Malacañan Palace, Manila
November 20, 2018

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, together with President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China, expressed enthusiasm in the deepening Philippine-China relations — calling the event a historic milestone for bilateral relations — in their Joint Press Statements held at the Reception Hall in Malacañan Palace, Manila.

“In the past two years, we have worked hard to lay the cornerstones for the continued advancement of our beneficial cooperation in a wide range of areas,” President Duterte said, citing several cooperation on various areas of development and investment promotions.
Among those mentioned included China’s participation in the government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ infrastructure program, cooperation on the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Marawi; mutual cooperation on defense, security, maritime cooperation, law enforcement, transnational crimes, and combatting trafficking of illegal drugs; and enhancing two-way tourism, agriculture, education, science and technology, and cultural exchanges.

In response, President Xi Jinping expressed commitment to foster China-Philippine relations through shared mutual partnerships that would also support the latter to take on bigger roles in regional and international affairs.

“The two sides will seek greater complementary between China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the Philippines’ development strategy to move forward cooperation around the three pillars of security, development, and people-to-people ties, and then make our cooperation more comprehensive and balanced,” he said.

On maritime cooperation, the Chinese President said they would continue to manage contentious issues and promote maritime cooperation through friendly consultations.

“We will work alongside other ASEAN countries towards the conclusion of the COC (Code of Conduct) consultations based on consensus within three years and contribute our share to peace, stability, and the welfare in this region,” President Xi Jinping said.

In addition, the Chinese President pledged to import more Philippine goods such as coconuts and frozen fruits, and would grant 50 government scholarships for Philippine students on an annual basis beginning next year until 2021. Likewise, Filipino English teachers would also be given an opportunity to work in China. He also pledged to donate 10,000 tons of rice for the victims of Typhoon Ompong.

President Xi also invited President Duterte to attend next year’s Belt and Road Initiative in China. His state visit to the country is the first in 13 years after the 2005 visit of former President Hu Jintao.

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