MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines on Friday, October 21, welcomed China's proposal to open a consulate in Davao, the turf of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, as the Asian giant vows more Chinese tourists in the Southeast Asian country.
"The Philippines welcomes China's proposal to open a Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Davao in due course," the Philippines and China said in a joint statement.
"Proper arrangements for the diplomatic premises in both countries will be made in the spirit of the 1975 Joint Communiqué, on the basis of international practice and reciprocity, with priority for the most immediate concerns," the two countries said.
The Philippines and China did not specify in their statement if the consulate will be opened in Davao City in particular, or elsewhere in the Davao Region. (READ: DOCUMENT: PH-China joint statement during Duterte state visit)
Duterte was the mayor of Davao City for two decades.
China travel warning lifted
The two countries issued this statement as Duterte caps a 4-day state visit to China.
During this trip, China also lifted its travel advisory cautioning its nationals against traveling to the Philippines.
Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua earlier said China is eyeing a million Chinese tourists to the Philippines by 2017.
Duterte's trip to Beijing, in the words of Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin, "signifies the fully recovery" of Philippine-China ties.
Duterte is seeking closer ties with China despite a dispute between Manila and Beijing over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).
Zhao is one of the envoys Duterte has most frequently met since winning the presidency. Duterte and Zhao have met at least 4 times in different occasions, aside from the President's trip to Beijing. – Rappler.com
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 email@example.com.