Istana Main Building, Singapore
18 November 2014

Maintaining good diplomatic relations with China and updates on the Philippines post-Yolanda reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts were among the major topics discussed during the courtesy call paid by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on President Benigno S. Aquino III at the East Drawing Room of the Istana Main Building.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, President Aquino thanked Prime Minister Lee for Singapore’s assistance in ‘Yolanda’ as he described the reconstruction efforts being done to Tacloban City, including the idea of relocating the airport to a much safer place far from the coast.

PM Lee, on the other hand, brought up the topic on the territorial row and commended the Philippines for at least having high-level talks with China when he learned about the ‘generous discussion’ that happened between Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Aquino on the sidelines of the APEC Summit in Beijing, China. He expressed hope of a just and amicable outcome on the country’s relations with China because both leaders are in agreement that the relationship with China is multi-dimensional and multi-faceted. It is not just focused on the territorial dispute but on other cooperation as well like trade, people-to-people and tourism.

President Aquino also talked about various initiatives of his administration like the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program designed to break the cycle of poverty in the Philippines.

Both leaders exchanged views on other regional issues like the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, as well as developments in the South China Sea.

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