BEIJING, China (2nd UPDATE) – The Philippines and China signed 13 documents on cooperation in areas ranging from maritime security to agriculture.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping witnessed the signing of the documents after an expanded bilateral meeting on Thursday, October 20. Cabinet secretaries and ministers signed the documents.
The documents were signed in the middle of Duterte’s 4-day state visit to China.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that stood out was on the “establishment of a joint coast guard committee on maritime cooperation.”
The Philippines and China are engaged in a maritime dispute over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). It is not yet clear if the cooperation of the country’s coast guards involve joint patrols in the disputed sea.
Media is yet to get a copy of all the documents.
The complete list of documents signed is below:
After the signing, Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhien Min gave a statement to media saying Duterte’s state visit was “highly successful” and “signalled a full recovery of biletaral relations” between China and the Philippines.
Support for drug war, infra development
Xi and Duterte, in their bilateral talks, agreed to "fully recover," among others, "diplomatic consultation" and "defense security consultation," said Liu.
Because of the renewed ties, various bilateral working mechanisms like the "joint committee on commerce and trade, on agriculture, on science and technology" will be revived.
China also welcomed increased Philippine participation in its Belt and Road Initiative, a "trade and infrastructure network" seen as the center of China's "economic diplomacy."
"China welcomes and supports Philippines participation in the building of the Maritime Silk Road," said Liu.
The Asian giant will "provide financing support" to the Philippines for infrastructure projects.
"China will also take an active part in the infrastructure development in the Philippines and provide financing support to the Philippines in this aspect," said Liu.
China reiterated its support for "the Philippines' efforts in drug trafficking" and said it would pursue cooperation in law enforcement with the Philippines. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.