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China will embrace Philippines' friendship with open arms: Wang

By Chen Liubing | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-03-08 14:07

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that the China-Philippines relations have improved since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte came into office, and China will embrace Philippines' hand of friendship with open arms.

The turnaround in relations, according to Wang, will benefit the two peoples and the wider region.

The two sides are having intensive discussions on a range of infrastructure projects, with some projects scheduled to start construction this year, added the minister.

The two sides have agreed to establish bilateral consultation on the South China Sea Issue, and to set up a cooperative mechanism between coast guards. As China-Philippines relationship has returned to the right path, the two sides should march forwards with unity and purpose.

The turnaround in China-Philippines relations has scattered the dark clouds of China-ASEAN relations, said the minister. As this year marks the 50th anniversary of ASEAN's founding, China will support the Philippines in fulfilling its responsibilities as the ASEAN chair, and help ASEAN build its community.

China will build intensive cooperation with ASEAN countries in connectivity and production capacity, and make sure the people benefit from the upgrade China-ASEAN FTA as soon as possible, and wrap up the RCEP negotiation at an early date. China will make a success of the China-ASEAM tourism cooperation year, and strive to meet the target of 30 million mutual travel between the people by the year 2020.

China also hope to work with ASEAN on the Lantsang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC), speed up work on the 45 early harvest programs, and invite the application for the LMC special fund. China hopes the LMC will become a flagship initiative in build a community of shared future with its neighbors.

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