A former Philippine president says he met with a Chinese former senior diplomat during a trip to Hong Kong aimed at improving ties. Relations have been strained over a maritime dispute in the South China Sea.
The Philippines special envoy Fidel Ramos said Friday that Manila wants formal discussions with China to explore pathways to peace and cooperation after a meeting with a former Chinese deputy foreign minister.
The most contentious disputes were not addressed directly but were more a confidence-building measure, according to a joint statement released by Ramos and Fu Ying, a former top Chinese diplomat.
"They discussed, in their private capacity, the way forward in the spirit of universal brotherhood and sisterhood for peace and cooperation between the two countries," the joint statement said.