Duterte, Chinese vice premier reaffirm peaceful resolution of dispute
President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang on Friday reaffirmed a peaceful settlement of the longstanding maritime dispute over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
“President said bilateral ties are found stronger, particularly in trade and commerce and reaffirmed the importance of peaceful settlement of disputes,” presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.
Duterte and the Wang met in Panacan, Davao City two days before the President embarks on official visits to Myanmar and Thailand.
Since his assumption in office in June 2016, Duterte has taken steps to mend strained relations with China, avoiding antagonistic moves against the superpower nation.
Abella said Wang “noted the need to focus on common interests that bring more benefits than differences.”
The palace official said Duterte “raised concerns on piracy and terrorism as these affect stability, security and commerce in the region.”
Aside from maritime and security concerns, the Philippines and China signed the six-year development program, which would boost trade and investment between the two countries.
Abella quoted Wang as saying the signed agreement “demonstrates sincerity of China,” which he hoped would result in concrete outcomes.
“Wang Yang reiterated commitment to follow through with agreements made during President’s visit to Beijing, including in PPP, trade and investment,” he said, adding the two leaders agreed to strengthen bilateral ties between the Philippines and China. RAM