China Foreign Minister Wang Yi visits the Philippines for bilateral talks amid tensions in the South China Sea. Natasha Howitt reports.
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi is in the Philippines for bilateral talks - a trip that comes amid ongoing disputes between the two countries in the South China Sea. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has called the visit an effort to improve Beijing's relations with Manila. It comes just a few weeks after an arbitration court in the Netherlands ruled that it was able to hear some claims filed by the Philippines against China over disputed parts of the sea. China has refused to recognise or participate in the case. The visit also comes a week ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the Philippines for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit. Many have said territorial disputes will be on the table. But China's Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong has dismissed this. (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) CHINESE VICE FOREIGN MINISTER LI BAODONG SAYING: "As everyone knows, APEC is primarily about discussing economic and trade cooperation in the Asia Pacific. This is a consensus. As far as I know, at this year's summit, there are no plans to discuss the South China Sea." China claims most of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion in global trade passes every year. Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan have rival claims.