PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met in Beijing on Thursday night “to reaffirm the value” of their “personal and official” relationship amid the “challenges” that have threatened to sour ties between the two countries.
And as proof of “the trust, respect and pursuit of mutual benefit” that China and the Philippines have been building over the last three years, six agreements were signed:
1. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) on higher education cooperation between the Philippines’ Commission on Higher Education and China’s Ministry of Education;
2. An MOU on science and technology cooperation between the Philippines’ Department of Science and Technology and China’s Ministry of Science and Technology.
3. A cooperative agreement between the Bureau of Customs (BoC) of the Department of Finance (DoF) and the General Administration of Customs of China on the implementation of the intergovernmental agreement regarding cooperation and mutual assistance in customs matters
4. The “Implementation Contract on Project of China-Aid Container Inspection Equipment between the BoC and the Ministry of Commerce”;
5. “Exchange of Notes on Cooperation Procedure for the Availment and Utilization of Concessional Loan under a Renminbi-denominated Loan Facility between the DOF and China International Development Cooperation Agency”;
6. “Preferential Buyer’s Credit Loan Agreement of Project Management Consultancy of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) South Long Haul Project between the DOF and the Export-Import Bank of China”.
“Your Excellency, I am pleased to see you again and to undertake this visit upon your cordial invitation. I thank you and your government for the warm hospitality and excellent arrangements,” said Duterte in his opening remarks during the bilateral meeting at Diaoyutai State Guest House.
The President last met Xi in April when he went to China for the 2nd Belt and Road Forum.
“But given our friendship and the value of our ties, it is never too soon to resume our conversation,” Duterte said.
Duterte admitted that the relationship between the Philippines and China was not without “challenges” but despite these “we are living up to our commitment to define our ties as a Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation.”
“With channels for dialogue fully opened, agreements signed and projects underway, there is a clear path of partnership and convergence”, Duterte said.
Duterte urged China “to determine steps needed along a common road that lead to the goal of a strong and special relationship that is mutually respectful, collectively beneficial and decidedly reciprocal.”