CHINESE President Xi Jinping is hopeful the Philippines and China will resume a rich history of friendship under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, Beijing said late Thursday.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei quoted Xi as saying in his congratulatory message to Duterte that the two countries were “unmovable neighbors” who need to work together for development.
“We have, in front of us, important opportunities for the development of the bilateral relationship.
I would like to work in concert with Mr. President to push for the improvement and steady and sound growth of the bilateral relationship,” the spokesman said in a news conference in Beijing.
“I believe that, as long as we treat each other with sincerity and good will and stay committed to mutual trust and cooperation, we will usher in a brighter future for China-Philippines relations and cooperation,” he added.
The statement came after the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague announced that it would finally issue on July 12 a ruling on a case initiated by the Philippines against China’s claims to the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).
But Hong maintained that the tribunal did not have jurisdiction over the dispute and that China would not honor the ruling that is widely expected to favor the Philippines.
“China does not accept any means of third-party dispute settlement or any solution imposed on China,” he said.