China concerned about US drill during Xi’s Philippine visit

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Manila:  A Philippine official says China has raised concerns about a joint U.S.-Philippine military exercise that coincides with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the country in November.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque says Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua raised the concern in a meeting Monday with President Rodrigo Duterte, who assured the Chinese envoy that the Philippines would not take part in the military maneuvers.

Roque did not elaborate Tuesday on what particular drill China was concerned about.

Roque said: “The general consensus was we don’t want anything to mar the visit of President Xi.” Philippine military officials, however, say they’re unaware of any US military exercise with Filipino forces next month.

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