AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine government is looking forward to a "positive, peaceful and stable" relationship with China, after the country presented its new set of leaders Thursday, November 15.
"We wish China a smooth generational leadership change and we look forward to working with the incoming leaders in forging a positive, peaceful and stable relationship with China," the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a brief statement.
"We hope that our political bilateral relations would improve, and that economic cooperation and people-to-people ties would continue to flourish for the benefit of our peoples," the statement added.
Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping led the new slate of leaders of the Communist Party of China, who were presented to the public for the first time Thursday in Beijing.
Xi succeeds current President Hu Jintao as the leader of the CPC. The 7-member Central Committee also includes Li Keqiang - who is set to become Premier - Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan, and Zhang Gaoli.
Diplomatic relations between the two countries have been tense in the past few months, mainly due to territorial disputes in the South China Sea (West Philippine Sea).
China also sees the Philippines as more provocative under President Benigno Aquino III, said the International Crisis Group (ICG). The think-tank said that under Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the Philippines was "more receptive to Beijing's commercial incentives and was apparently willing to compromise Philippine claims in response." - Rappler.com