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Xi tells Senate, House leaders: South China Sea is sea of friendship, cooperation

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Chinese President Xi Jinping described the disputed South China Sea as “a sea of friendship and cooperation that creates a bond of friendship for the two nations,” during his meeting with leaders of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

In response, Senate President Vicente Sotto III “thanked President Xi for accommodating them and said he is looking forward to have a common strategic cooperation with China.”

Xi met with contingents from the Senate and the House of Representatives led by Sotto and Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at Shangri La Fort in Taguig City.

“In his opening statement, Sotto “stated the importance of the good diplomatic relations between the Philippines and China.”

“Moreover, [Sotto] emphasized that there is certainly much more that binds the Philippines and China together than what may divide the two,” according to a statement issued by the Senate President.

“It is in the spirit of friendship that the Philippine delegation welcomed His Excellency Xi to the Philippines,” the statement read.

During the meeting, Xi laid down to the members of Congress his future plans for Filipinos, according to Sotto.

These include “increasing job opportunities for Filipino teachers and nurses; multiplying mutual visits from 1 Million to 2 Million; and opening up free trade to the Philippines, among others.”

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