Phone call from Xi for ‘regional peace, stability’ — Palace

MANILA-- The phone conversation between Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping was a call for peace and stability in the region, MalacaAang said Thursday.

This was stressed by Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella during a radio interview aired over DWFM as he highlighted the importance of the phone call between the two Asian leaders.

First of all, the President affirmed the friendship between Philippines and China as they exchanged views on regional and international developments, he said.

But more importantly, the Palace official said that Duterte took it upon himself to inform China about his grave concerns over recent developments in the Korean Peninsula.

Secondly, and this is very important, the President expressed concerns on the Korean Peninsula. This is a shared concern among ASEAN leaders and since the Philippines is this year's chair, the President also took the in initiative to voice the concerns of ASEAN as well, Abella said.

He added that Duterte's aim is to ensure peace in the region given the consequence of a Korean war to Southeast Asia.

The President really emphasized on the need for restraint in dealing with the Korean Peninsula. Players in the region should push for peace, not war, he said.

In a sense, the call was basically for peace and stability in the region, Abella said.

Duterte and Xi's phone call came four days after the President's call with United States President Donald Trump which focused on North Korea.

Prior to the Trump call, the Duterte said he would ask the US president to consider a more peaceful option.

Last Saturday, President Duterte said the leaders of ASEAN are extremely worried over the evolving crisis brought about by the latest launch of a ballistic missile by North Korea and asked for prudence on the part of the United States and other stakeholders to spare ASEAN of the consequences of a possible showdown in the Korean Peninsula.

Source: Philippines News Agency