MANILA, Philippines — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Tuesday that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping resolved to strengthen their countries' friendship during their meeting in Beijing, with China pledging to speed up infrastructure projects it is funding in the Philippines.
"We renewed our resolve to strengthen our friendship and mutually beneficial partnership on a broad range of areas," Duterte said in southern Davao City on his return from Beijing. "We resolved to fully use the mechanisms we have established to dialogue openly, monitor progress and ensure implementation of projects."
Duterte, who took office last June, has worked to repair relations with China that have been strained by territorial conflicts in the South China Sea and an international arbitration ruling on a case filed by his predecessor that invalidated Beijing's claims to the disputed territory. Duterte met separately with Xi and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang after attending last weekend's "Belt and Road" trade initiative.
Duterte said both he and Xi were looking forward to officials from both countries meeting later this week for inaugural bilateral talks on the South China Sea. Philippine officials have said the meeting will be held Friday in southwestern China.
Duterte said he didn't raise the arbitration ruling while in Beijing.
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