The Chinese government expressed hope that the relations with the Philippines will be “back onto a healthy development track” after ties between the two counties turned uncomfortable due to the territorial disputes over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
This was stressed by Chinese President Xi Jinping to incoming President Rodrigo Duterte through a message sent through the Chinese Foreign Ministry as he also extended his greetings to the newly elected Philippine leader. The Chinese President further stressed that China and the Philippines share the responsibility of maintaining and deepening their neighborly and friendly relations and mutual cooperation. The ties between China and the Philippines soured in recent years, with Manila initiating an arbitration case against Beijing over the territorial dispute at the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague. The verdict of the Netherlands-based international court is expected to come out soon.