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International relations

China Coast Guard marks first visit to Philippines

Beijing courts Manila ahead of crucial ASEAN meeting

The Philippine Coast Guard holds a welcome ceremony for a Chinese Coast Guard vessel. (Photo by Jun Endo)

MANILA -- A China Coast Guard vessel paid a friendly visit to the Philippines for the first time on Tuesday, as Beijing aggressively courts the Southeast Asian nation and downplays its maritime disputes in the region.

The Philippine Coast Guard held a welcome ceremony for the ship, coded 5204, at the Port of Manila while the ship's captain Wang Zhongcai invited Philippine Coast Guard commander Joel Garcia on board for a tour.

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