Chinese Foreign Minster Wang Yi, right, is greeted by Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert Del Rosario. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Philippines and China have both agreed to skip arguments on increasing tensions in the West Philippine Sea and South China Sea during next week’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila.

“We recognize that APEC is not the proper forum to discuss this issue,” DFA spokesman Charles Jose told reporters yesterday.

“In the context of APEC, we both agreed APEC is an economic forum and it won’t be a proper venue to discuss political security issues,” he said.

Jose’s statement came shortly after Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario’s meeting yesterday with his Chinese countepart Wang Yi.

Minister Wang said that the main goal of his stay to the Philippines was to assure that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit “will be smooth, safe and successful,”

2009 was the last time a Chinese foreign minister visited the Philippines. Wang’s visit “is an indication that we can move the bilateral relations forward.” Jose said.

US expects South China Sea issue to come up at APEC summit

Meanwhile State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Tuesday that The South China Sea issue is likely to come up on the sidelines of the APEC summit if it is not on the formal agenda.

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit is scheduled for Nov. 17-19 in Manila.

John Esconde