Cayetano travels to China in 1st trip as foreign secretary
MANILA — Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano will go on his first official visit to China this week.
The China foreign ministry has announced that Cayetano will visit their country from June 28 to July 1 upon the invitation of China Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has not made an announcement as of press time.
“The Chinese leadership will meet with Cayetano and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold talks with him during his visit,” China foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang announced on Tuesday.
The spokesman said Cayetano’s visit would “bolster political mutual trust between the two countries, deepen bilateral cooperation in different fields, promote communication and coordination in regional cooperation and advance the strategic cooperative relationship for peace and development.
“Since the turnaround in the bilateral relationship last year, we have further deepened political mutual trust, carried out practical cooperation in various aspects, restarted maritime dialogue and cooperation and moved forward the bilateral relationsip… The Chinese side is ready to work with the Philippines to push forward China-ASEAN relations and East cooperation,” he continued.
Since assuming office in June 2016, Duterte has pivoted to China at the expense of the country’s traditional allies, the US and the European Union. During a state visit in Beijing last October, Duterte even announced a “separation” from the US.
Duterte has also set aside the favorable ruling the country won from an international arbitral tribunal against China’s incursions in the West Philippine Sea and agreed to pursue bilateral talks with Beijing over the territorial dispute.
Duterte appointed Cayetano, his losing running-mate, to head the DFA assoon as the one-year ban against the appointment of losing candidates expired last May 10. SFM
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