead of being influenced by Japan.
According to the ChinaPhilippines joint declaration issued on Friday, the two countries agreed to maintain restraint and enhance bilateral negotiations over the South China Sea dispute.
“I think that Duterte’s remarks in Japan should mostly be in accordance with what he said in China, that is, to enhance cooperation and set aside disputes,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular news conference onWednesday.
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