China urges Philippines to mend ties after row

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 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 rocky outcrop known as Scarborough Shoal. Both sides later agreed to withdraw their boats, defusing 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.

"China-Philippine relations have encountered some difficulties. However, through effective communication between the two sides, the situation has already eased," Xi said.

In Manila, a government statement quoted Roxas as saying the two had had "a frank and candid exchange of views".

It said both sides "expressed their desire to resolve outstanding issues while moving forward with their bilateral relations".

"(The) discussions were constructive and the talks were conducted in a cordial atmosphere," Roxas added.

The talks in the city of Nanning came after Aquino failed to secure a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Russia earlier this month.

Xi is widely expected to succeed Hu as leader of China's ruling Communist Party at an upcoming party meeting, then take over as president in March next year.

China claims sovereignty over nearly all of the South China Sea, which is believed to hold vast amounts of oil and gas, is a rich fishing ground and is home to shipping lanes vital to global trade.

But the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and Taiwan also have claims to parts of the sea, some of them overlapping.

China is also locked in a territorial dispute with Japan over disputed islands in the East China Sea, which Japan administers and calls Senkaku but China claims and knows as Diaoyu.

  • 2015 Chevrolet Trax small SUV rolls back to America 5 hours ago
    2015 Chevrolet Trax small SUV rolls back to America

    For the past two years, car shoppers from Acapulco to Winnipeg could wander into their Chevy dealers and kick the tires on a city-sized sport utility vehicle named the Trax — and about 90,000 have done so. Today, Chevy revealed the version of the Trax it will bring to the United States, for those less well-heeled buyers who want the shape of an SUV without the window sticker they usually carry.

  • Ford Transit Skyliner concept revives the ultra-luxury van 8 hours ago
    Ford Transit Skyliner concept revives the ultra-luxury van

    “Once you do stand-up, you don’t want to go back.” No, we’re not talking about comedy, but rather an emerging trend in luxury transport that’s bringing us ever taller, more capacious, more pimpdillyicious limousines. The quote came from a Ford designer, Tim Stoehr, predicting an increase in interest in limos based on big vans like the new Transit. Of course, these are nothing new; up-fitters have taken quite kindly to the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, and apparently Ford is chomping at the bit to get in on the action, too. So Ford enlisted the help of the largest Ford dealer in the world, Galpin Auto Sports in Van Nuys, Calif., to help design and build its first super-lux Transit concept, dubbed the Skyliner.

  • Driving the 2016 BMW X5 eDrive, the plugged-in SUV 13 hours ago
    Driving the 2016 BMW X5 eDrive, the plugged-in SUV

    Automakers worldwide have gradually (some would say grudgingly) attempted to make their high-profit and highly popular SUVs as efficient and clean-running as their lower weight passenger cars — namely through the grafting of a plug-in hybrid system.

  • Amazon to release smartphone later this year: report
    Amazon to release smartphone later this year: report

    Amazon is preparing to release a smartphone in the second half of 2014, thrusting itself into a market already crowded with Apple and Samsung models, The Wall Street Journal reported. The company aims to announce its new product by the end of June and ship to customers by the end of September in time for the holidays, the Journal said in a Friday report, citing unnamed people briefed on the matter. Amazon, it said, hopes to differentiate its phone from other models with a screen that displays hologram-like three-dimensional images, which can be viewed without special glasses. Earlier this month the retailer unveiled a new media streaming device, Amazon Fire TV, which it touted as simplifying the experience of watching video online.

  • Malaysia flight's co-pilot tried to make cellphone call - report
    Malaysia flight's co-pilot tried to make cellphone call - report

    Investigators probing the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 suspect that the co-pilot of the jetliner tried to make a call with his cellphone after the plane was diverted from its scheduled route, Malaysia's New Straits Times reported sources as saying on Saturday. The newspaper cited unidentified investigative sources as saying the attempted call from co-pilot Fariq Abdul Hamid's phone was picked up by a cellphone tower as the plane was about 200 nautical miles northwest of the west coast state of Penang.