President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday that China expects the Philippines to adopt a constructive approach to disputes and adhere to a previously agreed consensus.
Xi made the remarks during a short conversation with Philippine President Benigno Aquino on the sidelines of the 22nd Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders' Meeting.
China and the Philippines have maintained good relations since the two countries established diplomatic ties, Xi said, adding that both nations have also reached an understanding on how to tackle disputes.
However, severe difficulties have emerged in recent years because of tension in the South China Sea, he said.
China hopes the Philippines can return to the previous consensus, meet China halfway and handle these disputes in a constructive way, paving the way for a healthy development of the relationship, he said.
Aquino told Xi that the Philippines is willing to solve such problems with China and wants to improve ties.
Luo Yongkun, a researcher who specializes in Philippine studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said of the conversation between the leaders, "This is the first time the two presidents have met and talked recently, after a series of issues. It is a good sign."
The Philippines seeks international arbitration over the South China Sea dispute, but China says the issue should be settled through negotiations between the countries directly concerned.
Luo said the "common understandings" reached by the two nations, which Xi noted, include that they should have consistent economic cooperation and maintain stability in the region.
Xinhua contributed to the story.
Posted on 12-Nov-2014
Li Xiaokun and Chen Mengwei