MANILA — Visiting Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Nov 10 that China attaches great importance to its relations with the Philippines, and is willing to work together with the country to establish a normal, stable, healthy and friendly bilateral relationship.
Wang made the remarks during his meeting with Philippine President Benigno Aquino III in Malacanang, the Philippine presidential palace in Metro Manila, the country’s capital.
“China wishes to appropriately settle problems that affect bilateral relations through dialogue and negotiation, including maritime disputes,” said Wang, who paid a working visit to the Philippines at the invitation of his Philippine counterpart Albert Del Rosario.
According to Wang, China and the Philippines are close neighbors and the two countries should seek peaceful coexistence and mutual development. Currently, the two countries are facing some difficulties in bilateral relations, which are not in the common interests of the two peoples.
He said China is committed to resolving relevant issues with the Philippines through consultation and negotiation, and wishes both countries make joint efforts to find solutions at the earliest possible time.
Aquino expressed the hope that the two sides could settle disputes peacefully through talks and wishes a solution acceptable to both countries could be found.
As the rotating chair of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Philippines will host the APEC summit from Nov 17 to 19.
The foreign minister said President Xi’s planned presence at APEC summit shows China’s support to the host country and that China attaches great importance to APEC process.
He added that APEC economies reached important consensus on regional cooperation during last year’s summit held in Beijing. China hopes this year’s summit would continue the momentum and further promote regional economic and trade cooperation.
Aquino asked Wang to convey his greetings to President Xi, saying the Philippines is looking forward to President Xi’s presence at the APEC summit in Manila.
He said the Philippines will spare no efforts in making President Xi’s visit a successful, safe and pleasant one.
Aquino pledged that the APEC summit would focus on Asia-Pacific regional economic cooperation and would not touch on the issue of South China Sea.
Wang also met with his Philippine counterpart Albert Del Rosario on Nov 10.
Del Rosario said Wang’s visit is an important step to improve bilateral relationship and establish mutual trust, following the positive consensus reached by the leadership of the two countries during last year’s APEC summit in Beijing.