By Argyll Geducos
Despite the advice of limiting his physical activities after a motorcycle fall, President Duterte discussed with Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua the implementation of key infrastructure projects funded by China.
A Malacañang press release Thursday evening confirmed that Hu paid a courtesy call to Duterte in Malacañang but did not elaborate on how the said projects were going to be implemented.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), however, said Hu’s visit included discussions regarding trade, investment, agriculture, and tourism.
The two leaders, meanwhile, agreed that the meeting and Hu’s visit were proof of the Philippines and China’s improving relations.
“During the meeting, President Duterte expressed his gratitude to Vice Premier Hu for coming to the country, saying the visit signifies the growing friendship between the Philippines and China,” Malacañang reported.
“The Chief Executive also recalled the visit of Hu’s predecessor to Davao City, adding that his two visits to China this year validate his administration’s commitment to further improve the bilateral relations between the two countries,” it added.
Filipino officials present were Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, National Economic and Development Authority Director-General Ernesto Pernia, DFA Assistant Secretary Meynardo Montealegre, DFA Executive Director Josel Ignacio, DFA Acting Director Ira Micheline Valdez, DOF Chief of Staff Anita Linda Aquino, and Duterte’s long-time aide Senator Bong Go.
The members of the Chinese delegation present during the courtesy call were Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua, State Council Deputy Secretary-General Gao Yu, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Vice Minister Zheng Zeguang, Ministry of Commerce Vice Minister and China International Trade Deputy Representative Wang Shouwen, China International Development Cooperation Agency Vice-Chairman Deng Boqing, Department of Asian Affairs Director-General Peng Gang, Secretary to the Vice Premier Li Jialu, and Department of Asian Affairs Director Lu Qinhong.
The Philippines and China signed Thursday six deals during a high-level meeting at the Bureau of Treasury in Intramuros, Manila. Three of which were related to infrastructure which included the Marawi sports complex and central market project.
The three other documents included donations of container testing equipment for the Bureau of Customs (BOC), donation of radio equipment to the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), and a document on the protocol of phytosanitary requirements for the export of agricultural products from the Philippines to China.