Metro Manila, Philippines — Former President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday visited President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to discuss his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Palace said.

“They also discussed other issues. The former President likewise gave some good pieces of advice to President Marcos,” Presidential Communications Office Secretary Cheloy Garafil said.

Last July 17, Duterte met with Xi in Beijing. There is no information yet on who extended the invitation to Duterte and in what capacity he represented the Philippines.

On July 12, the Philippines commemorated the seventh anniversary of the arbitral ruling that recognized the Philippines’ sovereign rights in areas within its exclusive economic zone and invalidated China’s sweeping claims over the South China Sea. More governments around the world also reaffirmed their support for the landmark decision.

Marcos said he was aware of Duterte’s meeting with Xi, and the president wanted Duterte to share the conversation he had with the Chinese leader.

Marcos also said Duterte’s trip did not need his blessing, and he is open to Duterte being a “new line of communication” between Beijing and Manila.

For Senator Francis Tolentino, Duterte’s recent trip to China is a good step in maintaining peace in the region.