MANILA President Rodrigo Duterte's meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua signified the growing friendship between the Philippines and China, MalacaAang said on Thursday.
Amid warmer ties between the two nations, Hu paid a courtesy call on Duterte at MalacaAan Palace in Manila on Thursday.
In a press statement, the Palace said Duterte and Hu talked about the implementation of key infrastructure projects in the Philippines that are being financed by China.
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, MalacaAang said on Thursday night.
The meeting came despite Duterte's recent admission that he was experiencing unbearable pain in his lower back following his recent fall from his big bike.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Thursday said the 74-year-old Duterte, despite being told by his doctor to rest for several days, had decided to meet with Hu to discuss developments on his administration's ambitious Build, Build, Build infrastructure program.
Duterte assured Hu of the government's firm commitment to further boost Manila's improved ties with Beijing, the Palace said.
The President also noted that his two consecutive visits to China in April and in August this year validate his resolve to maintain the good relations between the two countries, it added.
The Chief Executive [told Hu] that his two visits to China this year validate his administration's commitment to further improve the bilateral relations between the two countries, MalacaAang said.
Duterte's April visit to Beijing gave the Philippines an opportunity to secure at least $12.165 billion worth of investment and trade deals with China.
Meantime, the President's stay in China in August led to the signing of six agreements between the two nations to boost their cooperation in the fields of education, science and technology, and economic and social development.
Hu is in the Philippines for an official visit from Oct. 22 to Oct. 24.
In China, the Vice Premier is in charge of matters related to agriculture, water resources, commerce, and tourism.
The Department of Foreign Affairs earlier said that there would be discussions about trade, investment, agriculture, and tourism .during Hu's visit to the country,
Also present during the courtesy call were Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua, State Council Deputy Secretary-General Gao Yu, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Vice Minister and China International Trade Deputy Representative Wang Shouwen.
Other members of the Chinese delegation who also paid a visit on Duterte were China International Development Cooperation Agency vide chair Deng Boqing, Department of Asian Affairs director-general Peng Gang, Secretary to the Vice President Premier Li Jialu, and Department of Asian Affairs Director Lu Qinhong.
Philippine officials present were Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia.
Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Meynardo Montealegre, Foreign Affairs executive director Josel Ignacio, Foreign Affairs acting director Ira Micheline Valdez, Finance chief of staff Anita Linda Aquino, and Senator Christopher Lawrence Go were also spotted during the Chinese leaders' courtesy call. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency