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China, the Philippines agree to downplay maritime disputes, enhance economic ties

(Xinhua)

08:22, September 01, 2011

Chinese President Hu Jintao (R) shakes hands with his Philippine counterpart Benigno Aquino III during a welcome ceremony in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 31, 2011. (Xinhua/Rao Aimin)

BEIJING, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao and his Philippine counterpart Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday agreed to strengthen economic and trade cooperation while minimizing the impact of disputes in the South China Sea.

PUTTING SOUTH CHINA SEA DISPUTES ASIDE

Before the disputes are resolved, the countries concerned may put aside the disputes and actively explore forms of common development in the relevant sea areas, Hu told Aquino during their one-hour talks at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

China's stance and proposition on the South China Sea issue has been consistent and explicit, Hu said after a red-carpet welcoming ceremony for Aquino, who is on his first state visit to China since taking office in June 2010.

"The South China Sea disputes should be resolved peacefully through consultation and negotiation between the two countries concerned," said Hu.

China is ready to work with the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including the Philippines, to actively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and jointly develop the waters into "a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation," Hu said.

In the declaration, inked by China and ASEAN members in 2002, all concerned parties pledged to maintain self-restraint and not conduct activities that might complicate or escalate disputes over the region.

In July of this year, China and the ASEAN adopted an agreement that established guidelines for implementing the declaration, marking an important step toward a peaceful solution to the disputes.

Aquino, in his turn, reiterated that the Philippines works on maintaining peace and stability in the region and implementing the declaration.

The South China Sea issue does not constitute all Philippines-China relations, Aquino said, adding that the issue should not affect the development of bilateral ties and friendly cooperation in various fields.

"There is a strong political willingness from both sides to minimize the impact of the disputes on overall relations, which is good news for the two states," said Qu Xing, president of the China Institute for International Studies.


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wende at 2011-09-0171.251.43.*
Philippines can claim that it wants to downplay the issue with China but it has occupied and built more infrastructure on the disputed islands. China really is in the situation of "pai le furen yu zhe ping"
  

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