MANILA, Philippines — Beijing congratulated presumptive President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte for his victory in the elections and expressed its hope that China-Philippine relations will improve in his administration.
“The Chinese side has noted the successful presidential election in the Philippines. We congratulate Mr. Duterte on winning the vote,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said in a press briefing on Monday.
Hong noted that China sees the importance of developing bilateral relations with the Philippines.
“The Chinese side attaches importance to developing relations with the Philippines, and stands ready to work alongside the new Philippine government to properly deal with relevant disputes through friendly dialogue and bring bilateral ties back to the track of sound development,” Hong said.
The Philippines earlier filed an arbitration case against China’s nine-dash line claim in the South China Sea before the Permanent Court of Arbitration under the United Nations (UN).
China had refused to participate in the proceedings and insisted that they have indisputable sovereignty over the disputed waters.
The UN tribunal is expected to issue its ruling on Manila’s case against Beijing by this month. Duterte earlier said that he supports the country’s arbitration case against China.
The presumptive president also earlier said that he is willing to hold bilateral talks with China and enter a joint exploration agreement to resolve the sea dispute.
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