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    Chinese structures and an airstrip on the man-made Subi Reef at the Spratly group of islands in the South China Sea are seen from a Philippine Air Force C-130 transport plane of the Philippine Air Force, Friday, April 21, 2017

    Chinese President Calls on Philippines to Enhance Dialogue on S China Sea Issue

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    BEIJING (Sputnik) – Beijing and Manila should intensify dialogue on settling territorial disputes in the South China Sea, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in an article published in The Philippine Star.

    "We need to properly handle differences through friendly consultations, enhance dialogue and cooperation on maritime issues, and make the South China Sea a sea of peace, friendship, and cooperation that truly benefits our two peoples," Xi said.

    He noted that since Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte had taken office, dialogue on the issue had resumed.

    "I am visiting [the Philippines] this time mainly to have in-depth discussions with President Duterte on how to elevate our all-around cooperation under new circumstances and make an overall plan for greater progress in our relationship toward a higher level… We need to deepen political mutual trust to sustain the growth of China-Philippine relations," Xi stated.

    READ MORE: 'That's Reality': Duterte Tells US South China Sea is Now in 'Beijing's Hands'

    China is involved in a number of territorial disputes over islands in the South China Sea. China and the Philippines along with Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, and Vietnam are contesting the Spratly archipelago, whose shelf has significant oil and gas reserves.

    In July 2016, The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration said that there was no legal basis for China’s maritime claims in the region after a relevant request by Manila. China has refused to recognise the court’s ruling.

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    discussion, cooperation, Xi Jinping, South China Sea, China, Philippines
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