Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte spoke by phone on Wednesday, discussing bilateral ties and regional cooperation.
According to the Chinese state news agency, Xi noted that he met Duterte twice last year and reached important agreements with him. As a result, bilateral ties have improved in an "all-around way," said Xi.
He hailed the Philippines' participation in the country's Belt and Road Initiative to promote bilateral cooperation in trade, infrastructure and border economic zones. The Chinese president said he looked forward to meeting Duterte at the Belt and Road Forum on International Cooperation to be held in Beijing on May 14 and 15.
China and the Philippines "are deepening political mutual trust and carrying out cooperation in various fields," according to Xi. A channel of dialogue and consultation on the South China Sea issue has also been set up, he said.
Duterte said he was happy to see more solidarity between China and the Philippines and their exchanges restored. He said the Philippines is willing to promote ASEAN-China ties, as Manila holds the rotating presidency of ASEAN this year.
The two leaders also exchanged views on the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Xi told Duterte that all sides should exercise restraint and return to the path of talks as soon as possible.
Duterte paid his first visit to China in Oct. 2016 and is set to visit China from May 14 to 16 to attend the Belt and Road Forum on International Cooperation in Beijing.