Duterte to visit drug rehab center in Beijing

Paterno Esmaquel II
Duterte to visit drug rehab center in Beijing
President Rodrigo Duterte will also visit a traffic control center in Beijing, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua says

MANILA, Philippines – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will visit a drug rehabilitation center in China next week, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua said.

Zhao on Friday, October 14, said Duterte will also visit a traffic control center in Beijing.

Asked if Duterte has requested to visit specific places such as the Great Wall of China, Zhao said: “The President has never mentioned the Great Wall. He asked about whether there is a rehabilitation center in Beijing. And he also asked about whether we have a center of traffic control in Beijing.”

“These are the places he will definitely go to, but whether he will go to the Great Wall or not, I am not sure,” the Chinese ambassador said.

Duterte is making a state visit to China from October 18 to 21.

Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella on Saturday, October 15, also said Duterte is likely to visit a rehabilitation center in China.

Abella said Duterte is also scheduled to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, and National People’s Congress Chairman Zhang Dejiang. 

Duterte’s trip to China comes as both Manila and Beijing try to focus on issues that “unite” instead of those that “divide.”

China has pledged to help the Philippines in its war on drugs, with a second Chinese businessman donating a huge rehabilitation center to the Philippines.

China is also lifting its travel warning against the Philippines during Duterte’s state visit. 

Zhao said China, however, will avoid discussing the “divisive” dispute over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) as Duterte visits Beijing. – Rappler.com

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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.