Philippines-China relations

HIGHLIGHTS: Marcos state visit to China

HIGHLIGHTS: Marcos state visit to China


President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. flies to Beijing, China, from January 3 to 5 for his first state visit outside of Southeast Asia and his first foreign trip in 2023.

It will a quick visit for Marcos, who flies to China just as COVID-19 cases there are surging. The entire delegation will be under a bubble to minimize the chances of exposure to COVID-19.

Bookmark this page for updates on the three-day visit to Beijing, including analysis on what this means for the Marcos administration and the Philippines’ relationship with China.


WATCH: President Marcos departs for state visit to China
HIGHLIGHTS: Marcos state visit to China

Trade on top of Marcos’ China agenda

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A “sizable business delegation” will join the trip, said Department of Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Nathaniel Imperial.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. is expected to join meetings with Chinese businessmen during the state visit. The Palace does not typically release the list of the business delegation who join presidential trips, although the delegation is usually led by Sabin Aboitiz, who heads Marcos’ Private Sector Advisory Council.

Marcos is meeting with China’s three top government officials – Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Chairman Li Zhanshu, Premier Li Keqiang, and Xi – all on the same day. China will host a dinner banquet for Marcos, the First Lady, and his delegation, also that day.


What you need to know about Marcos’ state visit to China

What you need to know about Marcos’ state visit to China

Who is part of the delegation?

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The Department of Foreign Affairs said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s official delegation to China will include key Cabinet officials heading the foreign affairs, trade, tourism, and information and communication departments, among others. His Cabinet members are expected to sign bilateral agreements with their Chinese counterparts during the state visit.

Also joining Marcos are two frequent members of the delegation – his cousin House Speaker Martin Romualdez, who has always joined Marcos in trips abroad; and House Deputy Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who joined Marcos is his two most recent trips to Bangkok and to Brussels, Belgium. Arroyo is considered as an “old friend” of China.

First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos, as in all the President’s previous trips, will join the state visit as well.

Why Marcos’ China state visit matters

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China is competing for influence – political, economic, and cultural – in the world stage, with the Asia Pacific being among the key arenas.

The state visit is part of Marcos’ bid to jumpstart ties with China and Chinese President Xi Jinping’s relationship with the Philippines under a second Marcos president.

The two leaders first met during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Bangkok in November 2022.