Foreign Affairs Undersecretary for Policy Enrique A. Manalo and newly-appointed Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui co-chaired today (23 July 2019) the 22nd Philippines-China Foreign Ministry Consultations (FMC) in Manila.
Undersecretary Manalo and Vice Minister Luo discussed functional cooperation in a wide range of cooperation areas. These include mutual collaboration in enhancing bilateral two-way trade, investment promotion, infrastructure development, science and technology, renewable energy sources development, and assistance in the fields of agriculture and fisheries.
Both sides also agreed to strengthen collaboration in defense and law enforcement, particularly in combatting transnational crimes, illegal narcotics, and violent extremism and terrorism. In the area of people-to-people exchange, both sides committed to further increasing tourist arrivals and exchanges between cultural groups, academics and researchers, as well as youth and media groups.
On regional topics, as Country Coordinator for ASEAN and China dialogue relations until 2021, the Philippines reaffirmed its commitment to work closely with ASEAN Member States and China on initiatives that would further promote peace and prosperity in the region, particularly on sustaining the steady progress of the negotiations on an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the South China Sea. The Philippines reiterated its resolve to safeguard rule of law, peace, security and stability in the South China Sea.
The visiting Chinese Vice Foreign Minister also paid a courtesy call on Secretary of Foreign Affairs Teodoro L. Locsin Jr., before the FMC.
The FMC is an annual bilateral dialogue mechanism under which the Philippines and China review and chart the course of bilateral relations, discuss developments in practical cooperation initiatives, and exchange views on regional and international issues and other matters of mutual concern.
The previous FMC was held in Changsha, Hunan Province in June 2018. China will again host the 23rd FMC at a mutually agreed date in 2020, when the Philippines and China will mark the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. DFA