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South China Sea

Philippine and Chinese defense chiefs try to ease South China Sea tensions

Beijing offers Manila $19m military grant in regional PR offensive

A Filipino-Chinese resident waves miniature Philippines and Chinese flags upon the arrival of a Chinese naval ship in Davao city, southern Philippines in April 2017.   © Reuters

MANILA/SHANGHAI -- The defense ministers of China and the Philippines met in Manila on Friday, vowing "to avoid misunderstanding" amid tensions in the disputed South China Sea.

After low-key visits to Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei this week, Chinese Defense Minister Gen. Wei Fenghe arrived in the Philippine capital without much fanfare and with limited public statements, in contrast to the recent East Asia Summit, where Beijing struck a more confrontational tone.

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