BEIJING, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- China welcomed Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to visit China as early as possible, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Friday.
It is reported that Duterte said recently that bilateral talks between his country and China may start "within the year."
The friendly ties between China and the Philippines are in accordance with the fundamental interests of the countries and the expectations of their people, spokesperson Hua Chunying told a press conference.
China values its ties with the Philippines, Hua said, noting that high-level visits are important to improve bilateral ties, enhance understanding and trust.
When responding the report that Duterte and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will meet on the sidelines of the upcoming East Asia Summit, Hua said China has an open attitude.