MANILA, Philippines – Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to visit the Philippines this November, said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Wednesday, April 11.
Xi’s visit will take place after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit from November 12 to 18 in Papua New Guinea.
He will drop by the Philippines right after attending the Leaders’ Meeting.
Xi’s visit to the Philippines comes amid improved ties between Manila and Beijing.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, during his bilateral meeting with Xi on Tuesday, April 10, thanked China for their assistance during the Marawi siege.
“We would like to thank again for the military assistance you gave us. It spelled the difference between victory and defeat, at least on a shorter term, that we are able to put down the terroristic activities that have perpetuated in Marawi,” he said.
He also congratulated the Chinese leader for his reelection.
“We are very happy about your reelection as President of the People’s Republic of China. And we are happy also that we have maintained this relation and promoted it to a higher level of friendship,” Duterte told Xi.
The meeting took place on the sidelines of the Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan province.
Duterte had invited Xi to visit the Philippines during all of his 3 trips to China – in October 2016, May 2017, and this April.
Xi was in Manila last November 2015, when the Philippines hosted the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang had also made an official visit to Manila back in November 2017 – his first time in 10 years. It was during this visit when he and Duterte discussed the involvement of a Chinese telecommunication company in the setting up of a 3rd telecommunications player in the Philippines.
Before flying to China, Duterte had said he “simply loves” Xi and that he “needs China” for his administration’s priority programs. – Rappler.com