Philippines, China vow closer ties, management of disputes

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says he and Chinese President Xi Jinping resolved to strengthen their countries' friendship during their meeting in Beijing, while China pledged to speed up infrastructure projects it is funding in the Philippines.

Duterte said Tuesday on his return from Beijing that both he and Xi were looking forward to their officials meeting later this week for inaugural bilateral talks on the South China Sea as a step toward peacefully managing their territorial disputes.

Duterte met separately with Xi and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang after attending the "Belt and Road" trade initiative.

Four agreements were signed during the visit, including a Chinese grant of 500 million yuan ($72.5 million) for feasibility studies of infrastructure projects in the Philippines and construction of a drug rehabilitation center.