Chinese FM opens Davao consulate

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WANG YI

Visiting Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Chinese State Councilors inaugurated China’s Consulate General in Davao City immediately upon their arrival for a two-day official visit.

May this be a continued testament to an immemorial friendship, to a robust and interconnected relationship

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. cited the inauguration of the Chinese Consulate General as a clear proof of the growing cooperation between Manila and Beijing.

“Being the biggest Philippine city in terms of land area and the third largest in terms of population, the inauguration of the Chinese Consulate General here in Davao is an auspicious sign of the city’s promise and the bright prospects for our engagement with China,” Locsin said in his remarks.

The inauguration of the Chinese Consulate General cited as a clear proof of the growing cooperation between Manila and Beijing.

“May this be a continued testament to an immemorial friendship, to a robust and interconnected relationship and to sustained interactions between the Philippines and China as we promote our common goals to the mutual benefit of both our great nations,” he added.

Locsin said he was pleased at the positive turnaround and vigorous momentum in Philippines-China relations.

“The Philippines has always been a friend of China,” Locsin stressed as he recalled how he broke through the Western news embargo on China in 1967 to see for himself and tell the world of the progress that China had made.

“We have since enhanced our dialogue and consensus on many levels,” he said.

“Our practical cooperation in many areas is reaping an early harvest of tangible benefits,” Locsin added.

Wang, Locsin talk set
Locsin said he is looking forward to sitting down and discussing with Wang today ways to further advance Philippines-China relations through cooperation in various areas.

We have since enhanced our dialogue and consensus on many levels.

These areas include trade, investments, infrastructure, tourism, agriculture, education, science and technology, anti-terrorism, anti-narcotics and cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

This is the first time State Councilor Wang is visiting Davao.

“Davao is a rapidly growing metropolis that also signifies the friendship between our peoples and the great strides that we have accomplished in the bilateral relations between our two countries,” Locsin said.

Davao is renowned for its strategic location and connectivity, a gateway to the rich resources and culture of Mindanao. It also accounts for 40 percent of Chinese fruit imports from the Philippines.

The “Build, Build, Build” program is also expected to get a financial boost as Manila and China are expected to sign bilateral agreements on infrastructure during Wang’s visit.

He would meet with the Duterte administration’s economic managers and “Build, Build, Build” team.

Apart from the bilateral agreement on infrastructure, Manila and Beijing will also sign agreements of humanitarian assistance and law enforcement.

“The two foreign ministers will witness the signing of bilateral agreements covering infrastructure, law enforcement and humanitarian assistance,” the DFA said.

China has been supportive of Mr. Duterte’s massive infrastructure efforts, particularly in the rehabilitation efforts in war-torn Marawi City.

Wang’s visit also came amid the ongoing discussions between Manila and Beijing on the planned joint oil exploration in the disputed West Philippine Sea.

The DFA, however, did not mention the West Philippine Sea among the issues to be tackled by Locsin and Wang during their bilateral meeting.

Independent foreign tack
Locsin also met with senior Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) officials for the first time since assuming the post as top diplomat and said he looks forward to working with them in advancing the independent foreign policy of the Duterte administration.

Manila and Beijing will also sign agreements on humanitarian assistance and law enforcement.

“I look forward to working with you, the men and women of the Philippine Foreign Service, here in the Home Office,” Locsin told his undersecretaries and assistant secretaries during the meeting that he convened hours after his arrival from New York.

At the meeting, Locsin said as foreign affairs secretary he will continue to pursue the President’s foreign policy directions by strengthening Manila’s relationship with its traditional allies and reaching out to new partners in the international community.

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