By Genalyn Kabiling
BOAO, China — President Duterte is back in China to attend a regional economic forum and hold bilateral talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The President arrived at 5:55 p.m. Monday at the small village of Boao, located in China’s southern island of Hainan, for an overnight visit. This is Duterte’s third visit to China since he assumed office in 2016.
Accompanying the President were his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio and his grandson Stingray. This is the first time the two are joining Duterte’s foreign trip.
Before flying to Hainan, the President acknowledged that he needs China “more than anybody else” at this time amid efforts to advance bilateral and economic relations. Duterte is scheduled to attend the Boao Forum for Asia and then hold a meeting with Xi in Hainan on Tuesday.
“I would say, I need China. More than anybody else at this time of our national life, I need China. I will — I will not say something which is not good,” Duterte said in his departure statement at the Davao international airport.
When he delivers an address before the BFA conference, the President said he intends to advance the country’s interests in trade expansion and investments promotion.
Duterte also plans to highlight the results of the government’s efforts “to make businesses grow through improved peace and order situation, sustained campaign to battle corruption and strengthened the policy framework for businesses to thrive.”
The President also said he looks forward to his meeting with Xi on Tuesday to discuss a wide of range of issues.
“As friends and sovereign equals, we will review the progress of our efforts and chart ways to ensure prosperity for our nation and region,” he said.
“Make no mistake: there can be no progress without stability and security of Asia’s lands and waters,” he added.
He also warned of lingering threats from transnational crime, terrorism and violent extremism, and unresolved disputes. “We will do our part as a responsible nation to address these threats into the region’s collective security,” he said.
After Hainan, the President’s next stopover is Hong Kong where he will meet with thousands of Filipino workers. “I welcome the opportunity to meet our kababayans, report to them the developments at home and listen to their concerns and their hopes,” he said.
The President’s delegation to China includes Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, Socio economic planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia, Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato Dela Peña, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, and Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque.