DOCUMENT: Philippines, China deal on Belt and Road Initiative

Pia Ranada
DOCUMENT: Philippines, China deal on Belt and Road Initiative

Rene B. Lumawag

The agreement states that Belt and Road Initiative projects must have the 'strictest respect for national laws' and that there should be 'complete transparency'

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang made public on Monday, November 26, the agreement between the Philippines and China to work together under China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Entitled “Memorandum of Understanding Between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on Cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative,” the deal formalized the country’s intention to participate in China’s revival of the ancient Silk Road trade route.

The BRI involves China helping countries build infrastructure and facilities that would link Asian and European markets, thereby boosting trade and investments among these countries.

In 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte attended the Belt and Road Forum upon Xi’s invitation. He is set to attend a second forum in 2019. (READ: Duterte in Belt and Road Forum affirms PH back in China’s embrace)

Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping witnessed the exchange of the document on November 20, the first day of the latter’s state visit.

Read the document below:

‘Respect for laws, full transparency’

The two governments, referred to as “Participants,” agreed to pursue projects under the BRI “with the strictest respect for national laws, rules, regulations, and policies.”

It also states that the two countries will be “guided by” principles of “mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty” and “complete transparency in their common endeavors to expand mutually beneficial cooperation.”

Areas of cooperation

In the MOU, the Philippines and China agree to hold “regular dialogue” on “key macroeconomic policies and development strategies.”

The two will work side by side on sectors like infrastructure, transportation, telecommunications, energy, and “other areas of mutual interest.”

They also agree to expand the use of local currencies in two-way trade and investment. A “cooperation mechanism” is established to deal with financial risk and crisis.

There is to be cooperation between the countries’ credit investigation regulators and interbank institutional investors.

The two countries state that there is to be investment and financial support for projects and programs under the BRI. – 

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at