Philippines, China leaders set to discuss South China Sea

The president of the Philippines has said that he will meet with his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of the APEC forum.

Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said that he hopes his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping will help ease tensions over the disputed South China Sea.

The president mentioned the planned conference in a video message on Friday. Marcos said, "I will get the view of the Chinese president on what we can do to bring down the temperature, to not escalate the situation in the West Philippine Sea." He also said that he intends to develop a strategy for the Philippines' role in the South China Sea after the talks.

Marcos met with US Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday. The Philippine government said the two sides reaffirmed the strength of their alliance. The two also reiterated that they are committed to upholding international rules and norms in the South China Sea and other areas.

A series of incidents in the waters over the past few months has heightened tensions between Manila and Beijing. A Chinese Coast Guard vessel collided with a Philippine military supply boat in October. Ships belonging to China fired water cannon at Philippine vessels in August and earlier this month.