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Sotto on Xi visit: It’s better to have friends than enemies

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 04:51 PM November 21, 2018
Vicente Sotto III

Senate President Vicente Sotto lll (File photo by NIÑO JESUS ORBETA / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Wednesday affirmed that there is “more that binds the Philippines and China together” than what may divide them.

Sotto reiterated during the meeting of the members of the Philippine Congress with Chinese President Xi Jinping the importance of diplomatic relations between the country and China.

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The Senate President said it is in the “spirit of friendship” that the Philippine delegation welcomed Xi to the Philippines.

The Chinese leader reportedly talked about the disputed territory when he met with the leaders of both the Senate and House of Representatives at a hotel in Taguig City.

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Xi reportedly dubbed the disputed territory as the “Sea of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation.”

READ: Xi pushes for ‘maritime mechanism’ to ease South China Sea tension – Zubiri

Sotto said the Chinese leader laid down during the joint call his future plans for Filipinos, including increasing job opportunities for Filipino teachers and nurses; multiplying mutual visits from 1 million to 2 million; and opening up free trade to the Philippines, among others.

Sotto earlier said that he favored a diplomatic approach in resolving the dispute over the West Philippine Sea.

“It’s better to have friends than enemies. Bakit natin aawayin ang China kung meron namang diplomatic means. Ang bait sa atin lately,” Sotto said last June.

READ: Sotto favors diplomacy: ‘Why should we pick a fight with China?’

At the joint call, Sotto said he looked forward to a very successful and productive visit of Xi and to have a common strategic cooperation with China.

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“We are extremely honored and privileged to meet with you as we look forward to a very successful and productive visit,” Sotto said. /jpv

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TAGS: China, Global News, local news, Philippine news update, Sotto, Xi Jinping
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