President Duterte to Chinese counterpart: Let’s reaffirm value of our relations

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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Thursday met President Xi Jinping in a bilateral meeting encouraging the Chinese leader to further enhance their close ties that started three years ago.

In his opening remarks at the start of the expanded bilateral meeting held at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse here in Beijing, President Duterte told his Chinese counterpart that he is pleased to see him again and to undertake his visit to China.

“Today, let us reaffirm the value of our relationship — both personal and official — as well as the trust, respect, and pursuit of mutual benefit that we have been building over the last three years,” President Duterte told his counterpart.

“To be sure, there have been challenges. Yet we are living up to our commitment to define our ties as a Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation.”

And with channels for dialogue fully opened, and agreements signed and projects in the pipeline, he said there is a clear path of partnership and convergence for the Philippines and China.

Thursday’s meeting, he stressed, could add a stronger momentum for him and President Xi to work together.

“That is, to determine steps needed along a common road that leads to the goal of a strong and special relationship that is mutually respectful, collectively beneficial, and decidedly reciprocal,” he added.

Political-security cooperation between the two countries has been expanding, the President said, adding he appreciates China’s support for the Philippines’ armed forces defense modernization including military equipment donated by China.

In his opening remarks, President Xi acknowledged the consolidated and enhanced relationship between the Philippines and China that is making progress in the midst of changing global and regional environment.

Peace development and win-win cooperation, however, remain the overriding trends of the times, President Xi said, noting he believes those are here to stay.

The Chinese leader also expressed his readiness to work with President Duterte to make sure their relationship remains on track and progressing for the benefit of their countries and to bring positive energy in the region. PND