The consensus was reached by Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin during their meeting on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers’ meeting and other related meetings in Bangkok, Thailand.
Wang said Chinese President Xi Jinping and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte have met for seven times over the past three years and have overcome difficulties, removed disturbances, and jointly pushed forward the development of bilateral ties.
He added that the friendly bilateral relations serve the mutual interest of the two sides and the joint cooperation has yielded fruitful results bringing the solid benefits to the people from both countries.
“The relationship with the Philippines has always been a priority in China’s neighborhood diplomacy and China is willing to maintain close high-level exchanges with the Philippines and deepen the political mutual trust,” he said.
Wang noted that China and the Philippines need to deepen the synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Philippines’ “Build, Build, Build” program, accelerating the bilateral cooperation including infrastructure, telecommunications, and oil and gas development.
As the country coordinator for China-ASEAN relations, the Philippines made positive contributions to the relations during the past year and accomplishments have been achieved, Wang said.
China is willing to cooperate closely with ASEAN countries, including the Philippines, to focus on the cooperation and development, release the positive messages and make the upcoming foreign ministers’ meeting a success, he added.
For his part, Locsin said the Philippines and China enjoy solid mutual trust and friendship.
“The Philippines is willing to maintain close, high-level exchanges by strengthening bilateral dialogues and communication, so as to promote the mutually beneficial collaboration and cooperate on maritime oil and gas development,” he said.
With focus on the regional cooperation, ASEAN is committed to maintaining its centrality and should not join any strategy with geopolitical overtones, he added.