Duterte China visit ‘highly successful’

April 28, 2019
Rodrigo Duterte and Xi Jinping

MALACAÑANG yesterday said President Rodrigo Duterte’s official visit to China was “highly successful.”

Presidential spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said Duterte witnessed the signing of 19 business deals, among them those related to energy, infrastructure which includes tourism-related facilities and internet connectivity, agriculture, and training of Filipinos sojourning in China.

“The estimated investment value of these agreements is US$12.165 billion which will generate more than 21,000 jobs for our fellow Filipinos,” Panelo said in a statement.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez earlier said the Philippine business delegation and their Chinese counterparts signed one contract agreement, three cooperation agreements, two purchase framework agreements, and 13 Memoranda of Agreement (MOA) or Understanding (MOU).

In turn, Duterte promised prospective foreign investors an enabling environment in the Philippines to help their businesses and investments prosper, he added.

The President also met with top Chinese leaders “where he affirmed our commitment to friendship and understanding with China. He expressed the country’s readiness to pursue more high-quality and good-impact projects,”  said Panelo.

As for the South China Sea dispute, Panelo said Duterte reiterated to Chinese President Xi Jinping his resolve to make the disputed sea “a sea of peace, stability and prosperity.”

“He expounded on the need for both countries to exercise restraint and caution to avoid actions that could complicate situations,” Panelo said.

During the bilateral meeting between Duterte and Xi, the Philippines also bagged a 1-billion renminbi grant.

Belt and Road

At the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, Duterte talked about the contribution of migrant workers to the development of their home countries and host countries.

Duterte “advocated for their protection and welfare. In the same forum, President Duterte pitched for development assistance based on reciprocal benefits,” Panelo said.

At the Leaders’ Roundtable Sessions held at Yanqi Lake International Conference Center, meanwhile, Duterte also discussed “the value of nations, especially in Asia, working together with a shared goal of inclusive, equitable and sustainable growth and prosperity.”

“He welcomed economic investments that will help our country improve its economic productivity in the area of agriculture as well as in our country’s massive infrastructure development program while ensure that it will be clean and green,” Panelo said.

The presidential spokesperson said Duterte’s independent foreign policy is leading to “a new height of diplomatic relations with other nations, solely based on our national security and interest and towards a direction that will contribute to our national development, as well as the realization of the aspiration of our people to attain economic progress and comfortable life for the greater masses of our countrymen.”

On Saturday, Duterte also told world leaders that the Philippines is working to improve ways to manage and protect its marine  resources, and gave assurances that the country’s national development plans are aligned with the UN 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Devlopment.

Duterte arrived past 12 a.m. on Sunday in Davao City and gave no arrival statement. He missed attending the Belt and Road gala dinner in Beijing due to migraine.