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Benigno Aquino III

Philippine leader's China visit watched for shift to Beijing

Talks this week between Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping will be closely scrutinized for signs of how seriously the new Philippine leader intends to pursue a shift away from Washington and toward Beijing, a move that could have a major impact on regional power dynamics.

Duterte's elevation to the presidency 3 1/2 months ago has already turned relations between Washington and Manila on their head. His courtship of Beijing could create further disruptions given the prospect of a long-standing U.S. treaty ally lining up with Washington's key rival for influence in Asia.

Duterte was greeted by Foreign Minister Wang Yi on arrival at Beijing's main airport on...