Xi calls talks with Duterte ‘fruitful’during his state visit to Philippines.
China and the Philippines signed 29 cooperation documents covering such areas as trade, investment, finance, agriculture, culture and the Belt and Road Initiative during President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the Southeast Asian country on Tuesday.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by Xi and his Philippine counterpart Rodrigo Duterte in Manila. Duterte hosted a grand ceremony to welcome Xi before their talks and the signing ceremony.
When the two leaders jointly met reporters, Xi said that his talks with Duterte were “friendly, in-depth and fruitful”.
China and the Philippines have lots of common interests in the South China Sea, Xi said, adding that the two countries will continue to manage disagreements and promote maritime cooperation through friendly consultation.
China and the Philippines will work with ASEAN countries to contribute to peace, stability and welfare in the region, Xi said.
The comprehensive strategic cooperative relationship sends a positive signal to the world regarding the China-Philippines friendship, Xi said.
“China and the Philippines must join hands to uphold the interests of the developing world, resist protectionism and unilateralism, and promote peace, stability and prosperity in our region and beyond,” Xi said.
Xi pledged that China will import more goods from the Philippines, saying that Philippine coconuts and frozen fruits have been approved for export to China.
“As fellow developing countries in Asia, China and the Philippines face similar developmental challenges, which make us natural partners with a common destiny,” Xi said.
It is the only right choice for China and the Philippines, which have a history of nearly a thousand years of exchanges, to be friendly neighbors and strive for win-win cooperation, Xi said.
Xi said that he has invited Duterte to attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which will be held in Beijing in April.
Hailing Xi’s visit an important milestone for Philippines-China relations, Duterte said that it will open a new chapter in the development of bilateral ties.
“I am pleased with the current positive momentum of Philippines-China relations,” Duterte said.
The Philippines would like to deepen its comprehensive strategic cooperative relationship with China on the basis of mutual respect, mutual understanding and equal sovereignty, he said, adding that the two countries should enhance cooperation in such areas as trade, investment, agriculture, defense, health, infrastructure and energy.
“We discussed mutual concerns on defense, security, maritime cooperation, law enforcement, transnational crime as well as strengthening our partnership in combating the trafficking of illegal drugs,” he said.