Philippines hopes for 'productive' visit by Chinese vice premier


Posted at Mar 16 2017 05:33 PM | Updated as of Mar 16 2017 09:02 PM

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang. Reuters/File

MANILA - Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo said Thursday he was hopeful Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang would have a "productive" visit to the Philippines this week.

Wang's visit is a "good" sign of the "growing" relationship between the Philippines and China, Manalo told reporters.

Manila and Beijing have been embroiled in a bitter maritime dispute until President Rodrigo Duterte took office in June last year and moved to reset ties.

Wang will meet Duterte on Friday. Manalo said economic agreements would be signed during the visit.

He is the highest-ranking Chinese official since Duterte visited Beijing and met with President Xi Jinping in October.

"We expect it to be productive," Manalo told reporters.

Wang's visit will come after Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana expressed concern over the presence of Chinese ships the resource-rich Benham Rise.