CHINA-PH TIES. File photo shows Chinese President Xi Jinping meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, capital of China, Aug. 29, 2019. Xi on Tuesday (June 9, 2020) said he is ready to promote China-Philippines ties to new levels. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

BEIJING – Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday said he is willing to work with his Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte to continuously lift their countries' relationship of comprehensive strategic cooperation to new levels.

"I attach great importance to the development of China-Philippines ties," Xi said when exchanging congratulatory messages with Duterte to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

Both China and the Philippines are at a critical moment for development, Xi stressed in his message, noting that the two countries share broad prospects for cooperation.

Xi said China feels empathy for the Philippines amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) epidemic, and is ready to work with the Philippine side to overcome the difficulties together.

China and the Philippines are good neighbors with profound traditional friendship, Xi said, noting that over the past 45 years of diplomatic relations, China-Philippines ties have made remarkable progress.

In recent years, in particular, Xi said, the two countries have deepened their political mutual trust, continuously expanded cooperation in various areas, and achieved fruitful results in Belt and Road cooperation, bringing concrete benefits to the two peoples and contributing to regional stability and development.

In his message, Duterte said friendship and kinship between the Philippine and Chinese people have been lasting for a thousand years. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1975, the friendship between the two countries has developed steadily.

Currently, Duterte said global security and stability continue to face challenges and non-traditional security threats such as the Covid-19 pandemic have become increasingly prominent, adding that it is of great importance to further consolidate Philippines-China partnership.

Duterte said the Philippine side takes China as a close neighbor and an important partner, and is ready to deepen bilateral comprehensive strategic cooperation and facilitate peace, development and prosperity of the two countries by upholding the principle of peaceful coexistence and mutually beneficial cooperation. (Xinhua)