File photo taken on Oct. 13, 2016 shows Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) speaking during an interview with Xinhua News Agency in Manila, the Philippines. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)
DAVAO CITY, the Philippines, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said Friday he is satisfied with the current relations between the Philippines and China as the bilateral ties become increasingly close.
During talks with visiting Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, Duterte thanked China for its support and aid to the Philippines, saying the Philippines is willing to expand practical cooperation with China, maintain and deepen this strong bilateral relationship.
"I deeply believe the Philippines-China relations will scale new heights," he said.
Duterte said that the Philippines does not want to confront China on the South China Sea issue and on the contrary it wishes to have trust in and be friendly to each other.
For his part, Wang said Duterte's successful visit to China last October was ice-breaking and ushered in a spring season for friendly cooperation between the two countries.
He said there is great potential and broad prospects for cooperation between the two sides.
"I come here to accelerate the implementation of the consensus reached by two countries' leaders and make big the cake of common interest to benefit peoples of both countries," Wang said.
China is ready to focus attention on cooperation with the Philippines and handle the South China Sea issue properly through dialogue and consultation to maintain the good momentum of development in bilateral relations, he added.
Also on Friday, Wang held a high-level meeting with Duterte's economic management team and signed the Six-Year Development Program for Trade and Economic Cooperation between the two countries.