Duterte welcomes Xi in Malacañang
(Updated, 5:53 p.m.) President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday afternoon officially welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping in Malacañang.
Xi arrived in Malacañang around 4:50 p.m. for the official welcome ceremony. He was greeted by Duterte and other Cabinet members.
Xi arrived in Manila before noon on Tuesday. He landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) at 11:30 a.m. after his trip to Brunei Darussalam.
He proceed to the Palace after attending a wreath-laying ceremony at the Rizal Park in Manila.
As the first state visit by a Chinese head of state since 2005, Xi’s visit to Manila is expected to further strengthen an economics-driven rapprochement under Duterte, who has expressed his gratitude for the Chinese leader.
In his short opening speech for the bilateral meeting, Duterte said he looks “forward to fruitful discussions today” to further enhance the partnership of the two nations.
“We have turned a new page and we are ready to write a new chapter of openness and cooperation,” he said.
“I look forward to fruitful discussions today as we review the progress we have made and chart the course towards… to further enhance partnership all in the spirit of friendship, mutual understanding and respect for sovereign equality,” he added.
For his part, Xi emphasized importance of the Philippines-China cooperation and staying as “good neighbors.” /jpv
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