16 May 2017

President Duterte vows to deepen ties with China, other ASEAN groups

DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte arrived on Tuesday, May 16, in the Philippines from his official visits to Cambodia and China, and working visit in Hong Kong, promised to look for ways to further strengthen collaboration with China and other Southeast Asian nations.

In his arrival speech, President Duterte underscored his mandate to build a solid foundation in infrastructure projects in the Philippines to harness domestic and foreign investments for the development of the nation.

“Our commitment to provide the enabling environment for businesses to thrive where criminality is addressed, corruption is curbed and contractual obligations are complied,” Duterte said.

He added that both the Philippines and China vowed to strengthen both nations’ friendship and to mutually benefit partnerships on a broad range of areas.

“We resolved to fully use the mechanisms we have established to dialogue openly, monitor progress and ensure implementation of projects,” Duterte said, adding that both Philippines and China are expected to have an inaugural meeting of the Bilateral Consultation Mechanism on the South China Sea later this month.

“This is one step forward in peacefully managing disputes. With the signing of four key agreements on Economic and Technical Cooperation, Human Resource Development, Energy and News Publishing, we continue to look for ways to deepen collaboration,” Duterte said, assuring that the Philippine government is looking forward to expand partnerships in Southeast Asian nations.

The Chief Executive also assured that the people’s welfare will always be at the center of the government’s agenda.

“As your President, my mandate is not only to build infrastructure but it is to build a strong and progressive nation. I will remain faithful and committed to this solemn vow,” he said.

Meanwhile, President Duterte said during the press conference that he was open to the possible addition of Mongolia and Turkey to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), pointing out both Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Mongolian Prime Minister Jargaltulgyn Erdenebat have already expressed their interest in joining the organization.###PND

 President Duterte touts bilateral relations with China in meeting with President Xi and Premier Li
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Monday, May 15 highlighted the strengthening of bilateral relations with China during his meetings with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.
Duterte, in his speech during the expanded bilateral meeting with Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People, noted that his four-day state visit to China in October last year “affirmed our mutual interest in furthering our partnership.”
“We have signed a number of agreements and resumed formal bilateral dialogue mechanisms such as the foreign ministry consultations,” he added.
Duterte thanked the Premier for the warm welcome and excellent arrangements extended to him and the Philippine delegation.
At the same time, President Duterte said the Philippines and China have seen the valued friendships become stronger since his state visit last year.
“I look forward to productive discussions today to continue this positive engagement to further deepen our relations,” he said during his expanded bilateral meeting with President Xi Jin Ping.
He then highlighted the progress and development in the resumption of the regular dialogue mechanism.
“The Foreign Ministry consultation was finally reconvened in Manila this year to strengthen ties and to make use of that mechanism,” he said.
The President noted that it is important to keep communication lines between Philippines and China open.
“I am pleased that we have established a bilateral consultation mechanism on the South China Sea,” he said.
Duterte congratulated President Xi Jin Ping on the success of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.
He was accompanied by Cabinet officials including Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
Also present were National Security Council Secretary Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, National Economic and Development Authority Director General Ernesto Pernia, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go, and Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta. Romana.
The President also attended the Leaders’ Roundtable Session I and Session II at the International Convention Center.
The President noted that the Philippines and China have started writing a new page of cooperation.
He expressed that from his state visit last year, the Philippines and China have been exploring ways to partner for mutual benefit, equality, and expanded economic growth.
The President underscored that the Philippines will be firm in its resolve to combat corruption and furthered that government wants investments to spur and sustain inclusive growth and development.
The President also cited the Build, Build, Build initiative of the administration which aims to upgrade the current infrastructure by building new high-impact projects that will connect people, create jobs, and bring down the cost of doing business.
He noted that the initiative will also attract more investments, stimulate trade and tourism, and complement other regional and international mechanisms for greater connectivity such as China’s One Belt One Road Initiative. ###PND