Philippine opposition senators have demanded President Rodrigo Duterte reveal details of joint energy exploration plans with China, warning such a deal risked affirming Chinese territorial claims that are not recognised under worldwide law. Beijing had a sour relationship with the archipelagic country under Duterte's predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, who initiated the worldwide arbitration case against China's claims in the contested South China Sea.
The Philippines' export to China is witnessing a rapid growth, the president added, expressing his confidence in the continuous growth of trade between his country and China in the future.
And according to the Chinese president, both sides have agreed to elevate their relationship into one of comprehensive, strategic cooperation.
The two leaders work hard together to make the South China Sea a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation, Zhao said.
President Duterte, under whom relations with the USA have cooled, said that he was pleased with relations between the two countries.
Previous year the Philippines exported US$19.2 billion with an increase of 10.5 percent compared to 2016.
Manila has said it hopes the two-day stopover, the first from a Chinese president in 13 years, will finally net signed deals for investment in major infrastructure projects promised by Beijing when Duterte visited two years ago. He disclosed that he might ask her to communicate with or sing a song for Xi in Chinese when the latter visits the Philippines.
Lopez said at the APEC meetings that the Philippines won't agree to "unreasonable terms" in any transaction - including with China.
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Though public opinion is largely supportive of Duterte's presidency, surveys consistently show reservations about his China policy and his personal dislike of the United States. Thus, he said, the Chinese Government would continue to support the current administration's initiatives.
Zubiri said Xi and President Duterte had already discussed "on a personal level" the big-time smuggling of illegal drugs from China during their bilateral meeting Tuesday night.
He said the committee would be co-chaired by himself and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and vice-chaired by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and his Chinese counterpart.
Meanwhile, on the South China Sea issue, both sides reaffirmed that contentious issues are not the sum total of China-Philippines bilateral relations and should not exclude mutually beneficial cooperation in other fields.
"What he is saying is, we have to exercise self-restraint because any conflict that arises in that region will definitely affect us, as I said earlier, it could be inflaming collateral damage or creating inferno", he said.
To bolster its position, Beijing since 2015 has been constructing and militarising artificial islands on reefs and shoals in the South China Sea.
Zubiri said lawmakers also welcomed Xi's expression of commitment on strengthening the Philippines' tourism sector, particularly by encouraging Chinese foreigners to visit the country.
The two leaders yesterday oversaw 29 agreements of sorts, many of them broad or vague, from cooperating in education, culture and industrial park development to jointly promoting infrastructure, agriculture cooperatives and establishing sanitation protocols for shipping coconuts. They signed a "memorandum of understanding on cooperation on oil and gas development" on Tuesday but officials provided few details.More news: Trump's asylum restrictions blocked by federal judge