MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang hopes that the visit of Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying will help the country's relations with China "move forward" amid an ongoing territorial dispute.
"Hopefully it will contribute to us moving forward. The foreign ministry consultation is an opportunity to speak about the many facets of our relationship. Hopefully it will serve to move us forward," deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte told reporters.
A wide range of topics is expected to be discussed when Madame Fu meets with President Aquino at the Palace Friday afternoon.
Valte cited the multi-faceted relationship of the Philippines and China.
"We have a multi-faceted relationship with China. We have a trade relationship. We are currently in the Philippines and China Years of Friendly Exchange. So marami pong posibleng pag-usapan dahil malawak na po naman ang ating relasyon sa ating kalapit na bansa," she said.
Fu had also met with Aquino's once-special envoy to China Mar Roxas in Nanning, China to transmit the country's position on the territorial dispute.
That meeting happened after the outing of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV as Aquino's backdoor negotiator with China.
Reportedly, Fu was one of the Chinese officials that Trillanes had met. Valte said she is not aware of this information nor if this would be discussed when Aquino meets Fu.
The Palace justified the country's $200,000 donation to China following the earthquake that hit China's provinces of Yunnan and Guizhou.
"It's a gesture of our friendship and support also for the earthquake victims," Valte said.