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Premier Li meets Philippine president

Updated: Aug 30,2019 09:39 PM

Premier Li Keqiang on Aug 30 met with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Premier Li said he values China-Philippines ties and the pair’s time-honored friendship, which has been on a positive trajectory over the past three years.

The interests shared by both outweigh any discord, Premier Li said.

China is willing to align the Belt and Road Initiative with the Philippines' plans for development and propel the steady development of their relationship, for the sake of the well-being of both peoples, said the Premier.

The South China Sea region currently stable, with surrounding nations enjoying peace, he said.

While the Philippines acts as the coordinator for China-ASEAN relations, China wishes to unanimously launch the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea, along with the Philippines and other ASEAN member nations, said the Premier.

He also said that China wants to jointly facilitate marine oil and gas exploitation, and safeguard a peaceful and orderly South China Sea.

Duterte expressed the Philippines’ appreciation for the friendly bilateral relationship, saying the two countries have seen enjoyed frequent high-level exchanges, smooth dialogue, and pragmatic partnership.

The Filipino side is willing to further expand economic and trade relations, deepen people-to-people exchange and promote the development of comprehensive, strategic cooperation with China to actual benefits to the people in the two countries, he said.

Duterte said the Philippines will never confront China, and as country coordinator for China-ASEAN relations, it is glad to work with China and ASEAN countries to try to conclude COC negotiations in the South China Sea within his term as president.

He also said his country is glad to join in the exploration of offshore oil and gas with China.

"The western countries are not part of the COC negotiations, so they should not hinder the efforts of the countries in the region," he said.

State Councilor Wang Yi attended the meeting.