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CHINA LOOKS FORWARD TO 7TH XI-DUTERTE MEETING IN 2019



MANILA -- China is looking forward to another meeting between President Rodrigo R. Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping after the latter invited the Filipino leader to attend a forum in Beijing this year.

According to Chinese Ambassador to Manila Zhao Jianhua, Xi extended invitation to Duterte in the April 2019 Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China.

"China has sincerely invited President Rodrigo Duterte to attend the aforesaid forum. We are looking forward to the 7th meeting between the leaders of our two countries," he said during a speech in Makati City.

Should the Filipino leader attend the forum and meet Xi, Zhao expressed confidence this will chart "a more magnificent blueprint" for the China-Philippines bilateral relations.

Last November, Xi conducted a historic state visit to the Philippines, a first of its kind in the past decade, "elevating" Beijing-Manila ties into a "comprehensive strategic cooperation".

During their meeting in Manila, the two leaders sought ways to enhance trade and two-way investments promotion, and tackled infrastructure development in the Philippines, particularly the country's “Build, Build, Build” program.

At least 29 agreements were signed during Xi's visit, covering several areas of cooperation in various fields.

Among these is the memorandum of understanding on Cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative – an ambitious effort initiated by China to bolster connectivity in Asia, Africa, and Europe through unimpeded trade, financial integration, and infrastructure connectivity seeking to establish the modern Silk Road in the region. (PNA)

Photo by Rolex Dela Pena/EPA/Shutterstock/The New York Times

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