PNoy 'not aloof' to Chinese President Xi
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - November 23, 2015 - 2:25am

MANILA, Philippines - President Benigno Aquino III on Monday clarified that he is not "aloof" with Chinese President Xi Jinping following their red carpet walk during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Manila last week.

Aquino said that Xi did not have an interpreter with him during their walk to the plenary session with members of the APEC Business Advisory Council.

"Medyo mahirap talagang mag-uusap kayo kung iba ang lengguwaheng gagamitin n'yo ‘di ba? Pero, sorry ha, nabasa ko lang somewhere na parang ano, paano ba ‘yon? ‘Aloof’ kami. Hindi aloof ano. Talagang kapag wala si translator, walang dialogue," Aquino said.

During the said red carpet walk, Aquino was seen conversing and walking beside Chilean President Michelle Bachelet while Xi walked to her left.

 

President Benigno Aquino III lead Chilean President Michelle Bachelet and Chinese President Xi Jinping to the plenary session with members of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Business Advisory Council at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City. APEC/Released

 

"Every time kaming nagkaroon ng interaction parating may interpreter. Iyong kapag sinabi ko sa kanyang ‘good morning’ sagot niya sa akin Chinese. Noong naglalakad kami papunta doon sa function, wala akong katabi. Wala siyang interpreter at wala rin akong interpreter," Aquino said.

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Aquino revealed that Xi expressed intent to return to the country before leaving Manila last week despite the territorial dispute between the two countries.

"Noong pauwi napaka-animated raw. Nagpasalamat, nagsabi sana makabalik kaagad, pati... ang sabi sa akin ‘nung Cabinet secretary na kasama bakit hindi daw n'yo tingnan ‘yung litrato dahil ang laki-laki ng ngiti," the president said.

The president, however, called on China to respect the rule of law following its massive land reclamation activities over the disputed South China Sea.

"As the arbitration process we have entered into continues to its logical conclusion, we are hopeful that China would honor its word and respect the rule of law," Aquino said during the East Asia Summit in Malaysia.

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ACIRC AQUINO ASIA PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION BUSINESS ADVISORY COUNCIL ASIA-PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION BUSINESS ADVISORY COUNCIL CHILEAN PRESIDENT MICHELLE BACHELET CHILEAN PRESIDENT MICHELLE BACHELET AND CHINESE PRESIDENT XI JINPING CHINESE PRESIDENT XI JINPING PRESIDENT PRESIDENT BENIGNO AQUINO QUOT
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