Duterte on a mission in China

Published April 9, 2018, 12:10 AM

by Mario Casayuran and Vanne Elaine Terrazola

By Genalyn Kabiling

China — President Duterte is expected to make a pitch for inclusive growth or prosperity felt by all when he participates in a regional economic forum in China this Tuesday.

ISAFP COMMAND CONFERENCE – President Duterte receives a token from Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) chief Brig. Gen. Macairog Alberto, and Eastern Mindanao Command commander Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal during ISAFP’s 1st Quarter 2018 command conference in Davao City Saturday. (Malacañang Photo)
ISAFP COMMAND CONFERENCE – President Duterte receives a token from Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) chief Brig. Gen. Macairog Alberto, and Eastern Mindanao Command commander Lt. Gen. Benjamin Madrigal during ISAFP’s 1st Quarter 2018 command conference in Davao City Saturday. (Malacañang Photo)

The President will travel to Hainan, China this afternoon to attend the Boao Forum for Asia, an international dialogue of government and business leaders aimed at tackling cooperation, innovations, and solutions towards “a more open and prosperous Asia.”

A highly anticipated bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping is also included in President Duterte’s itinerary on the sidelines of the Boao Forum, also known as the Summer Davos.

“The real challenge for Asia is to eliminate poverty. Zero poverty is the goal of the President. No one is left behind,” Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Manuel Teehankee said in a recent news conference ahead of the President’s third visit to China.

“So I think this is a common theme of the President whether it is in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation), the World Economic Forum or the BFA, which is inclusive growth for all and that is the challenge and the great dream that the Philippines has for Asia and for itself,” he added.

Teehankee said the President considers the BFA goals as “parallel and complementary to his own vision of a developed Philippines and a more prosperous Filipino nation as well as a more prosperous ASEAN economic region.

He said the President looks forward to engaging his counterparts to create positive outcomes that will benefit the Filipino people in particular, and the Asia Pacific region in general.

Based on the official schedule, the President and his delegation are scheduled to arrive at the Qionghai Boao Airport on Monday afternoon for a two-day visit.

On Tuesday, the President will attend the BFA opening plenary and deliver his remarks at the forum that carries the theme “An Open and Innovative Asia for a World of Greater Prosperity.”

“Addressing the BFA Plenary is a singular privilege for the Philippines and a privilege for acknowledging the President’s role and leadership in Asia and the ASEAN Region,” Teehankee said.

Afterwards, President Duterte will attend the welcome lunch to be hosted by President Xi at the BFA International Convention Center. A signing ceremony of some business agreements will also be witnessed by the President at the Golden Coast Main Hotel.

The Chief Executive will then hold talks with President Xi on Tuesday in a bid to further enhance bilateral ties, including cooperation in the campaign against terrorism and illegal drug trade. The territorial dispute in the South China and joint oil exploration may also be tackled by the two leaders.

“The two leaders will also discuss ways to collaborate on jointly addressing pressing issues as well as common threats such as violent extremism and terrorism and cross-border traffic of illegal narcotics,” Teehankee said.

The Boao Forum Asia is considered as China’s equivalent to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. It was first conceptualized in 1998 by then President Fidel V. Ramos, Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke, and Japanese Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa.

It was launched in February, 2001 with an initial number of 26 participating countries. The forum now has 29 member nations.

From Hainan, the President will travel to Hong Kong for a working visit.

He has no public engagement for Wednesday. His itinerary showed a single public activity – a meeting with the Filipino community on Thursday night at the Kai Tak Cruise Terminal.

“He is eager to see and hear firsthand the concerns and the situation of our kababayans in Hong Kong,” Teehankee said.

President Duterte is expected to return home on April 12.

 
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