BEIJING, China, Nov 12 (Mabuhay) – President Benigno S. Aquino III said he hopes his first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the APEC Leaders’ Meeting here will improve relations between the two countries.
The President told the Philippine media delegation in an interview at the Philippine embassy here that he and President Xi had an opportunity to talk for several minutes after a tree planting event at the Summer Grounds of the International Convention Center near the Yanqi Lake.
According to the President, Xi mentioned the good relationships between the Philippines and China that dates back many years ago.
President Xi hoped that the Philippine side could return to the basis of the previous consensus, and go in the same direction as China to deal with the relevant issues in a constructive way, and to create conditions for the healthy development of China-Philippines relations, he said.
“We are very happy in the sense that it’s the first time that we’ve had direct contact with them after I met with President Hu Jintao previously,” the President said.
“So it’s a nice opening. Hopefully, it will lead to something concrete.”
The Philippines and China have been embroiled in territorial dispute in the West Philippines Sea. The country filed an arbitration case in the international tribunal to resolve the territorial row, a move rejected by China.
The President said he invited President Xi to come to Manila for the 2015 APEC Summit, adding they both asked for the support of all the APEC leaders.
APEC activities are year-round events, and the President said his last interaction with fellow leaders was to ask for everybody’s support for the success of the country’s hosting of APEC next year.
President Aquino concluded his attendance to the 22nd APEC Leaders’ Meeting with an interview with the Philippine media. He flies to Myanmar Tuesday evening to attend the 25th ASEAN Summit. (MNS)