China’s Wang Yi inaugurates Chinese consulate in Davao

Paterno Esmaquel II
China’s Wang Yi inaugurates Chinese consulate in Davao
The opening of a Chinese consulate in Davao 'is an auspicious sign of the city's promise,' says Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – No less than China’s highest-ranking diplomat, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, inaugurated the new Chinese consulate in Davao City on Sunday, October 28.

Wang arrived in Davao City at 2:45 pm on Sunday, for a two-day trip that includes meetings with Filipino officials. (LIVE: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visits Davao City)

It is rare for another country’s top diplomat to skip Manila during an official trip, and hold bulk of his or her activities in another city such as Davao.

It is rarer, even, for a top diplomat to lead the opening of a consulate in the Philippines.

But on Sunday, Wang did just that – in the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte. (READ: Wang Yi: China’s foreign minister who once snubbed PH trips)

Gracing the event, along with Wang, was newly appointed Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr, who delivered a message.

“Being the biggest Philippine city in terms of land area, and the third largest in terms of population, the inauguration of the Chinese Consulate General here in Davao is an auspicious sign of the city’s promise and the bright prospects for our engagement with China,” Locsin said.

“May this be a continued testament to an immemorial friendship, to a robust and interconnected relationship, and to sustained interactions between the Philippines and China as we promote our common goals to the mutual benefit of both our great nations,” he added.

Most of Wang’s events will happen on Monday, October 29, at Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City.

Wang will meet with Locsin and Duterte’s economic managers, sign bilateral documents, and hold a press conference at Marco Polo Hotel.

Locsin and Wang “will also witness the signing of bilateral agreements covering infrastructure, law enforcement, and humanitarian assistance,” said the Department of Foreign Affairs in a statement on Saturday, October 27. – 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.