Duterte speaks at Communist Party of China summit for political parties

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was one of the world leaders who attended and gave a speech at the Communist Party of China and World Political Parties Summit, a virtual gathering commemorating the 100th year anniversary of China's ruling party.

In his speech on Tuesday, July 6, Duterte praised CPC's accomplishments and its success in turning China into a world power.

Like other country leaders present, he spoke not only as Philippine Chief Executive but as chairman of his national political party, PDP-Laban.

"Indeed a sleeping dragon no more, China has realized its dream of progress and prosperity for its people. With this comes great power and equally immense responsibility," said Duterte.

Further trumpeting China's rise on the world stage, Duterte predicted how Beijing would continue to "play an important role in global affairs for decades to come."

Duterte thanked China for its help in the Philippines' pandemic response and called the Asian power a friend.

"We count on China as a friend and partner for peace and development. We trust in the collective wisdom of the great Chinese nation, that China will use its newfound strength in defense of what is good and just for humanity," said the Philippine leader.

Speaking as a political party leader, Duterte expressed hope that the ties between CPC and PDP-Laban would further improve through sustained "constructive dialogue and peaceful engagement."

Leaders were invited by CPC Central Committee General Secretary and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who also delivered the event's keynote speech. Over 500 political party leaders from more than 160 countries and over 10,000 party representatives were expected to join the virtual summit, according to Chinese state-run Xinhua News Agency.

With the theme "For the People's Wellbeing: The Responsibility of Political Parties," the gathering was meant to tackle how political parties could work together to respond to global challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic and improving quality of life for all.

But even as China's Sinovac vaccines have been the Philippines' steadiest supply of anti-COVID-19 jabs, ties between the two countries have been somewhat strained by recent swarming by Chinese ships in the West Philippine Sea.

The Philippines has filed a series of diplomatic protests while Duterte's defense and foreign secretaries have issued angry remarks directed at the Chinese. Duterte has sought to tone down the rhetoric coming from his alter egos. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

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