Duterte says, China visit “sig­nals a turn­ing point”

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Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte said that his four­day visit to China “sig­nalled a turn­ing point” in diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween the two Asian coun­tries.

“My state visit to China sig­naled a turn­ing point in our shared his­tory and showed that both coun­tries are fully ca­pa­ble of work­ing to­gether for mu­tual ben­e­fi­cial co­op­er­a­tion even as we re­main com­mit­ted to set­tle dis­putes peace­fully, in full ad­her­ence of in­ter­na­tional law,” Pres­i­dent Duterte said in a speech in Davao City upon ar­rival from Beijing. In his meet­ings, Mr Duterte said they had “pro­duc­tive and ex­ten­sive dis­cus­sions on the full range of Chi­nese-Philip­pine re­la­tions, from trade and in­vest­ments, to in­fra­struc­ture and tourism, and to science and tech­nol­ogy and health.”

“To re­alise the vi­sion of a deeper and more mean­ing­ful en­gage­ment, we have opened for­mal lines of com­mu­ni­ca­tions be­tween our gov­ern­ment and agreed on the full re­sump­tion of the reg­u­lar bi­lat­eral con­sul­ta­tions mech­a­nisms which were put on hold for sev­eral years,” Mr Duterte said.

With se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity recog­nised as nec­es­sary con­di­tions for growth, Mr Duterte said the Philip­pines and China af­firmed the im­por­tance of main­tain­ing and pro­mot­ing peace, free­dom of nav­i­ga­tion and over­flight in the South China Sea. “We ac­knowl­edged the need to ad­dress dis­putes through peace­ful means in ac­cor­dance with in­ter­na­tional law,” he said. “We also agreed to con­tinue dis­cus­sions on con­fi­dence-build­ing mea­sures, in­clud­ing a bi­lat­eral con­sul­ta­tion mech­a­nism to dis­cuss im­me­di­ate is­sues of con­cern in South China Sea.”

To main­tain sta­bil­ity, Mr Duterte said China and the Philip­pines con­cluded an agree­ment for gen­eral co-op­er­a­tion to min­imise in­ci­dents at sea. To com­bat the men­ace of il­le­gal drugs, he said both coun­tries agreed to con­tinue across a broad range of ar­eas, in­clud­ing in ca­pac­ity-build­ing, equip­ment up­grad­ing and sup­port for re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pur­poses.

Photo: Xin­hua

Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte (left), and Chi­nese coun­ter­part Xi Jin­ping.

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