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DIPLOMACY

China snubs Philippine president over visit to Nanning expo

President urged to visit China at more conducive time; trade minister to go instead

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 August, 2013, 5:09am

China has asked Philippine President Benigno Aquino to postpone a visit next week for the opening of a trade fair, Manila said yesterday, an unprecedented snub by Beijing as relations sour over territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

"China's request was for the president to visit China at a more conducive time," Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez told the South China Morning Post in reply to whether Aquino had been specifically asked to drop his China visit.

Hernandez said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi relayed the request to Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario on Wednesday night, hours after President Aquino himself announced his trip to Nanning to head the delegation to the China-Asean Expo, where the Philippines is this year's "country of honour".

Trade Secretary Gregory Domingo will represent the president at the September 3-6 event, said Hernandez, who was among Asean foreign ministers in Beijing for a meeting with the Chinese foreign minister.

China's Foreign Ministry told Reuters it had never invited Aquino in the first place.

In a statement to the Post, the Foreign Ministry added: "The Philippines should work with China to remove difficulties and disturbances, and make concrete efforts for resuming the healthy and stable development of the Sino-Philippine relationship."

Hernandez said: "The president has decided not to proceed to CAEXPO taking into consideration China's request … On the part of the Philippines, we will continue to abide by our principled position that bilateral relations can advance despite differences."

The president announced his China trip at the start of a speech at his office in Malacanang Palace. "I will leave at 5am, I will return at 5pm [because] we don't want to overstay our welcome there," he said.

Du Jifeng , an expert in Southeast Asian affairs at the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said it was rare for Beijing to reject visits by foreign leaders. "It indicates that Beijing is increasingly frustrated with Manila," Du said.

Professor Su Hao , of China Foreign Affairs University, said: "Beijing gave a high reception to Aquino two years ago, and the two nations signed many deals. But Aquino put up tough rhetoric against China as soon as he was back home."

Additional reporting by Reuters

 

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SteveFraser
He is the last person to know. Who should Pres. Aquino thank? Of course, his exeuctive staff by putting their boss and country in a bad light. Telling everyone he is going and he was not even invited in the first place. Where will he put his face? His mother's urn?
wilfredo.garrido
Let us stay on-topic. We don't care if we don't get invited to China. We don't need to trade with China. I don't want to export anything to China except typhoons.
SteveFraser
If you don't care, you don't care, why should the world even care for PH, when all they do is asking for monies left and right with debt over the head due to your own Janet Napoles pork scam and you filipinos can't do anything about it, because your president is afraid of Janet Napoles. What a shame!
pseudotriton
waahhh.... our president got snubbed. waaahhh....we got insulted by those Chinese commies. we got this stockpile of bananas we can't get rid of. waaahhh.... emmm, no, we must act tough, and tell them we don't give a damn. But, but, what are we gonna do with the bananas?
wilfredo.garrido
Waaa, we sold the bananas to the Russians already. If you can't win a trade war with a small country like ours, what happens when you face off with Japan, the EU or the US?
pgrath1
How to Win Friends and Influence People
Chinese Communists seem to be the most petty, self-important, greedy people on Earth
pseudotriton
...except the Americans
wilfredo.garrido
Rude tourists, rude hosts. We don't need China. We are humming along at 7% annual growth without any much of a trade with China. You boycotted our bananas, we found new markets. You boycotted our tourism, we didn't blink. Now, you want your employers to boycott our workers. Suit yourselves. The less trade with China, the better, we are insulated against economic coercion.
SteveFraser
PH doesn't need China alright, but everything in your malls including the maxi safety shield or pad of the female relatives in your family are all Made in China. It also includes the iPhone, Samsung, PC and laptop components you are using as of the moment. Beggars can't be choosers. Solve your own problems first before uttering useless comments. China can survive without PH, but PH will not. It has been proven again and again. PH is "dependent" on other countries from modern brain drain to Middle East to be house maids in ShangHai, BangKok, HongKong, TaiPei for money remittances. PH can't even feed their own people, what more to even say they don't need China. Get your own NSO to give you the import details of your Made in China products. It is like open mouth insert foot for ya!
pseudotriton
"boycotted tourism"? Are you talking about boycotting by HK tourists or mainland China tourists? 'Cuz since the boycott by HK tourists after the 2010 Manila incident, mainland China has been the top source of tourists to the Philippines. Your economy would collapse if it weren't for the mainland Chinese. And the call for boycott of the domestic helpers are from HK as well, as mainlanders don't even use Filipino maids. So go get your facts straight instead of spewing all the nationalistic nonsense, and just be the good little bi_@_tch like you're supposed to be.

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