Xi: PH-China agrees to engage in ‘comprehensive, strategic cooperation’
The Philippines and China have agreed to elevate their ties into a “comprehensive, strategic cooperation,” as President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in Malacañang on Tuesday.
Xi said his talk with Duterte was “a friendly, in-depth and a productive” meeting since it charted the future course of China-Philippines relations, and drew an ambitious blueprint for its development.
“The President and I both agreed to elevate our relationship into one of comprehensive, strategic cooperation,” Xi said in his speech during a joint statement with Duterte.
“This vision charts a clear course for China PHL relations and sends a strong message to the world that our two countries are partners in seeking common development,” he added.
According to the Chinese leader, he and Duterte “have the view that we have been good and close neighbors for thousands of years; that our relationship has been defined by equality, mutual assistance, and common destiny.”
“And that our strong relationship is a shared asset of the two peoples,” he also said.
Xi further said: “Time and again our experiences show that good neighborliness serves the fundamental interests of both nations, and it meets the shared aspiration of all in the region.”
Despite global uncertainties, Xi said the Philippines and China “will remain committed to this relationship and work hard to make it even stronger.”
“Recognizing the wisdom in the saying, all creatures may grow together without harming other; all roads may run parallel without interfering with one another. Both sides agree that there is no one size fits all development model, and that every country has a right to choose its own path,” Xi noted.
“China respects and supports your endeavors, and we would like to see the PHL playing an even bigger role in regional and international affairs,” he added.
China’s President went on to say: “As our two countries forge ahead as win-win partners, China will continue to do its modest best to help and support the Philippines.”
“Our support will come in many forms, from lending a hand to your counter-narcotics and counter-terrorism struggle, to helping to repair roads and bridges in Marawi and build new infrastructure there,” he also said.
China, would “import more goods in this country and Philippine coconut, and the frozen fruits, have been approved for export to China,” according to Xi.
China would also provide another 50 government scholarship grants for Philippine students on annual basis, from 2019 to 2021, as well as implement arrangements for Filipino teachers of the English language to work in China, he added.
Moreover, Xi said Beijing will donate 10,000 tons of rice to help communities devastated by typhoon “Ompong” (international name: Mangkhut).
For his part, Duterte said “there is a deepening trust and confidence between our governments, and we have greatly increased dialogue and interaction on many levels.”
“In the past two years, we have worked hard to lay the cornerstones for the continued advancement of our beneficial cooperation in a wide range of areas,” he said.
“A lot of work remains, but President Xi’s visit gives us new impetus to our mutual efforts to enhance collaboration in ensuring the well-being of our peoples and contributing to peace and stability in the region,” he added.
Xi arrived in the Philippines on Tuesday morning for a two-day state visit upon the invitation of Duterte. This was the first visit of a Chinese president to the Philippines in 13 years. This was also the first time that Xi met Duterte in Philippine soil. /kga
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