Philippine president calls for closer cooperation with China on energy, infrastructure
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday expressed willingness to make joint efforts with China to strengthen cooperation in the fields of energy and infrastructure.
"Now the shortage of energy and infrastructure hampers the Philippine economy, so the Philippines is willing to enhance cooperation with China in such areas," Duterte said in his meeting with visiting Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in the southern Philippine city of Davao.
The Philippine government also hopes China will provide support and help to the development of the Mindanao region, Duterte added.
During the meeting at the Presidential Guest House, Duterte expressed his satisfaction with the development of bilateral ties between the two countries.
The tremendous development achievements of China will bring important opportunities to the whole world, he said. The Philippines fully supports the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and is willing to carry out cooperation with China under the initiative, he added.
Duterte, who visited China and attended the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in 2017, said he will consider attending the forum again in 2019. Duterte said as the country coordinator for ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations, the Philippines will make positive contributions to maintaining the peace and stability in the South China Sea and promoting cooperation between China and ASEAN countries.
For his part, Wang recalled that the bilateral relations between China and the Philippines have fully improved and developed under the guidance of the leaders of the two countries.
China will take the BRI as an opportunity to strengthen mutual cooperation with the Philippines, to achieve common development, Wang said.
"China and the Philippines have been good neighbors since ancient times and are dear to each other like members of one family. It will be proved that China is the most lasting, reliable and trustworthy partner of the Philippines during its process of national development," Wang said.
He also called for the two countries to work together with other countries in the world to defend multilateralism and international order to protect the interests of developing countries and new economies.
In a meeting between the Philippine economic management team led by Finance Secretary Dominguez and Wang, they discussed updates on the status of the economic cooperation agreement.
Wang said the development of China-Philippine relations has provided favorable political guarantees for economic and trade cooperation. The bilateral economic cooperation can expand to new areas, including projects of the BRI, to benefit the two countries and their people.
The Philippines is welcome to participate in the China International Import Expo (CIIE) which is slated to be held from November 5 to 10 in Shanghai, and is willing to create better conditions to expand the Philippine exports to China, Wang noted.
Dominguez said there is more cooperation between China's BRI and the Philippines' "Build, Build, Build" infrastructure program. He hoped the meeting will help to continue expanding the mutually beneficial economic, trade and investment collaboration between the two countries.
The Philippines fully supports the initiative, and will actively participate in the CIIE, he noted.