Home > Nation
Saturday, September 10, 2016, 10:10

Li tells Duterte he hopes to see ties improve


Li tells Duterte he hopes to see ties improve
Premier Li Keqiang visits a shop after a trip to the Lieu-Tou Chinese School in Vientaine, Laos, on Sept 9, 2016. Premier Li chatted with the shopkeeper and customers during his short stay there. (LIU ZHEN/CHINA NEWS SERVICE)

Premier Li Keqiang told Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte that he hopes China and the Philippines will work together to bring bilateral ties back on track.

Li made the remark when talking to Duterte in the Lao capital Vientiane on Wednesday on the sidelines of a series of leaders' meetings on East Asia cooperation.

He said he hoped the bilateral ties would develop in a "healthy and stable way".

Duterte expressed his willingness to improve bilateral ties, saying Li's remarks represented his own principle, according to a news release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Friday.

The China-Philippines relationship was jeopardized by an arbitration case unilaterally initiated by Duterte's predecessor, president Benigno Aquino III.

Just weeks after Duterte took office, he sent his special envoy Fidel Ramos, the former Philippine president, to Hong Kong last month. During Ramos' five-day ice-breaking trip, he held informal discussions with some old acquaintances, including Fu Ying, foreign affairs chief of China's top legislature-the National People's Congress.

The talks between Li and Duterte showed the sincere attitude China has always had toward improving bilateral ties, said Luo Yongkun, an associate professor of Southeast Asian studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.

"We have never shut the doors to bilateral talks," he said. "The Philippine attitude toward the South China Sea arbitration case is fundamental."

If the Philippines wants to put the arbitral ruling on the agenda for talks with China, the issue will be deadlocked, he said.

Luo suggested that in order to improve relations, China and the Philippines should first enhance pragmatic cooperation through projects such as the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, as well as strengthen people-to-people exchanges.

Latest News