Fourteen deals signed between China, Philippines herald new era for bilateral ties
Fourteen cooperation deals were signed by China and the Philippines on November 15, 2017, as leaders of the two countries pledged to strengthen "positive momentum" in bilateral relations.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte meet the press in Manila, the Philippines, on November 15, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua]
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte witnessed the signing of the 14 cooperation agreements on infrastructure financing, bridge construction, bond issuance, drug rehabilitation, climate change, intellectual property protection and industrial capacity cooperation.
Li told the press after meeting with Duterte that China-Philippines relations have improved and both sides hope to "work together to make up for the time that we might have lost."
Li was the first Chinese premier to pay an official visit to the Philippines in a decade. He said Duterte's visit to China in October last year was an "icebreaker" and his visit aims to move forward the traditional friendship.
The leaders also announced the start of work on two river bridges in Manila and two drug rehabilitation centers in Mindanao.
Looking forward, Li said China commends the Philippines' "AmBisyon Natin 2040" development strategy and is happy to be involved in the Philippines' large-scale infrastructure programs.
Li pledged 150 million yuan (22.7 million U.S. dollars) in grants from the Chinese government to assist the reconstruction of war-torn Marawi in the southern Philippines.
Duterte thanked China for helping the Philippines in the rebuilding of Marawi and the assistance given to boost the Philippines' "Build, Build, Build" infrastructure development initiative.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets with Philippine House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez in in Manila, the Philippines, on Wednesday, November 15, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua]
Premier Li also met with Philippine House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Wednesday. Li said that the long history of friendly exchange enjoyed by China and the Philippines was created by the two peoples together, and has laid the foundation for the rapid turnaround in bilateral ties despite their ups and downs.
Alvarez said that Li's visit bears great significance to the development of bilateral relations and will further strengthen the two peoples' confidence in the prospect of bilateral ties.
He thanked China for its support of the Philippines as host of the East Asian leaders' meetings, saying he is pleased to see enhanced cooperation between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) meets with Aquilino Pimentel, Senate president of the Philippines, in Manila, the Philippines, on Wednesday, November 15, 2017. [Photo: Xinhua]
Meanwhile, Li also met with Aquilino Pimentel, Senate president of the Philippines. The premier said that the exchanges between the two countries have been long-standing and well-established.
He encouraged people from all walks of life in both China and the Philippines to participate in the building of the bilateral relations to create conditions for enhanced mutual trust, deepened cooperation, and consolidation of public support for the long-term friendship.
For his part, Pimentel welcomed Li to the Philippines and lauded China's attention to the bilateral ties.
He expressed thanks to China for providing support for economic and social development and livelihood improvement in the Philippines, stressing that the country stands ready to strengthen the bilateral exchanges between legislative organs and political parties and to promote bilateral ties to a new high.