Manila hopes for 'mutual trust, cooperation' with Beijing

XI IS IT. Chinese Vice president Xi Jinping emerges as the head of the newly reshuffled seven member Communist Party of China Politburo Standing Committee, the nation's top decision making body at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 15, 2012. AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON

XI IS IT. Chinese Vice president Xi Jinping emerges as the head of the newly reshuffled seven member Communist Party of China Politburo Standing Committee, the nation's top decision making body at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 15, 2012.

AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang is hoping for a "climate of mutual trust and cooperation" between China and the Philippines, as Xi Jinping assumed China's presidency Thursday, March 14.

"We will seek all opportunities to help build a climate of mutual trust and cooperation to enhance stability in our region so that the positive economic momentum of our respective nations may be sustained," Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.

He said Xi's election is an "auspicious moment" for China, as the country works toward prosperity and stability.

"This is a sentiment shared by all peoples of good will, who look forward to opportunities for positive engagement fortified by trust, good will, and cooperation, for the mutual benefit of all peoples in our region and around the world," he said.

China's parliament named Xi as president Thursday, four months after he took charge of the Communist Party with pledges of reform that have raised hopes but so far yielded little change.

Since he took the top communist post in November, Xi has pledged to preserve the ruling party's supremacy, as well as improve livelihoods, implement economic reforms, and crack down on corruption, which incenses popular opinion.

The Philippines and China are involved in a territorial dispute over the Spratlys and Scarborough Shoal. Tensions over the islands spread across the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) escalated in the past year. - Rappler.com