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[box type=”default” size=”large”] New China envoy meets with President Aquino [/box]MANILA — Philippines and China have agreed to “move forward” with other aspects of their relations, such as promoting trade and combating transitional crimes despite their territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea, Malacañang said recently.

The agreement to advance bilateral relations was reached during a “very cordial” meeting between President Aquino and new China Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua in Malacañang.

The new Chinese ambassador presented his credentials to the President on April 8. 2014, some two months after he arrived in the country. He was one of the new ambassadors who paid a courtesy call on the President in the Palace.

“The atmosphere was very cordial during the 15 minutes that the President had conversed with the new ambassador and that both sides agreed that the maritime dispute on the West Philippine Sea is not the totality of our relationship with our neighbor,” Deputy Presidential Spokeswoman Abigail Valte said in a press briefing.

“Both sides reaffirmed our commitment to move forward with other facets of our relationships, particularly on trade, tourism, transnational crime,” she added.

In the same meeting with the new China envoy, Valte said the President expressed gratitude to China for its support for the communities affected by super typhoon Yolanda.

Aquino also extended an invitation to the Chinese ambassador to attend the World Economic Forum on East Asia that will be hosted by Manila next year.

Valte said that the country has a “multi-faceted” relationship with China, adding that the West Philippine Sea conflict is “just a part or a segment of that relationship.” “We see no reason why other segments of that relationship cannot move forward because of that conflict,” she said. (Manila Bulletin)

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