Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit the Philippines next week to discuss infrastructure projects, as well as joint oil and gas exploration in the West Philippine Sea, the Department of Foreign Affairs said Wednesday.
Wang, who is also a Chinese state councilor, will visit the country on the invitation of Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano.
The two officials will discuss the framework on the possible projects which is expected to conform to domestic rules and regulations and international laws as both sides had stated in the past.
In a statement, the DFA said Wang will visit the country on Sept. 16 to 18 which is aimed at further building on the increasingly strong foundation of friendship between the Philippines and China.
“With continued dialogue and consultation anchored on mutual trust and respect, and the resolute pursuit of mutually beneficial practical cooperation, Philippines and China will continue to work together in managing differences and addressing issues pertaining to the West Philippine Sea or South China Sea,” the DFA statement said.
Wang visited the Philippines in July 2017, where both the Chinese official and Cayetano signed a memorandum of understanding on strengthening cooperation.
In that meeting, Wang said that the China-Philippines continuing relations have ‘‘dispelled the dark clouds and embraced splendid and bright prospects again under the joint efforts of both sides’’ since President Rodrigo Duterte has assumed office, with bilateral political mutual trust being constantly enhanced and cooperation in various fields being advanced in an orderly manner.
The Philippines is a close neighbor of China separated by only a narrow strip of water and a regional major country with significant influence.
Wang said that China is willing to see the Philippines achieve national stability and economic development and play a more important role in regional affairs.
“It is hoped that both sides will earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, continue to properly handle sensitive issues, and create a favorable environment for the sustained and stable development of bilateral relations,” Wang said.