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4. Xi, Duterte sign memorandum on resources

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly explore for petroleum and natural gas in the South China Sea.

The 2 leaders met in the Philippine capital of Manila on Tuesday.

The details of the document have not been revealed, and it has no binding power.

Xi and Duterte also signed an agreement on 29 aid projects, including the rebuilding of the state-run railway that connects Manila with the southern part of Luzon Island, and the construction of a dam to supply water to the greater Manila area.

The disputed waters in the South China Sea have been a contentious issue between the 2 countries.

In 2016, an international arbitration tribunal ruling rejected China's claims over most of the South China Sea. The case was filed by the Philippines.

Analysts say Duterte wants to gain aid and investment from China, despite the tribunal's decision. They add that Beijing hopes to win over the Philippines, whose previous leaders took a tough stance over the disputes in the South China Sea.
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