In a symbolic gesture of goodwill, Aquino was in the first row when APEC's 21 leaders posed for photographers and television crews at the Water Cube, the swimming venue during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, on Monday.
During the carefully choreographed "family" photo shoot, Aquino stood to the right of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who flanked President Xi.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is widely disliked in China for moves his critics say have stoked tensions in the region, was in the second row.
Manila will host next year's APEC summit.
Chinese media slammed Aquino in February over remarks that compared the international reaction to China's claims to South China Sea territory to the failure by the West to support Czechoslovakia against Adolf Hitler's demands in 1938.
In August, Manila said Beijing had asked Aquino to call off a trip to southern China for the opening of the annual China-ASEAN Expo trade fair, in an apparent snub. But Beijing insisted it had never invited him in the first place.
Aquino last visited China in 2011.
(Tue, Nov 11 2014 By Benjamin Kang Lim. Editing by Mike Collett-White)
Full report here: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/11/11/china-apec-philippines-idUKL3N0T11OQ20141111