(Dan Tri) – Xinhua News Agency reported that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte declared during a meeting with Chinese leaders that Manila will never confront Beijing.

Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte met in Beijing on August 30 (Photo: Xinhua News Agency)

According to Xinhua news agency (China), during a meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in Beijing on August 30, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang announced that China is ready to cooperate with the Philippines on the basis of cooperation.

Mr. Li said that China wants to more closely integrate China’s Belt and Road Initiative with the Philippines’ Construction Program to promote the development of long-term, stable and bilateral cooperation.

“Since he took office as President of the Philippines three years ago, bilateral relations have begun to change direction and continue to develop steadily.

For his part, President Duterte said the Philippines is ready to expand exchanges and cooperation with China in areas such as economics, trade and people-to-people exchanges, to promote bilateral relations and ensure benefits.

`Mr. Duterte said that the Philippines will never confront China,` Xinhua News Agency said.

Manina Times news agency also reported that President Duterte declared `The Philippines will never confront China` and promoted negotiations to adopt the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

Premier Li Keqiang said China is ready to cooperate with the Philippines and ASEAN countries to achieve the COC as the Philippines serves as the coordinator of China-ASEAN relations.

President Duterte said that many countries have urged him to achieve new progress in the COC negotiation process.

“As the coordinating country of ASEAN – China, I receive many requests related to the COC signing process that the Chinese side is preparing.

The Philippine leader also shared that achieving the COC is not America’s biggest concern.

According to CNN, President Duterte told Prime Minister Li Keqiang that he decided to visit China for the fifth time to discuss the COC.

Previously, in a meeting with President Xi Jinping on August 29, President Duterte also mentioned the COC.

President Duterte also raised the international arbitration court’s ruling on the East Sea issue during his meeting with President Xi Jinping, but the Chinese leader flatly rejected it.

Philippine public opinion, including many parliamentarians, has demanded that China respect the South China Sea ruling.