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China, Philippines agree to further improve bilateral ties

CHINA-BEIJING-LI KEQIANG-THE PHILIPPINES-MEETING (CN)

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang(R) meets with Speaker of the House of Representatives of the PhilippinesPantaleon Alvarez in Beijing, capital of China, May 19, 2017. (Xinhua/Zhang Duo)

BEIJING, May 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang Friday met with Pantaleon Alvarez, speaker of the House of Representatives of the Philippines, calling for continued improvement of bilateral ties.

Li told Alvarez, in a meeting held at the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in central Beijing, that it is in line with the fundamental interests of both countries and peoples and conducive to the peace, stability and development in the region that China and the Philippines develop a good-neighborly relationship.

China is willing to enhance mutual trust with the Philippines, step up cooperation and boost exchanges to expand common interests and solve disputes properly, said Li.

He called for consolidation of the foundation of public opinions that had helped put bilateral relations back on track, to ensure the healthy and stable development of the relationship.

Li also called on the two legislative bodies to strengthen exchanges and make greater contribution to bilateral friendship.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The Philippines is the ASEAN rotating president this year.

Li said China supports the work of the Philippines and is ready to work with all parties to increase China-ASEAN ties and regional cooperation in East Asia.

Alvarez said the Congress of the Philippines supports the endeavor of President Rodrigo Duterte to improve and develop relations with China.

As pragmatic cooperation between the Philippines and China keeps producing new results, this will help the Asian countries to build consensus and pursue cooperation, he said.

He also welcomed Li to visit the Philippines and attend the East Asian Leaders' meetings on cooperation to be held in the country later this year.

China's top legislator Zhang Dejiangheld talks with Alvarez Friday.

Zhang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) of China, said the NPC attaches great importance to relations with the Philippine Congress and would like to cooperate on governance, legislation and supervision.

He called on the two legislative bodies to increase exchanges, provide legal and policy support to pragmatic cooperation between the two countries and help expand cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

Alvarez said the Philippines backs the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China, believing it will contribute to Asia's development and prosperity.

He said the House of Representatives hopes to enhance cooperation with the NPC via setting up a parliamentary friendship group.

Alvarez is paying a visit to China from Thursday to Sunday at the invitation of Zhang.

[ Editor: Zhang Zhou ]