PH, CHINA HIGHLIGHT IMPROVED RELATIONS IN DAVAO MEETING
Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiagno Sta Romana and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua sign the exchange of letter for the feasibility study of the Davao River Bridge project in Bucana, Davao City at the signing of documents held at Marco Polo Hotel on Monday. Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr and Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi witnessed the signing. PNA photo by Lilian C Mellejor
DAVAO CITY – The governments of the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China highlighted the improving relations between these two countries during bilateral meetings of top-level officials at the Marco Polo Hotel here on Monday.
One of the highlights was the signing of three bilateral documents during the official visit here of Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi.
The three bilateral documents pertain to the grant of RMB50 million (USD7.1 million) for the supply of law enforcement-related materials equipment to the Philippines signed by Defense Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua; the grant assistance of USD1 million for the victims of typhoon Vinta in 2017 signed by Jalad and Zhao; the exchange of letter for the feasibility study of the Davao River Bridge (Bucana) project signed by Philippine Ambassador to China Jose Santiago Sta Romana and Zhao.
Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr and Minister Wang witnessed the signing of the documents.
Wang was in the city to meet with the Philippines’ economic and the ”Build, Build, Build” team led by Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez. The Chinese official also joined Locsin in an expanded bilateral meeting.
On Sunday, Wang graced the opening of China’s Consular Office.
Wang's separate bilateral meetings with Dominguez and Locsin focused on the status of the cooperation agreements and documents that will be executed during the visit of President Xi Jinping next month.
The Department of Finance (DoF) said the Philippines is expected to sign at least five agreements with China during President Xi’s visit. These cover loan and guarantee accords, economic and technical cooperation, support for the feasibility studies on the Philippines’ infrastructure projects, and promoting cooperation on key “Build, Build, Build” projects in Mindanao.
Dominguez said the agreements slated to be signed during President Xi’s visit are all “on track.”
Following the signing of the documents, Locsin, during his remarks, said the Philippines and China continuously have good and supportive relations.
He said Wang’s visit laid the groundwork for the state visit of President Xi seen to chart the direction of further cooperation. During the meetings, Dominguez said both countries took stock of what they have accomplished so far.
"We are pleased with the results of our meeting and we look forward to the continued development of our bilateral relations to the mutual benefit of our two great peoples," the Finance chief said.
Dominguez recalled that the high-level bilateral meetings in Beijing, China in August were successful after both governments expressed full commitment to the shared goals of implementing the important consensus reached between President Rodrigo Duterte and President Xi.
Dominguez appreciated the Chinese government’s assistance in translating into concrete actions the Philippines-China cooperation in the areas of infrastructure, trade and investment and people-to-people exchanges.
Wang also underscored the importance of economic cooperation in strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries, which he said has continued to improve in the first two years of the Duterte administration.
In the past two years, Wang pointed out that Chinese investments in the Philippines shot up by more than 500 percent in the first six months of the year. (PNA)