China’s Xi urges restraint on Korean peninsula

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Philippine counterpart, Rodrigo Duterte, held a telephone conversation Wednesday to discuss bilateral ties and regional cooperation.

Xi said he met Duterte twice last year and reached important agreements with him, which led to the comprehensive rapprochement in bilateral ties.

At present, the two countries are deepening political mutual trust and carrying out cooperation in various fields, he said, noting that a channel of dialogue and consultation on the South China Sea issue has also been set up.

All these efforts, in line with the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples, have been fully affirmed by their Asian neighbors and the international community, he added.

Xi called on China and the Philippines to promote their pragmatic cooperation in all fields so as to better benefit the two countries and peoples.

China appreciates the Philippines’ key role in boosting cooperation in East Asia along the right direction as the rotating presidency of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), said the Chinese president.

He welcomed Duterte, the leader of a friendly neighbor of China and important partner of the Belt and Road Initiative, to attend the upcoming Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held on May 14-15 in Beijing, saying he looks forward to meeting with the Philippine president again.

For his part, Duterte said he was happy to see Philippine-China friendship and solidarity enhanced and their exchanges and cooperation in various areas restored and pushed forward.

As the rotating presidency of ASEAN, Manila is ready to advance the bloc’s relations with China, and to conduct close communication and cooperation with Beijing in international and regional issues, he said.

He added that he looks forward to attending the upcoming forum in Beijing.

The two leaders also exchanged views on the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

Xi said China firmly stands for the realization of a denuclearized peninsula and for the maintenance of its peace and stability, saying the issue should be solved through dialogue and consultations.

The Chinese president urged all relevant parties to exercise restraint and return to the right track of dialogue and negotiations.

China is willing to see ASEAN’s active role in securing regional peace and stability, he noted. (Courtesy Xinhua)