MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario on Saturday said the bilateral meeting between President Benigno Aquino III and Chinese President Hu Jintao will push through in Russia.
However, del Rosario said there is still no definite schedule for the meeting.
Del Rosario believes that the territorial dispute at the West Philippine Sea will be tackled during the meeting.
This is the first meeting between Aquino and Hu since the stand-off at the Scarborough Shoal.
“It’s a subject that is difficult to avoid in a discussion between the Philippines and China,” said de Rosario.
Both the Philippines and China insist that their friendship is bigger than the dispute in the West Philippine Sea, which is why the Philippines is pushing for discussions on other issues that both can agree on, such as tourism and trade.
President Aquino was among leaders of 21 Pacific Rim economies who arrived in Russia Saturday night for the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting.
The President went straight to his hotel located in the grounds of the Far Eastern Federal University on Russkiy Island, where he was welcomed by the manager and an unusual interpreter.
Nina is one of two Filipino-speaking Russian students helping out in the President's hotel.
The other is Andrey who serves as the hotel bellman.
The President met with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong Saturday morning.
Aquino thanked Singapore for supporting the Philippines in its dispute with China in the West Philippine Sea.
The President then met with Chile's President Sebastian Pinera on a wide range of topics from teaching to taxation. -- ANC