From Xi to Duterte: ‘Heartfelt thanks’

November 24, 2018
Rodrigo Duterte and Xi Jinping
Rodrigo Duterte and Xi Jinping

CHINESE President Xi Jinping wrote President Rodrigo Duterte a letter expressing his “heartfelt thanks” after his visit to the Philippines.

“Upon the conclusion of my successful state visit to the Republic of the Philippines, I wish to extend my heartfelt thanks to you, Mr. President, and the Government and people of the Philippines for your friendship and warm hospitality,” Xi said in a letter dated Thursday written from Beijing.

Xi said he was “truly pleased with the fruitful outcomes” of his visit, citing his meetings with Duterte, Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Senate President Vicente Sotto III.

“We had in-depth exchange of views, reached important agreement on our bilateral relations and issues of shared interest, and witnessed the signing of a series of cooperation documents. I am truly pleased with the fruitful outcomes of this visit,” Xi wrote.

The Chinese leader also said he was touched by Duterte’s “sincerity and determination to grow our bilateral relations” as well as the Filipinos’ “friendly sentiment” toward his own countrymen.

“I am also deeply impressed by your insight into China-Philippines relations and the current international situation, which proves once again that China and the Philippines are partners in a common journey toward peace and development,” he said.

“I set great store by China-Philippines relations and value my personal friendship with you, Mr. President,” he added.

Xi also committed to work with Duterte to further strengthen Philippine-China relations.

“I will work with you to strengthen political mutual trust and deepen practical cooperation in all fields so that the tree of China-Philippines friendship will grow more luxuriant and bear more fruits,” he wrote.

“May the Republic of the Philippines enjoy prosperity and its people happiness. May China-Philippines friendship grow ever stronger. May Your Excellency enjoy good health and every success,” Xi said.

The Philippines and China on Tuesday inked a memorandum of understanding on cooperation on oil and gas development during the state visit of Xi in Manila.

The MOU was among the 29 agreements signed by both countries covering the fields of trade and investment, banking and finance, infrastructure, agriculture, education, culture, and people-to-people exchanges, among others.

During their expanded bilateral meeting at Malacañang on Tuesday, Xi invited Duterte to visit Beijing in April next year for the second edition of China’s key infrastructure forum, the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, to “discuss China-Philippines cooperation.”