VIENTIANE, Oct. 22 — Results of the recent visit by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to China will not only benefit peoples of the two countries, but also have positive effects on regional peace and stability, a Lao senior diplomat told Xinhua during an interview in capital Vientiane. Soukthavy Keola, a former counselor at the Lao Embassy in China, said that the visit showed that the two countries are improving their bilateral relations.
“This is an opportunity, a turning point, and also an significant achievement in China’s diplomacy.”
This is the first visit of Duterte outside the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). On Friday, China and thePhilippines released a joint statement in Beijing with consensus on further enriching China-Philippines bilateral relations founded on mutual respect, sincerity, equality and mutual benefit, which is conducive to regional peace, stability and prosperity.
“China and the Philippines had witnessed some problems in bilateral relations which had impacts on the region. We were very worried about that,” he said.
“Though problems could not be solved at once, the overall development of normal relations between the two countries should not be affected. Shelving disputes and seeking common development in cases of controversies are crucial to relevant countries and the region,” Soukthavy told Xinhua on Friday.
“Now, we all focus on cooperation and seeking solutions, which has contributed to creating a friendly cooperation atmosphere in the region,” he said, adding that the bilateral relations between China and the Philippines are “back on track”, contributing to regional peace and stability.
There are huge potentials for the friendly cooperation between China and the Philippines. The two sides have many common interests in trade, economy and investment. “China and the Philippines are both developing countries and neighbors. Strengthening bilateral cooperation is mutually beneficial and will have positive influence on cooperation between China and ASEAN countries.”
Soukthavy also expressed his hope that the trend of friendly relations between China and the Philippines will be continuously maintained.