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    President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, October 20, 2016.

    China Hopes for 'New Page' in Ties With Philippines

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    The Chinese Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that China hopes for a fresh start in relations with the Philippines.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — China hopes for a fresh start in relations with the Philippines, the Chinese Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Thursday, as Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is visiting the country.

    "We have noticed President Duterte's sincere trust. China hopes to manage related issues properly, to open a new page for both. We will go back to the track of bilateral talks to resolve the South China Sea disputes, and this is what should be done through friendship and in a flexible manner. In terms of who our friends are and how should we solve problems, we have our own judgement," Hua said, as quoted by CCTV.

    She said Beijing was also willing to discuss with the Philippines cooperation in drug prohibition efforts and combating drug-related crimes.

    Duterte is visiting China on October 18-21 at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

    The China-Philippine relations soured after the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled on July 12 that Beijing had no legal basis to claim historic rights to South China Sea resources and that it had violated the Philippines' sovereign rights in the country's exclusive economic zone. Back in January 2013, Manila filed a suit accusing Beijing of violating the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

    Duterte's current visit is his first visit to China during the tenure that started on June 30.

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    Rodrigo Duterte, Hua Chunying, China, Philippines
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