Ex-president Ramos to ‘rekindle’ ties with China
Ex-Philippine president Fidel Ramos left for Hong Kong to “rekindle” ties with Beijing that have soured over a territorial dispute in the South China Sea. Mr Ramos, 88, whom President Rodrigo Duterte named as his envoy for talks with Beijing, stressed that he was not going as a negotiator, but that he hoped to reopen dialogue between the two countries. “I am just the icebreaker, to rekindle, to warm up again our good, friendly relations with China,” said Mr Ramos, who served as president from 1992 to 1998. Ties between Manila and Beijing have cooled especially since a United Nations-backed tribunal handed the Philippines a sweeping victory last month when it ruled that China’s claims over most of the South China Sea were invalid. China has refused to recognise the tribunal’s decision.