November 19, 2016
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte held a bilateral meeting with President Xi Jinping of China at the Delfines Hotel in Lima, Peru.
In a statement, Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. said that China requested for the bilateral meeting with the President to follow through on several memorandum of understandings (MOUs) signed following the recent State Visit of President Roldrigo Roa Duterte to China. He added that the administration would hold vigorous talks to push for the implementation of these MOUs.
“We are very happy that China is as enthusiastic as the Philippines in making sure that the trade and economic relationships that we wanted to foster would really be fast-tracked,” he said.
Likewise, he revealed that both parties discussed the South China Sea dispute. However, no settlement had been tackled so far, but both parties expressed goodwill on this issue.
According to Secretary Yasay, as testament of this renewed friendship, China gave its voluntary assurance that Filipino fishermen will continue to have free access to their traditional fishing grounds in the West Philippine Sea. He further added that China even offered opportunities for the Filipino fishermen to develop their livelihood and engage in culturing of fishes that would help sustain their livelihood in the future.
“We also had made sure that any actions that will be taken by us would be precisely to just simply promote our interest for the area of jurisdiction, territorial ownership, and sovereignty will be set aside for the meantime until a solution is in sight in the future,” he said.
Moreover, China expressed its plans to beef up importation of agricultural goods, particularly on fruits, and has lifted the ban on Chinese tourists visiting the Philippines. He added that the country could expect a huge influx of Chinese visitors in the next couple of weeks.
Secretary Yasay also confirmed an invite of President Duterte to Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit the Philippines. The Chinese leader, in turn, invited President Duterte to participate in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Summit to be held in China next year.
* * *