‘We’re neighbours and blood brothers’: Xi tells Duterte as firebrand leader announces ‘separation’ from US

President Xi Jingping told his Philippines counterpart Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday that the two countries could put aside disputes and improve ties.

“This truly has milestone significance for China-Philippines relations,” Xi said, praising Duterte’s landmark visit to Beijing to reset the relationship that had been damaged by territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

In a further sign of his shifting allegiances, Duterte said he was announcing his “separation” from the United States at a business forum in the afternoon in the presence of Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli.

On the South China Sea issue, Xi suggested the two sides “temporarily put aside” the disputes, and learn from the “political wisdom” of history when the two nations had successfully kept their differences in check through talks.
“As long as we stick to friendly dialogue and consultation, we can frankly exchange views on any problem, manage differences, discuss cooperation, and temporarily put aside what is hard to reach by consensus,” Xi said.

Xi said although relations had “weathered storms, the foundation … of their relations would not be changed” as the two countries were neighbours across the sea and the two peoples were blood-linked brothers… see more

source: scmp

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