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Chinese envoy says Philippines, China must work jointly to boost weak economic ties

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MANILA, Philippines - China's ambassador to the Philippines says economic ties between the two countries are at disappointing levels and both must work to advance their common prosperity.

The two Asian neighbours are embroiled in a territorial row in the South China Sea.

Ambassador Zhao Jianhua said late Tuesday that the Philippines gets only 1.4 per cent of China's outbound direct investment to 10 Southeast Asian countries, with Singapore receiving 46.3 per cent.

He did not refer to the territorial dispute but called the Philippines' share of the Chinese investment pie "too disappointing," with the Philippines investing more in China than the other way around.

He also says 426,000 Chinese tourists visited the country last year, while 4 million Chinese tourists go to Malaysia yearly and 3 million to Thailand.

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