Malacañan Palace Grounds
November 15, 2017

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte welcomed Premier Li Keqiang of China at the Malacañan Palace grounds during the Chinese leader’s official visit to the country.

A 19-gun salute honored the visit of Premier Li, afterwhich President Duterte invited the Premier to inspect the honor guards. The Chinese Premier was then welcomed in the Palace where he signed the guestbook and met with President Duterte in an expanded bilateral meeting.

During the meeting, President Duterte expressed his appreciation to China for its immediate help in the recent armed conflict in Marawi, saying that the rifle from China was the one who killed the terrorist leader Hapilon. Premier Li then talked about providing post-war assistance to Marawi City and vowed to support each other in fighting all forms of terrorism.

In the two leader’s joint press statement, President Duterte said that he is looking forward to continue the Philippines’ positive bilateral relations with China through functional cooperation in key areas, such as trade, agriculture, education, science and technology, and people-to-people exchanges.

“I am pleased to note the positive turnaround and vigorous momentum of Philippines-China relations. Mutual trust and confidence-building have led to increased interaction on many levels of our two governments. Practical cooperation in many areas is bringing in an early harvest of tangible benefits. Altogether, these concerted efforts of the Philippines and China have secured peace, stability, and development in the region,” the President said.

Likewise, Premier Li spoke about how China and the Philippines are related and how to improve the long-standing friendship between the two countries.

“Both China and the Philippines are developing countries. The governments of both countries face the daunting task of growing the economies and improving people’s lives,” Premier Li said.

The Chinese leader also underscored the success of this relationship with the trade cooperation booming for the two Asian countries.

“After the first 10 months of this year, China has become the Philippines’ top trading partner. And China has imported some 13,000 batches of tropical fruits from the Philippines and 14 new flights have been opened between the two countries. We are expecting that the Chinese tourists will make some one million trips to the Philippines by the end of this year. The practical cooperation between us in such areas as infrastructure, agriculture and poverty alleviation has also been going strong,” Premier Li said.

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