MANILA - Despite the territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea, President Aquino would like China to take an active part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila in November.
Aquino cited China as a major economic player and said that it would be more prudent for the Philippines to set aside the West Philippine Sea dispute.
“As far as the things that are happening in China currently, I’m sure all the other member-countries, including the observer countries we will be inviting, will be curious to know what the plans of China are with regards to issues like the stock market, amongst other things – if there is tension with the so-called property bubble, the valuation of the yuan, and so on,” Aquino said.
“It’s an economic conference, so economic issues will be at the forefront,” he added.
Aquino said it would be best for the Philippines to wait for the decision of the United Nations arbitral tribunal rather than engage China in dialogues during APEC.
“I think we have already stated our positions through various fora. So again, we will stress on the economy – economic issues – and, specifically, China’s major role in the world economy and things that are happening in the domestic scene as it impacts the rest of the world’s economy,” he added.
Earlier, Malacañang expressed hope that Chinese President Xi Jinping would attend the APEC Leaders’ Summit in Manila in November even as relations between the Philippines and China have been strained by the West Philippine Sea dispute.
“We expect the 21 economic leaders to be in full attendance during the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting... Of course, we are hoping that all of them, without exception, will be present,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said.
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