President Benigno Aquino III on Tuesday assured China’s top diplomat that President Xi Jinping will be warmly welcomed during his first visit to the Philippines next week.
In his meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi this morning, Aquino said that he welcomed Xi’s decision to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Metro Manila on November 18 and 19.
“He assured the Foreign Minister that it is in the culture of the Filipinos as hosts to make our guests feel the warmth of Filipino hospitality,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a text message to reporters.
Aquino also told Wang that he will inspect this afternoon the various venues of the APEC meetings to assess the status of the preparations for the APEC summit.
Wang compared notes with Filipino officials on Xi’s visit and on how to improve the relationship between China and the Philippines.
The Philippines has filed an arbitration case before an international tribunal to invalidate China’s excessive nine-dash line territorial claim. China, meanwhile, snubbed the arbitration process and insisted that the territorial dispute should be resolved through bilateral negotiations.
The Asian giant also continued its aggression in the contested waters as it built artificial islands in the Spratlys.
Aquino said he would want to talk about stability with the Chinese president if they will have a bilateral meeting in Manila.
“All our governments are supposed to be there for the improvement of the lot of our people, improvement in their lives, and this can only happen if there’s stability. So if there is a central message that would be that I would want to convey,” Aquino said.
Malacañang said a bilateral meeting between Aquino and Xi has yet to be scheduled. However, the two leaders are expected to meet on the sidelines of the APEC summit.
Source and image: Philstar