President Rodrigo Duterte (Source: EPA/VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - China and the Philippines agreed to strengthen bilateral trade and economic cooperation at a high-level meeting on March 17.

During a visit to the southern Philippine city of Davao, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang held a closed-door meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte and signed a six-year development programme on trade and investment cooperation.

In his speech following the meeting, Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the Chinese Vice Premier had stressed the need to focus on common interests than on differences.

President Duterte remarked that bilateral ties are growing stronger, particularly in trade and commerce, and reaffirmed the importance of peaceful settlement of disputes, he said.

Regarding ties with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Wang stated that China prioritises ASEAN in its external policy and supports the ASEAN Community and its central role in regional cooperation.

He highlighted that China is ready to support the Philippines during its tenure as ASEAN Chair this year.

The Chinese Vice Premier is paying a four-day visit to the Philippines.-VNA