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Xi: China, PH ‘must stick to friendly consultation’
CHINESE President Xi Jinping said the Philippines and China “must stick to friendly consultation” in a bid to handle differences and disputes concerning the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea) properly.
Xi had a bilateral meeting with President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday, November 17, in Bangkok, Thailand on the sidelines of the 29th Asia-pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting (AELM).
In a statement released by the Chinese embassy, Xi said China and the Philippines need to keep strategic independence, uphold peace, openness and inclusiveness, and stay the course of regional cooperation.
“They should work together to reject unilateralism and acts of bullying, defend fairness and justice, and safeguard peace and stability in the region,” he said.
The Chinese President said they are always ready to maintain regular communication with the Philippines and to continue accommodating the country’s concerns.
Xi also reiterated the need for the Philippines and China to create highlights in cooperation and enhance quality of cooperation for the people, deepen the synergy between their respective infrastructure programs, strengthen cooperation on clean energy, education and public health, and take more concrete steps to increase people-to-people and cultural exchanges and cement public support for China-philippines friendship.
He expressed willingness to import more quality agricultural and sideline products from the Philippines.
He said China always views its relations with the Philippines from a strategic height.
“China will work with the Philippines to carry forward their friendship and cooperation, commit to national development and rejuvenation, and write a new chapter in China-philippines friendship,” said Xi.
For his part, Marcos said they discussed strengthening and expanding the Philippines-china relationship particularly in the areas of agriculture, energy, infrastructure and people-to-people connections during their meeting.
He said they also discussed his upcoming State Visit to China in January.
“It’s the first time that I’ve met President Xi Jinping and I was very happy that we were able to have this opportunity here in the APEC Meeting in Bangkok to have a bilateral meeting,” Marcos said.
“The bilateral meetings are really just a kind of getting-to-know-you and that was the same with our meeting,” he added.
House Speaker Martin Romualdez said the meeting between Marcos and Xi is significant given that the global power is a large trading partner and a major source of investment.