China President Xi Calls Bongbong Marcos to Congratulate Him

Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated presumptive president Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. in a phone call, Beijing's Embassy in Manila said Wednesday.

Xi called Marcos Jr. "a builder, supporter, and promoter of the China-Philippines friendship" during the Wednesday morning phone conversation, according to the embassy.

"Xi congratulated Marcos again on his election as president of the Philippines. He stressed that Marcos has participated in and witnessed the development of China-Philippines relations," the Chinese Embassy said in a statement.

More: China Sees Stronger Ties with Philippines Under Bongbong Marcos

Marcos Jr. is in Australia with his family for a "much-needed rest" and will return to the Philippines on Thursday according to his spokesperson.

Ties between China and the Philippines saw a renewal under outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte even as tensions persisted due to Chinese construction of artificial islands in the West Philippine Sea, which Beijing claims as its own despite being part of the Manila's Exclusive Economic Zone.

More: Think Galunggong: Why the West Philippine Sea is a Gut Issue

Xi, during the phone call with Marcos Jr., called for a stronger friendship between Beijing and Manila under his incoming administration.

"The Chinese president said the two countries should also grasp the general trend, write a grand story on the China-Philippines friendship in the new era and follow through the blueprint for bilateral friendly cooperation, so as to usher in an even brighter future for the bilateral ties," the Chinese Embassy said.

Several world leaders have extended their congratulations to Marcos Jr. on his landslide election win with U.S. President Joe Biden being the first reported to call the only son and namesake of the late Philippine dictator.


More: Bongbong Marcos: 'Judge Me Not By My Ancestors, But By My Actions'

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