Duterte to meet Putin during China forum | Global News

Duterte to meet Putin during China forum

/ 01:04 AM May 14, 2017

BEIJING — President Duterte may have an opportunity to have an impromptu meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the two-day Belt and Road Forum (BRF) here, the Philippine envoy said on Saturday.

Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana told reporters that Putin would be joining the forum which would be held here from today until Monday.

China has invited 29 state leaders to participate in the BRF for International Cooperation, a “historically significant” event that marks the shift in global powers from the West to Asia, Sta. Romana said.


“This is the first international forum where you’ll see President Duterte with Xi Jinping and Putin. He’s talked about wanting to be with them, so here’s an opportunity. You have the emergence that this summit presents—a new world order,” Sta. Romana said.


President Duterte has shifted the Philippines’ geopolitical strategy closer to home, by pushing closer ties to China and Russia while pulling away from the United States, its traditional defense ally.

Recent visits by Chinese and Russian naval vessels to the Philippines have punctuated the policy shift.

While President Duterte was scheduled to have a bilateral meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping, Sta. Romana said there was still no schedule yet for a one-on-one talk with his Russian counterpart.

Sta. Romana, however, said there was a possibility for a brief pull-aside between Putin and President Duterte.

“They will be together in the same room but it would be a big room. I’m sure there would be time for interaction,” he said.

Mr. Duterte, as well as the 28 other state leaders, will give a short speech on Monday during which he is scheduled to talk about the “Philippine experience” to include the country’s infrastructure development, Sta. Romana added.


This is the second time that President Duterte would be in China in an official trip.

In October, he made a state visit in China to rekindle relations soured by the dispute over the South China Sea, a strategically vital waterway through which a third of the world’s maritime traffic passes.

The forum was meant to usher in a “new world order” led by China, Sta. Romana said,  sending a positive signal that the Philippines may have made the right bet in rekindling ties with the regional behemoth.

“It’s actually going to be a landmark event. It marks the transition and the emergence of a new world order in which there will be multiple power centers. We are emerging and transitioning from a unipolar world that is dominated by the US and the West into one in which Asia, particularly China, is emerging as a center of gravity particularly in the field of economics and trade,” he said.

The Belt and Road Initiative, which takes inspiration from the ancient trade route, would link parts of Asia, Europe and Africa./rga

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TAGS: Duterte's trip to China, Jose Santiago Sta. Romana, Rodrigo Duterte, Vladimir Putin

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