Filipino fishermen have complained that Chinese coastguard and maritime militia ships are preventing them from fishing in parts of the Philippines’ 200-mile exclusive economic zone.
Marcos said he and Xi were in agreement that geopolitical problems should not be the defining element of the two countries’ relationship.
Since taking office in 2022, Marcos has pursued warmer ties with the United States, a treaty ally, in contrast with the pro-Beijing stance of his predecessor.
Marcos granted the United States greater access to its military bases, including in provinces facing the South China Sea and democratically-ruled Taiwan, drawing the ire of Beijing.
Tensions in the region, where China has built man-made islands with missiles and airstrips, have increased this year.
“I do not think anybody wants to go to war,” Marcos said.
China claims almost the entire South China Sea, ignoring a 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration that invalidated Beijing’s expansive claim.
China’s embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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