President Corazon Aquino of the Philippines met with Premier Li Peng and President Yang Shangkun Friday after receiving an official welcome on her first visit to China.
The talks in the Great Hall of the People were expected to focus on trade issues, with the Philippines seeking a reduction in China's trade surplus.Li, who was formally confirmed as premier at the just-concluded session of China's legislature, the National People's Congress, greeted Aquino in English, saying, "Glad to meet you. Welcome to Beijing."
Yang noted that Sino-Philippine contacts date back for centuries and said, "the Chinese and Filipinos are relatives as well as friends. We hope more and more Philippine friends will visit China," the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
The ancestors of Aquino, like those of many Filipinos, came from China. On her first day in China Thursday, Aquino visited the home of her ancestors in southern Fujian province.
Aquino said the warm reception she received in the village of Hongjian, birthplace of her great-grandfather, "was a reflection of the friendly feelings of the Chinese people for the Philippine people."
Yang accepted an invitation from Aquino to visit the Philippines, Xinhua said. No date was set.
Yang presided over welcoming ceremonies earlier outside the hall.
The new president, an 81-year-old general, accompanied Aquino on a review of a People's Liberation Army honor guard and 300 children dancing and waving bouquets. She received a 21-gun salute from cannons on Tiananmen Square.
Mrs. Aquino met with Yang for about 30 minutes before beginning formal discussions with the premier.
The Philippine leader is expected to urge China to import more Philippine products. China imported about $100 million in Philippine products last year and exported $200 million to the country.
The two sides are to sign an agreement Saturday calling for expanded trade.
Mrs. Aquino and Li are likely to discuss the warfare in Cambodia. Both China and the Philippines, a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, back the resistance forces battling Vietnamese troops in Cambodia.