MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino has expressed confidence that Interior Secretary Mar Roxas' visit to China will continue to defuse the tension between the Philippines and China over ownership of islands in the West Philippine Sea.
"Ang instructions ko kay Secretary Roxas, simpleng-simple: siguraduhin na maparating 'yung ating mga pananaw doon sa highest levels of the leadership of the People's Republic para klarong walang loss in translation, para klaro kung saan tayo nagmumula, anong agam-agam natin, anong inaasahan natin. So, ma-itransmit 'yon," Aquino said.
"Kung magrerespond sila, maganda; kung hindi, maliwanag sa atin na naiparating sa kanila 'yung talagang sinasaloob natin nang maliwanag nang maliwanag," he added.
The Foreign Affairs Department arranged a meeting between Roxas and high-level Chinese officials, including Vice President Xi Jinping.
Xi is the presumptive successor of Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, in a press statement Saturday, said Roxas, who is serving as Aquino's special envoy, met with Xi Friday.
The meeting occurred during the 9th China-ASEAN Expo held in Nanning, China.
The Palace said Xi expressed appreciation for Aquino's decision to send a special envoy.
"We had a frank and candid exchange of views and I am satisfied that I was able to faithfully convey President Aquino's message," Roxas said.
Xi promised to bring Aquino's message to the attention of Hu, the Palace said. He also replied to issues raised in the meeting, which Roxas promised to convey to President Aquino.
The "discussions were constructive and the talks were conducted in a cordial atmosphere," Roxas said.
Lacierda, Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Erlinda Basilio and Philippine Embassy Beijing Charge d'Affaires Alex Chua joined Roxas in the meeting with Chinese officials.