President Hu Jintao Wednesday called for further expanding and deepening cooperative relations between China and the Philippines in political, economic and other fields, which will benefit both countries and help maintain peace and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region.
Hu, who arrived in Manila Tuesday evening for a three-day state visit to the Philippines, held talks on Wednesday with Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The two leaders reached important consensus on further developing Sino-Filipino relations and on building strategic cooperative relations between the two countries.
President Arroyo also gave a grand welcoming ceremony in honor of Hu at the Malacanang Presidential Palace.
While expressing warm welcome to Hu on behalf of the Philippine government and people, Arroyo said that, as the year 2005 marked the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Philippines and China, bilateral relations have now entered a golden era due to mutual efforts by the two countries.
She expressed her confidence that the state visit being paid by President Hu will play a role of far-reaching significance in further consolidating bilateral ties.
Hu said that, in the past few years, Sino-Filipino ties have grown in a steady way and political trust between the two sides has been building. The two countries have also concretized cooperation and the field of mutual interests has widened.
He noted that bilateral trade volume attained US$13.3 billion in 2004, a record high in history. In agriculture, fishery, infrastructures, mining and tourism, China has engaged in cooperation with the Philippines, which has borne numerous fruits.
President Hu said that the two countries have also been expanding and deepening their cooperation in the fields of culture, military and security, and they have made a major breakthrough in seeking the common development of the South China Sea.
As both China and the Philippines are influential developing countries in the Asia-Pacific region, strengthening bilateral friendship and cooperation conforms to the fundamental interests of the two nations as well as peace, stability and prosperity in the region, said Hu.
He said that China is ready to build a strategic cooperative relationship with the Philippines based on peace and development in order to seek a better future in bilateral cooperation.
Hu suggested that, to attain this goal, China and the Philippines increase exchange of visits of personnel, work together to attain the goal of increasing bilateral trade volume to US$30 billion by 2010, continue to cooperate in the development of the South China Sea, and increase cooperation in security and fight against transnational crimes, and coordinate with each other in the frameworks of ASEAN-Chinese free trade zone plan, the United Nations, the WTO and APEC.
Arroyo expressed her appreciation for the high evaluation by Hu on Sino-Filipino relations. She said that the development of China is exerting a positive influence on regional and global peace and development, and that the Philippine government has opted to seek a strategic cooperative relationship based on peace and development with China.
She said that the Philippine government will make mutual efforts with China in seeking an increase of exchanges between the personnel of the two sides, and to expand cooperation in the fields of energy, infrastructures, agriculture and mining.
Arroyo also reiterated the Philippines' one-China policy, and said the Philippines respects China's stand on Taiwan.
The two leaders also witnessed the signing of a series of cooperation agreements and documents in the fields of finance, trade, investment, technology, transport, exchanges of visits by youths of the two countries, and energy.
(Xinhua News Agency April 27, 2005)