Premier Li Keqiang emphasized the friendly relations between China and the Philippines during a meeting with visiting Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Beijing on Oct 20.
The Premier said the two countries are close neighbors separated only by a strip of water, with a long history of friendly exchanges.
“The fruitful meeting that you held with President Xi Jinping has mapped out an overall planning for the bilateral relations and cooperation for the next period,” the Premier said, adding that China values its relationship with the Philippines, and that it is willing to make concerted efforts with the Philippine side in enhancing cooperation in various fields and pushing their relations back onto the right track.
Premier Li stressed that China always maintains that the parties concerned shall seek the settlement of disputes through direct dialogue and consultation.
“South China Sea issue is not and would not be the sum total of the bilateral relationship. There are far more common interests than disputes between China and the Philippines,” the Premier said.
The Premier hopes to promote friendly cooperation between the two sides, and manage differences through dialogue and consultation, which is in line with both sides’ common interests and conducive to the peace, stability, development and prosperity of the region.
Premier Li said that as developing countries, both China and the Philippines are facing the important tasks of developing the economy and improving people’s livelihoods.
With good conditions for integrating development strategies, the two countries have great potential for mutually beneficial cooperation, the Premier said.
China is willing to promote cooperation with the Philippines in connectivity, infrastructure, production capacity, trade, investment, agriculture and finance, he added.
The Premier said China-ASEAN relations have experienced stable development and the cooperation has yielded fruitful results. As the next year is the 50th anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN and the China-ASEAN Tourism Cooperation Year, China hopes to strengthen communication and cooperation with the Philippines under the China-ASEAN framework.
Duterte said the friendship between China and the Philippines had a profound foundation. He said that by adhering to an independent foreign policy, the Philippines is willing to promote friendly and pragmatic cooperation with China and steer the bilateral relationship in the right direction.
He said his country hoped to draw on China’s successful experience in growing the economy and reducing poverty, to improve its government’s governing ability for the benefit of social and economic development and people’s livelihood.