Xi-Duterte Vietnam meeting 'reaped lot of assurance'
Posted: 2017-Nov-13 09.01.36 UTC+0800
MANILA — Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Sunday said the meeting between President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Vietnam reaped a lot of assurance given to each side.
At an interview with reporters, Cayetano said when President Duterte spoke about the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) issue with Chinese Xi Jinping, "there was a lot of assurance from both sides," adding that the "consensus" made between the two leaders is not only holding but "bearing fruit."
The official did not elaborate on the assurance made but said: "I think everyone not only China and the Philippines, the other claimants really want the South China Sea to be a sea of peace and stability and I think we will move forward on the Code of Conduct."
"As chair of the ASEAN, the Philippines has articulated whether the statements are stronger or kinder and President Xi understood that President Duterte has to do this as chairman of the ASEAN," he said.
"When it comes to the freedom of navigation and also the use of these lanes for commercial purposes," Cayetano added it is as important to China as it is important to the rest of the world.
He acknowledged the misunderstanding in the past "is not fully solved."
"The disputes are still there but I think we have found a way to put that as one part of the relationship, small part of the relationship which we have to deal with and then have a bigger part of the relationship which is cooperation in security, economics, education in anti-poverty," he said. (PNA)