China leader sets 1st state visit to Philippines in 13 years

Singapore—Chinese President Xi Jinping is coming to the Philippines for a state visit from Nov. 20 to 21 upon the invitation of President Rodrigo Duterte, the Palace announced Thursday.

China leader sets 1st state visit to Philippines in 13 years

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the two leaders will exchange views on areas of mutual concern and chart the course for the future Philippines-China bilateral relations.

Panelo could not say if there were any major agreements that would be signed during the visit, saying only that it was “a good opportunity to discuss certain issues that require attention.”

READ: Philippine, China working on state visit of Xi Jinping to Manila

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said he still has to work on the arrangements for Xi’s visit.

“We’re working on that. There’s a whole list here of things to talk about. We’re still finalizing it. I have to go to Papua New Guinea for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit,” said Locsin in a press

conference Thursday afternoon hours before the closing ceremony of the 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Singapore.

“Of course, I’ll rush back [to the country] immediately to finalize it,” he added.

Xi’s historic visit to the country comes after his attendance at the APEC 2018 from Nov. 16 to 17 in Papua New Guinea. Duterte will also attend the summit with his delegation.

Xi’s will be the first visit of a Chinese president to the country in 13 years.

In 2005, Chinese president Hu Jintao made a state visit to the country under the administration of then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The two forged stronger ties as Hu’ visit coincided with the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The last time Xi visited Manila was in November 2015 during the APEC hosted by the Philippines.

Duterte had invited Xi to visit the Philippines during all of his three trips to China dated October 2016, May 2017, and this April.

In preparation for Xi’s visit, Foreign Minister Wang Yi flew to Davao City in late October to meet with Duterte and Locsin.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang had also made an official visit to Manila in November 2017, marking his first time in 10 years.

The Duterte administration, however, has not yet given any details about Xi’s schedule in the Philippines, what issues will be discussed, and what specific agreements will be forged during his visit.

The Palace had earlier said there are plans for a framework agreement on joint exploration for oil and gas to be signed in time for Xi’s visit. With Vito Barcelo

Topics: Xi Jinping , state visit , Rodrigo Duterte , Salvador Panelo , Teodoro Locsin Jr.
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