Top PH, China political parties OK stronger ties
The Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) and the Communist Party of China (CPC) have agreed to forge ties to strengthen Philippine-China relations, Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said Thursday.
Pimentel, president of PDP-Laban, made the disclosure a day after he met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who is a member of the CPC’s Politburo Standing Committee.
“Our discussion focused on how we can bring China and the Philippines closer together, not just through normal diplomatic channels, but also channels like party to party and parliament to parliament”, Pimentel said in a statement.
“There is so much potential for cooperation between our countries. After all, the Philippines and China have had relations long before there was a People’s Republic of China or a Republic of the Philippines,” he added.
Pimentel said he would represent PDP Laban in talks with the CPC and with the ruling parties of other major countries in Beijing this December.
The Senate president talked to the Chinese premiere in a meeting hosted by Li at the Conrad Hotel in Pasay City. Also present at the meeting were Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III, Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri, Emmanuel Pacquiao, and Sherwin Gatchalian.
“We have to make up for time lost due to misunderstandings and the politics of old. What Premier Li and I want is to establish a long-standing relationship which would be immune to the issues of the day, and built on the friendship of our two nations, and not just our governments,” Pimentel said.
During the meeting, Li pledged that China will provide grants to help rebuild the city of Marawi and to enhance infrastructure development aimed at raising the Philippines’ industrial capacity.
In turn, the senators said they would activate the Philippine-China Friendship Association in the Senate and to facilitate an exchange of parliamentarians with the National People’s Congress of China.
Both sides expressed keen interest in the Philippines playing a key role in China’s One Belt, One Road initiative, a plan to accelerate development around the world through trade and cooperation. /cbb
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