POSTED: 2:15 a.m. HST, Oct 19, 2012
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A senior official says China wants to improve relations with the Philippines following a strain in relations over a territorial dispute in the South China Sea.
Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying made the comments Friday in a meeting with President Benigno Aquino III. A Philippine statement says she carried a message from President Hu Jintao that China places great importance on its friendship with the Philippines and wants to move relations forward.
Ties have been strained following a standoff early this year at a disputed shoal in the South China Sea. Philippine ships have subsequently pulled out of Scarborough Shoal.
Aquino said Wednesday ties are gradually warming after recent talks.
On Friday, he told Fu Manila wants a peaceful region and wants to find solutions to issues of mutual concern.