MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday said he expects more help from China when he attends the "One Belt, One Road" (OBOR) summit next month.
Speaking at a press briefing after the 30th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, Duterte mentioned grants committed by China for at least two bridges in the Philippines.
“We’ve been promised about two or three bridges. That is before the coming One Belt, One Road conference. I expect that I can, not really get something out of it, but maybe more help to develop my country,” Duterte said.
Since assuming the presidency, Duterte has sought to thaw ties with China, which got frozen under the previous administration due to the South China Sea dispute.
In seeking improved economic ties, Duterte has chosen to downplay the dispute and has even called Manila’s arbitral victory against Beijing a “non-issue.”
Duterte paid a visit to China last October, bringing home $24 billion dollars in investment pledges.
In May, Duterte will again set foot in China to attend the summit on China’s “New Silk Road” plan.
China has poured billions of dollars for its “One Belt, One Road” infrastructure initiative which aims to improve links between Asia, Africa, and Europe.