The Straits Times
Published on Sep 22, 2012

China urges Philippines to mend ties after row


BEIJING (AFP) - Chinese leader-in-waiting Xi Jinping has told a visiting Philippine envoy that he hopes ties hurt by a territorial row can recover, state media said on Saturday.

Vice-president Xi told Philippine Interior Secretary Mar Roxas that tensions between the two countries had "eased" after a blow-up over a disputed island in the South China Sea, Xinhua news agency reported.

Trouble flared in April when vessels from the two countries became engaged in a stand-off over the Scarborough Shoal. Both sides later agreed to withdraw their boats, diffusing some of the tension.

"I hope this (situation) will not appear again and again, allowing bilateral relations to return to the track of normal development," Xinhua quoted Xi as telling the special envoy of Philippine President Benigno Aquino at a trade fair in southern China on Friday.