President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday renewed their commitment to further boost the relations between the Philippines and China to ensure the two nations’ recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The two leaders made the vow during their “warm, open, and productive” phone call that lasted 45 minutes, the Office of the President (OP) said in a statement issued late Friday night.
“President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China reaffirmed once again the importance of the enduring friendship and Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation between the Philippines and China, in a telesummit held on 27 August 2021,” the OP said.
Duterte, the Palace said, told Xi about the Philippines’ resolve to strengthen its bilateral ties with China, particularly in trade and investment and infrastructure development.
He also emphasized the need for enhanced economic cooperation to hasten the two countries’ post-pandemic recovery, it said.
“Asia’s dynamic future depends on how hard we all work together, how we respect each other, and how we ensure that we as nations are mindful not just of our rights but of our responsibilities,” Duterte, as quoted by the OP, told Xi.
Malacañang said the President also expressed hope for increased Chinese investments in key sectors, such as agriculture, fisheries, information and communications technology, and science and technology.
It added that Duterte told Xi that he is grateful to China for assisting the Philippines in its Covid-19 response, and is optimistic about the two nations’ greater collaboration in the public health sector, particularly in vaccine development and production.
Duterte, the OP said, likewise expressed appreciation for China’s support for his administration’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program, noting the recent completion of the Beijing-funded Estrella-Pantaleon Bridge.
“President Duterte noted that the Philippines looks forward to the early completion of ongoing infrastructure projects and China’s continued support for landmark projects, including the flood control projects in Mindanao, Pasig Marikina River bridges, Samal Island-Davao City Connector Project, and Subic-Clark Railway Project,” it said.
The Palace said Duterte also told Xi that improving bilateral processes would facilitate the immediate implementation of bilateral projects between the Philippines and China.
“Presidents Duterte and Xi likewise discussed regional and global developments, noting the possible implications on the Asia-Pacific,” it said.