MANILA, Philippines — Former President Rodrigo Duterte met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on Monday, with Xi welcoming the former Philippine chief executive at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, according to China's state media.
Reports said Mr. Duterte was joined by former executive secretary Salvador Medialdea, while Xi was with State Counselor Wang Yi, Communist Party of China Committee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs member Ma Zhaoxu, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Sun Weidong, and Assistant Foreign Minister Hua Chunying.
In a separate tweet, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said that Xi "appreciates the strategic choice Mr. Duterte made to improve relations with China during his presidency."
It said Beijing also acknowledged Mr. Duterte's "important contributions to friendly exchanges between the two countries".
"China values its relations with the Philippines and is ready to work with the Philippines to promote the steady and sustained growth of bilateral relations," the Chinese Foreign Ministry added.
There is no information yet on who extended the invitation to Mr. Duterte and in what capacity he is representing the Philippines.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said it does not have official information on Mr. Duterte's China visit.
Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court had earlier decided against the Philippines’ appeal to stop the probe. In 2021, the court's Prosecutor had suspended its probe upon the request of the Philippine government.
Vice President Sara Duterte, the former President's daughter, only had two words to say about the continuation of the court's decision to continue the probe on the alleged human rights violations during her father, Mr. Duterte's war on drugs.
Mr. Duterte's crackdown on drugs saw the deaths of thousands of people, with official numbers from authorities tallying to 6,248 in 2022. Human rights groups, however, believe that the number reaches up to the tens of thousands.
During an interview with reporters, Ms. Duterte also said "no comment" when asked about her father’s visit to Chinese President Xi Jinping.