T he Philippines and China have been through a rough patch prior to the assumption of President Rodrigo Duterte resulting to missed potentials while fears about security were at its worst.
Through the hard work of Mr. Duterte and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the relations have improved to better than normal.
“The longstanding maritime dispute should not be the sum total of Philippines-China relations.”
This was the message President Duterte and his counterpart President Xi wanted to convey as both leaders agree to “put aside” both countries’ differences with regards to each other’s territorial claims in the strategic waterway.
CoC near to reality
Mr. Duterte and Xi called for more cooperation particularly in finalizing the Code of Conduct (CoC) in the South China Sea and to jointly explore for oil and gas in the resource-rich waterway.
“Today, let us reaffirm the value of our relationship — both personal and official — as well as the trust, respect and pursuit of mutual benefit that we have been building over the last three years.
To be sure, there have been challenges. Yet we are living up to our commitment to define our ties as a Comprehensive Strategic Cooperation,” the Chief Executive said during his bilateral meeting with Xi.
“With channels for dialogue fully opened, agreements signed and projects underway, there is a clear path of partnership and convergence,” he added.
The friendly momentum between China and the Philippines has been affirmed in the latest visit of the President.