PH, China sign 29 landmark deals

Published November 20, 2018, 7:29 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Genalyn Kabiling

The Philippines and China have inked 29 landmark cooperation agreements, including an accord on oil and gas exploration, amid the commitment to elevate their relations to a “comprehensive and strategic partnership.”

A MEETING OF ALLIES – Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Duterte in Malacañang after issuing their joint press statement Tuesday. It is the Chinese leader’s first state visit to the Philippines. (Jansen Romero/ MANILA BULLETIN)
A MEETING OF ALLIES – Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Duterte in Malacañang after issuing their joint press statement Tuesday. It is the Chinese leader’s first state visit to the Philippines. (Jansen Romero/ MANILA BULLETIN)

The bilateral pacts covering cooperation on trade and investment, infrastructure development, agriculture, education, among others were sealed following the bilateral meeting between President Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Malacañang.

Xi is on a two-day state visit to the Philippines, which Duterte described as “historic milestone” for the friendly relations between the two countries. It marked the first state visit of a Chinese President in 13 years.

“President Xi and I discussed how we can further enhance functional cooperation in key work areas, such as bilateral trade and two-way investments promotion,” Duterte said during a joint press statement with Xi at the Palace.

“We tackled infrastructure development, particularly China’s participation in projects under our Build, Build, Build program, which aims to bring about a Golden Age of Infrastructure in our country,” he said.

The historic agreements included the much-anticipated “memorandum of understanding on cooperation on oil and gas development” between the Philippines and China. The exchange of documents was done by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi during the Palace ceremony witnessed by Duterte and Xi.

The government had earlier announced it was considering oil and gas exploration deal with China in the West Philippine Sea as part of efforts to lessen the country’s dependence on expensive imported oil.

Among the bilateral accords signed are the memorandum of understanding on cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative, infrastructure cooperation program, feasibility study for Davao City Expressway project, feasibility study for Panay-Guimaras-Negros islands bridges project, and project management consultancy of the Philippine National Railways South Long Haul Project – North-South Railway Project.

Also inked were loan agreement on New Centennial Water Source Kaliwan Dam Project, commercial contract of Safe Philippines Project Phase 1, MOU on basic education cooperation, MOU on information and communication technology cooperation, and cooperation on industrial parks development, and protocol for phytosanitary requirement for export of fresh young coconuts and frozen fruits, and MOU on panda bonds issuance.

In his “friendly, in-depth, and productive” meeting with Duterte, Xi said they have charted the “future course” of China-Philippine relations and crafted an “ambitious blueprint” for development.

“The President and I both agreed to elevate our relationship into one of comprehensive, strategic cooperation. This vision charts a clear course for China-Philippine relations and sends a strong message to the world that our two countries are partners in seeking common development,” the Chinese leader said.

“Both countries must make determined effort to make good neighborly and cooperative relations, and write a new chapter in China-Philippine ties,” he said.

He said both sides agreed that there was “no one size fits all” development models doing that every country has the right to choose its own path. “As our two countries forge ahead as win-win partners, China will continue to do its modest best to help and support the Philippines,” he said.

Duterte said they also tackled cooperation on the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Marawi, and the Philippines’ participation in China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

He said they discussed mutual concerns on defense, security, maritime cooperation, law enforcement, transnational crime as well as “strengthening our partnership in combatting the trafficking of illegal drugs.”

The two leaders also agreed to enhance cooperation on two-way tourism, agriculture, education, science and technology, and cultural exchanges.

“In the past two years, we have worked hard to lay the cornerstones for the continued advancement of our beneficial cooperation in a wide range of areas. A lot of work remains, but President Xi’s visit gives us new impetus to our mutual efforts to enhance collaboration in ensuring the well-being of our peoples and contributing to peace and stability in the region,” Duterte said.

“I am pleased with the current positive momentum of the Philippines-China relations. There is a deepening trust and confidence [between] our Governments, and we have greatly increased dialogue and interaction on many levels,” he added.

Duterte also thanked Xi for his “valuable support” for the Philippines’ many initiatives in regional and international spheres, particularly during our Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) chairmanship last year and the Philippines’ current Country Coordinatorship of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations leading to a sustainable Code of Conduct.

He also expressed gratitude to China for its generous assistance during calamities, such as the recent typhoon “Ompong.”

“With mutual respect, sincerity, and adherence to sovereign equality, I will continue to work closely with President Xi to deepen the relationship between our great countries so we may together secure a peaceful and prosperous future for both our peoples and for the entire region,” Duterte said.

After the bilateral meeting, the President hosted a state dinner for Xi and his delegation at the Palace.

The following agreements were signed during Xi’s visit:

  1. Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of the Philippines and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on Cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative
  2. Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation on Oil and Gas Development between the Philippines and China
  3. Memorandum of Understanding between the Foreign Service Institute of the Republic of the Philippines and the China Foreign Affairs University of the People’s Republic of China
  4. Executive Program of the Cultural Agreement between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China for 2019-2023
  5. Memorandum of Understanding on Basic Education Cooperation between the Department of Education of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China
  6. Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Information and Communications Technology of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People’s Republic of China
  7. Memorandum of Understanding between the Cooperative Development Authority of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of the People’s Republic of China on strengthening the building of agricultural cooperatives
  8. Infrastructure Cooperation Program between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the People’s Republic of China
  9. Program for Cooperation on Industrial Parks Development between the Republic of the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China
  10. Handover Certificate of Emergency Humanitarian Cash Assistance between the Government of the Philippines and the Government of the People’s Republic of China
  11. Memorandum of Understanding on Jointly Promoting the Cooperation in Key Infrastructure Projects in Davao Region between the Department of Finance of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Ministry of Commerce of the Government of the People’s Republic of China
  12. Implementation Agreement of the Feasibility Study for Davao City Expressway Project
  13. Implementation Agreement of the Feasibility Study for Panay-Guimaras-Negros Island Bridges Project
  14. Memorandum of Understanding on Renminbi Clearing Arrangement
  15. Protocol of Phytosanitary Requirements for Export of Fresh Young Coconuts from the Philippines to China between the Department of Agriculture of the Republic of the Philippines and the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China
  16. Protocol of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Requirements for Export of Frozen Fruits from the Philippines to China between Department of Agriculture of the Republic of the Philippines and the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China
  17. Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Government of the People’s Republic of China
  18. Memorandum of Understanding on Supporting Feasibility Study of Major Projects between the Department of Finance of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and China International Development Cooperation Agency of the Government of the People’s Republic of China
  19. Exchange of Letters on Project of Container Inspection Equipment
  20. Exchange of Letters on Project of Davao River Bridge Project
  21. Exchange of Letters on China Aid Bridge and Road Project in Marawi
  22. Memorandum of Understanding on Panda Bonds Issuance
  23. Loan Agreement on New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project
  24. Commercial Contract of Safe Philippines Project Phase I
  25. Commercial Contract of the New Centennial Water Source-Kaliwa Dam Project
  26. Framework Agreement for Industrial Park between Bases Conversion and Development Authority and Gezhouba
  27. Contract for the Project Management Consultancy of the Philippine National Railways South Long Haul Project (North-South Railway Project)
  28. Letter of No Objection to the Organization of the Renminbi-Philippine Peso Foreign Exchange Trading Market
  29. Certificate of Authority to Operate for the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited-Manila Branch

 
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