President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. reported a productive state visit to China, where he underscored his “in-depth and frank” discussions with Chinese President Xi Jinping in a bid to resolve issues on the West Philippine Sea.
“President Xi and I also had an in-depth and frank discussion on the West Philippine Sea issue. We took note of our growing maturity of this bilateral relationship – this bilateral relationship which now allows both sides to manage differences on the West Philippine Sea, so as to not allow it to hinder the rest of our fruitful engagements and multi-faceted cooperation,” Marcos said in his arrival statement delivered at the Villamor Air Base.
In his bilateral meeting with President Xi, the chief executive said they affirmed that maritime issues do not comprise the entirety of Philippine-Chinese relations, but acknowledged as well that they remain a significant concern and priority for the Philippines and for the region.
The President also welcomed the signing of an agreement to establish direct communication lines to avoid miscommunication over issues in the West Philippine Sea.
President Marcos said he recognizes how China’s development has positively impacted the Philippines’ relationship with our Chinese friends, especially considering the ties between both countries as close neighbors and important bilateral partners.
“We renewed our commitment to strengthen bilateral cooperation as close neighbors in the Asia Pacific Region,” Marcos said.
The state visit, according to the President, “offered us an opportunity to exchange views on important issues that affect regional and global peace, stability, and development.”
In his three-day state visit, the President and selected members of his Cabinet also attended three roundtable meetings on agriculture, renewable energy and strategic manufacturing.
President Marcos reported an “overwhelming response” from the Chinese business community on the investment and trade opportunities in our economy.
The various Chinese companies participating in these meetings presented their investment plans in the Philippines, totaling USD 22.8 billion as well as trade purchase intentions amounting to almost USD 2.1 billion.
When realized, these investments will support the country’s economic recovery efforts and create more jobs for Filipinos.
Manila and Beijing also witnessed the signing of 14 bilateral agreements that will broaden and deepen ties in many vital areas.
The deals covered various sectors from agriculture, education, energy, environment, infrastructure, science and technology, trade, to people-to-people exchanges.
President Marcos said he and Xi also “ventured into new areas of cooperation, such as e-commerce, digital cooperation.”
“These agreements reflect our common priorities as well as practical ways of pursuing bilateral cooperation in an ever-increasing range of areas,” the President said. #