Duterte sits down with 6 leaders in 1st int’l trip

Paterno Esmaquel II
Duterte sits down with 6 leaders in 1st int’l trip
Vietnam promises a long-term supply of rice to the Philippines, while Japan vows to uphold the rule of law in the disputed South China Sea

VIENTIANE, Laos – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte sat down with at least 6 world leaders on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Vientiane, Laos, which was his first international trip. 

Duterte held bilateral meetings with the following leaders while the ASEAN Summit was ongoing:

  • Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
  • Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc
  • Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith
  • New Zealand Prime Minister John Phillip Key
  • Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

The Philippine Office of the President provided highlights of 4 of these bilateral meetings: 

Bilateral meeting with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

  • Duterte expressed condolences over the death of former Singaporean President SR Nathan, while Lee did the same for the victims of the recent bombing in Davao City
  • Duterte stressed the need to talk with China over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) dispute
  • Lee emphasized the need to uphold the rule of law in the sea row
  • Duterte noted his promise to solve the drug crisis in the Philippines
  • Lee urged Duterte to boost cooperation within ASEAN to curb illegal drugs
  • Lee invited Duterte to Singapore

Bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

JAPANESE PM. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meet on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Vientiane, Laos, on September 6, 2016. Photo by King Rodriguez/PPD

  • Abe told Duterte he is “quite famous in Japan”
  • Abe condemned the recent bombing in Davao City, and extended condolences over the incident
  • Duterte said he appreciates Japan’s official development assistance for the Philippines
  • Duterte thanked Japan for the latest development projects under the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), defense cooperation projects such as the transfer of TC90 airplanes, and the provision of ten 40-meter and two 94-meter multi-role response vessels for the Philippine Coast Guard
  • Abe discussed proposed projects for Mindanao, as well as projects like the North- and South-Railway projects and the Urban Transport System Development for Metro Cebu 
  • Duterte and Abe vowed to uphold the rule of law in the South China Sea disputes
  • Duterte accepted Abe’s invitation to visit Japan at Duterte’s earliest convenience

Bilateral meeting with Vietnamese Prime MInister Nguyen Xuan Phuc

VIETNAMESE PM. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attends the ASEAN Summit Retreat during the second day of the ASEAN Summit in Vientiane, Laos, on September 7, 2016. Photo by Ye Aung Thu/AFP

  • Phuc congratulated Duterte on his election and stressed the importance of the strategic partnership between the Philippines and Vietnam
  • Duterte emphasized the need to boost regional security, particularly in the South China Sea, while Phuc said Vietnam supports the rule of law
  • Phuc committed to provide a long-term supply of rice to the Philippines
  • Phuc urged stronger trade and investment ties between the Philippines and Vietnam
  • Phuc said Vietnam and the Philippines should boost cooperation against illlegal drugs
  • Duterte accepted Phuc’s invitation to visit Vietnam, possibly late this year or early next year
  • Duterte said the Philippines stands with Vietnam on legitimate claims in the South China Sea
  • Phuc said the Philippines and Vietnam should support each other in international fora especially in 2017, when the Philippines chairs the ASEAN Summit while Vietnam chairs the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit

Bilateral meeting with Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith:

LAO PM. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte meets with Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith in Vientiane, Laos, on September 6, 2016. Photo by King Rodriguez/PPD

  • Sisoulith said he hopes the Philippines will have a successful chairmanship of ASEAN in 2017
  • Sisoulith congratulated Duterte on his election victory, and wished Duterte and the Philippines the best
  • Duterte thanked Sisoulith for the warm welcome in Laos
  • Sisoulith thanked the Philippine government for helping Laos
  • Duterte and Sisoulith said they want to work closely in enhancing ties in the areas of education, trade, and investments
  • Duterte said he wants to send a trade and investment delegation to Laos to look into business opportunities
  • Sisoulith assured the Philippines of Laos’ support when the Philippines chairs ASEAN in 2017
  • Duterte thanked Sisoulith for Laos’ hosting of 1,500 Filipinos there.

These bilateral meetings do not include short conversations he has had with other world leaders during the ASEAN Summit.

Duterte also had brief exchanges with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, US President Barack Obama, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the sidelines of this regional meeting. – Rappler.com

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

author

Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.