Xi Jinping says hopes China, Philippines can return to past understanding on sea dispute

Philippine President Benigno Aquino (left) shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping during a welcoming ceremony at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, at the International Convention Center at Yanqi Lake, in Huairou district of
Philippine President Benigno Aquino (left) shakes hands with China's President Xi Jinping during a welcoming ceremony at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, at the International Convention Center at Yanqi Lake, in Huairou district of Beijing, on Nov 11, 2014. Chinese President Xi Jinping said he hopes China and the Philippines can return to a past understanding on issues related to the South China Sea, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping said he hopes China and the Philippines can return to a past understanding on issues related to the South China Sea, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.

China hopes the Philippines can "constructively deal with"the issue, the report added.

Xi made the remarks during talks with Philippine President Benigno Aquino during the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit. Territorial disputes in the potentially oil-rich South China Sea have caused friction between China and some of its Asian neighbours.