Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday met South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen on the sidelines of a series of meetings on East Asian cooperation in the Philippine capital Manila.
Li arrived in the Philippines on Sunday for an official visit to the country.
In Manila, he will also attend the 20th ASEAN-China, Japan and South Korea (10+3) leaders' meeting, as well as the 12th East Asia Summit.
Li urges South Korea to remove obstacles in bilateral ties
During a meeting with Moon, Premier Li urged South Korea to continue making substantive efforts to remove obstacles in bilateral ties so as to ensure their sound and steady development.
China and South Korea have reached some consensus in dealing with the issue of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) in the current stage, Li said.
Noting the rapid development of bilateral ties and cooperation since the two countries established diplomatic ties 25 years ago, Li hoped the two sides would cherish the long-standing political mutual trust and respect each others' core interests and major concerns.
China and South Korea have broad common interests and huge cooperation potential, said the Chinese premier, urging joint efforts to open up a new chapter for bilateral cooperation.
For his part, Moon said that bilateral ties are now standing at a new starting point.
He pledged joint efforts with China to rebuild political mutual trust and resume cooperation in economic and trade and people-to-people exchanges so as to get bilateral ties back onto the normal track at an early date.
China-Japan ties show positive changes, sensitive factors remain
Japan should make joint efforts with China to keep up the momentum for improvement in China-Japan relations, Premier Li said during a meeting with Abe.
Li said that the current China-Japan relations have shown some positive changes, but sensitive factors still exist.
This year marks the 45th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan relations, and next year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship.
He called on Japan to take history as a mirror and face towards the future, and work with China to overcome difficulties and challenges in the bilateral ties.
He called on the two countries to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in economy, trade and investment, discuss cooperation in the third-party market, and jointly promote the negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and free trade area talks between China, Japan, and South Korea.
For his part, Abe said currently bilateral relations have shown signs of improvement.
Japan, said Abe, is willing to treat China as a partner instead of a threat, strengthen bilateral high-level exchanges, and consolidate the momentum for improvement in the bilateral ties based on the principle of building the bilateral strategic relationship for mutual benefit.
China, New Zealand eye closer trade ties
China stands ready to work with New Zealand to advance their talks on upgrading a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA), Premier Li said when meeting with New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
New Zealand has always been in forward ranks of developed countries in developing relations with China, Li said.
New Zealand was among the first countries to acknowledge China's full market economy status as well as the first developed country that concluded a bilateral FTA with China.
Lauding New Zealand's adherence to the one-China policy, Li voiced his confidence that Ardern, who assumed office last month, will further promote her country's relations with China and create more "firsts" in bilateral ties.
China is willing to work with New Zealand to further take advantage of their complementarity and press forward with negotiations on upgrading bilateral free trade pact, the Chinese premier said.
The existing China-New Zealand FTA was signed in 2008.
For her part, Ardern said New Zealand-China relations are of great significance, and the two nations have always respected each other and enjoyed mutually beneficial cooperation.
Both countries are committed to promoting social development and people's well-being, she noted.
Stressing that New Zealand adheres to the one-China policy, Ardern said her country is willing to cooperate more closely with China and advance their talks on the FTA upgrade.
Li calls for alignment of development strategies between China, Vietnam
Premier Li called on China and Vietnam to speed up the alignment of their development strategies during a meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart Phuc.
Li said the two countries should align their development strategies, referring to China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and Vietnam's "Two Corridors and One Economic Circle" plan, so as to achieve a balanced trade between the increase of bilateral trade volume and the inclusive as well as diversified development.
As for the South China Sea, Li said China is willing to advance the consultations on a Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea with ASEAN countries in order to make it a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation.
For his part, Phuc said Vietnam stands ready to deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between the two countries, promote the integration of the bilateral development strategies, and strengthen cooperation on capacity, transport facilities, cross-border economic cooperation zones, agriculture, finance, and environmental protection so as to lift bilateral trade relations to a new level.
Lauding the agreement reached by China and ASEAN countries on the COC framework, he said that Vietnam is willing to promote maritime cooperation with China and safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea.
Li pledges to work with Cambodia to promote bilateral ties
Next year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Cambodia. Also in 2018, Cambodia will co-chair the second leaders' meeting of Lancang-Mekong Cooperation, a sub-regional cooperation mechanism jointly established by the six countries along the Mekong River (known in China as Lancang River), namely China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, Li said during his meeting with Hun Sen.
In this regard, Li pledged to work with Cambodia to further promote the development of bilateral ties so as to contribute to the stable development of the region.
For his part, Hun Sen said Cambodia and China share a profound friendship and bilateral ties will usher in a new era next year.
Hun Sen said that Cambodia is willing to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with China in various areas such as state governance and infrastructure construction so as to further advance the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.