THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) remains cautious with regard to "improving" the Philippines relations with China.
This developed as a Chinese diplomat told visiting Philippine delegation in Beijing that relations between China and the Philippines are at a new turning point, and that Beijing hopes Manila can meet it halfway and handle disputes appropriately.
Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose, when asked to comment on Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin's statement, said "I have to verify this report first."
Liu told a delegation from a Philippine foreign affairs committee in Beijing that ties had recently "sunk to a low edge for reasons everyone knows," China's Foreign Ministry said late on Tuesday.
"At present, China-Philippine relations are at a new turning point," the statement quoted Liu as saying.
China "hopes the Philippines side can meet China halfway, appropriately handle disputes and push relations back onto the track of dialogue, consultation and friendly cooperation," he said.
Former President Fidel Ramos, who was named special envoy to China, said during a visit to Hong Kong last month that Manila wanted formal negotiations with China to explore pathways to peace and cooperation.
The Hague recently ruled in favor of the Philippines when it questioned China's excessive nine-dash line claims in the South China Sea. Beijing however refused to recognize the International ruling.