China To Support Philippines As ASEAN Chair

By M. Grace, January 07, 2017 08:01 AM

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte(Acts Lifestyle)

For its 50th founding anniversary of the ASEAN and the China-ASEAN year of tourism cooperation, Philippines is tasked to execute as the current rotating chair of the ASEAN and China is reported to express its support to the country.

In a report, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson expressed the high hopes of China in deepening and extending its diplomatic relations with the ASEAN member countries.

"The Chinese government always regards ASEAN as the priority of its neighborhood diplomacy," said foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang.

"China will work with ASEAN to enhance communication on policies, alignment of strategies and practical cooperation, deepen all-around cooperation covering trade, connectivity and production capacity, fully implement the 3rd Five-year Action Plan, and materialize the outcomes of the upgraded China-ASEAN Free Trade Area," the foreign ministry spokesperson added. "Meanwhile, we will ensure the success of the tourism cooperation year so as to forge a new pillar for the people-to-people and cultural exchanges and breathe new life into China-ASEAN cooperation."

Meanwhile, the Philippines is reported to discuss the South China Sea issue during the ASEAN.

"The South China Sea issue is always a concern that can be raised by any ASEAN member in light of the joint communique that we have already made," Perfecto Yasay, the Philippine foreign secretary, told the Nikkei Asian Review on Wednesday. "These issues can be brought up and we will be addressing them."

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