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DFA: PNoy won't push through with China trip

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MANILA -- President Benigno Aquino III will no longer be flying to China for a trade event next week at the foreign government's request, Foreign Affairs spokesperson Raul Hernandez said Thursday.

 

Hernandez said Aquino will no longer attend the 10th ASEAN-China Expo (CAEXPO) to be held in Nanning, China from Sept. 3 to 6 where the Philippines is the "country of honor."

Hernandez said the decision was made "taking into consideration China's request for the President to visit China at a more conducive time."

"On the part of the Philippines, we will continue to abide by our principled position that bilateral relations can advance despite differences," he said.

Just a day before, Aquino said he finally received his invite to the event.

The President said he will push through with the trip but that he will leave right away because he does not want to "overstay his welcome."

The Philippines is locked in a long-running dispute with China over portions of South China Sea—a portion of which is referred to by the Philippines as the West Philippine Sea—where Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have overlapping claims.

The Palace, however, had earlier said that it is very unlikely that the dispute will be discussed at the expo. 

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