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Wednesday, August 10, 2016, 14:49

China open to contact with Philippines: Foreign Ministry

By Xinhua

BEIJING - China is open to any form of communication with the Philippines, said a Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wednesday.

Hua Chunying made the remarks when asked to comment on former Philippine President Fidel Ramos' visit to Hong Kong.

Designated by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte as a special envoy, Ramos arrived in Hong Kong on Monday evening to pave way for talks with Beijing after the South China Sea arbitration case caused a breakdown in bilateral ties.

"My job is to look for some old friends who have links to high officials in Beijing. My job is not to negotiate, but to help pave the way, break the ice and rekindle the friendship that we had during my time with China," Ramos told a press conference Tuesday.

Pointing out that China and the Philippines were traditionally friendly neighbors, Hua said the two countries should make joint efforts to improve bilateral ties, resume dialogue and cooperation, and promote the sound and stable development of relations.

She said Ramos would have private communication with his old Chinese friends during his stay in Hong Kong.

China welcomes an early Beijing visit by Ramos as Philippine President's special envoy, she added.

The 88-year-old Ramos led the Philippines from 1992 to 1998. After retirement, Ramos became a key figure, proposing the Boao Forum for Asia, an international think tank based in Hainan Province, southern China.

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